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Expanding Videogame Narratives via Comics

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May 19, 2023
Comics are a great way to explore new stories from universes established in videogames, here are some of my favourites.
Expanding Videogame Narratives via Comics
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This modern era of videogaming is awesome if you consider that the stories and universes established in some of our favourite games now extend to other formats such as big budget movies, TV series, novels, and comics. Granted, we had transmedia projects of various IPs when we were younger and not all of the more recent adaptations have been perfect, but the resources available to newer projects does open the doors for some really special experiences.

I specifically want to ramble how these projects help to expand on lore and characters that may not have been as prevalent in a videogame itself, as with some of my favourite comics released as tie-in narratives. There have been plenty of comics created to compliment games, from Halo to Metal Gear Solid, so what would I consider a good tie-in? Well, ones that provide more insight into events appearing in the source material. Take for instance the four-part American Dreams comic series that was released for The Last of Us, in which the backstory of Ellie and Riley’s relationship is expanded upon prior to the events of the Left Behind story-arc. We’re shown what Ellie’s life is like living in the Boston quarantine zone as well as her connection to Marlene, giving us more context to certain moments in the base game.

There’s also the Mass Effect comics, of which there are many great stories, but I really enjoyed the Foundation series which tells backstories to the supporting characters in the game framed around the origin story of Maya Brooks, antagonist of the Citadel DLC. As download content usually have limited resources, telling Maya’s past would have been difficult to do in-game, so the comics provided the perfect opportunity to tell her story.

Other favourite is Mirror’s Edge: Exordium, which follows Faith as she is introduced to the crime lord Dogen and the impact this has on her relationship with her mentor Noah. The six-part story leads directly up to where we find Faith in Catalyst and is another great example of comics expanding upon the narrative of a game, adding to the story while not taking anything away from the game for those who haven’t read them.

These are just a few examples and there most certainly many more great reads, like the Dragon Age, Uncharted or Ratchet & Clank comics, so perhaps that’s a ramble post for another time.

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It's me, the admin of two-minute ramble. I'm an 80s kid with an obsessive love of videogames and most pop-culture stuff.
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