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Video Games as Comics, Do They Work?

Expending the universe one page at a time.


You may have walked through your local bookstore and noticed something interesting in the comic section. More and more video games are getting the comic book treatment. Whether its Darksiders, Dead Space, Dark Souls, or Assassins Creed, games are getting their universes expanded.

Now, while these aren’t direct sequels (or prequels) they are indeed part of the universe. They’re a way for game studios to increase their stories and lore in a much shorter amount of time and get people more excited about the upcoming game. Movies take inspiration from comics and books so why can’t comics take inspiration from video games?

Generally, the comic spin-offs are a decent, if not welcome, addition to the world of the video game they’re based on. Granted, just like with movie adaptations, some comics just don’t quite hit the mark. For example, around the release of Mortal Kombat X a small series of comics were released to help stoke the fire and hype around the upcoming game. It didn’t quite hit it’s mark though. While it may have helped give insight and backstory to some of the newer characters being introduced, it was kind of boring. I know, its hard to imagine anything Mortal Kombat related being boring but some games just aren’t meant to have comics created around them.

Then you have comics that do a great job of expanding the universe they’re pulling from. Dark Souls, for one, has had some excellent comic spin offs that have made me love the twisted, convoluted world even more. The Breath of Andolus is a fantastic homage to the series and tells an incredible tale of a hollowing knight trying to link the flame. Now while this sounds exactly like the base of all Dark Souls games, this comic takes place, presumably, before the events of the games. How do I know this? Because one of the main characters is none other than Aldrich! This story, however, takes place long before he gets the title of “The Devourer” tacked onto his name.

343 Industries is another that capitalised on the use of comics to expand their renowned Halo universe. Any bookstore with a good comics section will definitely have an expansive collection of Halo comics, and books actually. Between Bungie and 343 Industries there have been numerous novels and comics revolving around Spartans kicking some Convenant ass. Most of these are really good stories and additions to the ever growing world of Halo.

Probably 75% of video games that get a comic book treatment will be a good read. Overall, they are a great way to learn more about your favourite games without having to sink hours into them. As an avid comic reader and video game enthusiast, I would highly recommend finding a comic that pertains to one of your favourite games and giving it a read. You might learn some interesting back story you wouldn’t have found in the game. Worst case scenario? You just wasted 30 minutes of your life. So really, there isn’t much to lose. Just give it a shot, come on, do it…. You know you want to.

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