You've played the games, now read the comics
- Posted May 11th, 2013 at 16:28 EDT by Richard Archer
What can you do when you've finished your latest game and it leaves you wanting more but the sequel is twelve months away? Or how can you find out what your favourite gaming characters get up to in-between cutscenes ?
Simple: you just need to read one of the growing number of comic books that are tied in to videogames.
Comics and videogames have always gone together well; both are full of larger-than-life characters indulging in OTT adventures, and many gamers are comics fans and vice versa. But recently with the advent of digital comics gaming tie-ins have taken off and now it seems that nearly every major game release comes with a comic book tie-in. I'm going to take a look at three comic books based on PlayStation games and see if they are worth checking out.
The Mass Effect series of games are incredibly popular and with news that a fourth title is in development, there is no better way to enjoy more Mass Effect while you wait than by reading the tie-in comics.
Dark Horse Comics started releasing Mass Effect comics in 2010 and so popular has the series become that three years later they continue to be a firm favourites with both fans of the game and comic readers. The success of the Mass Effect comics lies in the fact that rather than produce an ongoing title Dark Horse chose to produce several mini-series that expanded on characters or events from the game. These stories range from the adventures of Liara T'Soni between Mass Effect 1 and 2, to the exploits of Blasto, the galaxy's first Hanar Spectre.
This diversity is the great strength of the comic book series in that there is always something to read that is going to appeal to the varied appetites of all Mass Effect fans. When you combine this with the fact that the writers behind the game are also involved with these stories then you get a strong set of comics that I would recommend all Mass Effect fans check out.
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the new beat-'em-up featuring DC comic book characters is a popular new game with lots of players enjoying the chance to fight as and against iconic comic book characters. Now, while the game tells you the events that have led up to this titanic clash of superheros, naturally it concentrates on the ongoing plot rather than the back story, which is where the Injustice prequel comic comes in. DC comics has so far put out seventeen issues of the Injustice comic spin-off which goes into the events that led into the game in great detail; like the game, the comic pulls no punches and is full of insane action including my favourite scene where Aquaman teams up with a giant Kraken.
This strength of this series is that it can take time to expand on Injustice's back story in dramatic fashion that allows readers to soak up the back story of why their favourite superheroes have gathered to beat the crap out of each other.
The Sonic the Hedgehog comic is an example of how when a gaming comic is done right it can become as big if not bigger than the original game that inspired it. The Sonic comic from Archie Comics started life in 1992 and is still going strong today, in fact the comic holds the Guinness world record for the longest running comic book series based on a videogame. The premise of the comic started simply enough with it just showcasing Sonic fighting Dr Robotnik, but as its popularity increased it went on to include stories about Sonic's companions, his relationships, his adventures in space and more reboots of the Sonic universe than most popular comic book series.
The comic's strengths are its all ages appeal and the fact that it is going strong 21 years after its launch shows that gaming comic ties-ins that are done right can establish a long-lasting pedigree that a lot of superhero comics would be proud of.
So, gaming comics have been with us for some time and seem unlikely to go away anytime soon. If these three I discussed here didn't take your fancy, then there are still comics available for a myriad of other popular games, including: Fuse, Batman: Arkham City, Deus Ex, Crysis, Army of Two, Dead Space ,God of War, Uncharted, Tomb Raider and many more.
Don't forget there is a comic for every gamer and a gamer for every comic.
Do you read gaming related comics if so which ones and what do you think about them ? Let us know in the comments section below.