Hogwarts Legacy is out today and it’s an immersive, open-world RPG set in the world of Harry Potter. This game is everything we’ve wanted since the books came out. An RPG world where we can live our Wizarding dreams. Waking up in Hogwarts Castle, going to classes, casting spells and getting into our own adventure.
That’s exactly what Hogwarts Legacy will be bringing us. An original story in a familiar world. But it also makes me think, about what other worlds would be amazing to live through as well. Lord of the Rings? A Game Of Thrones? Dune? Those book series have intensely immersive world-building that is just begging for an RPG remake. And if you don’t believe me then look at The Witcher.
So today let’s look at some book worlds that would work well as an immersive RPG game.
There are plenty of amazing Star Wars games out there and most recently, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. That’s an amazing example of a book-inspired game RPG that takes us deep into a specific part of Star Wars history and has you live through it. But you’re left to wonder why there are so many Star Wars games but fewer with Dune, the original space opera that inspired Star Wars.
Dune is one of the bestselling sci-fi books of all time and the world-building is intensely deep. There are many worlds that span the Dune series, coupled with unique characters, sprawling intergalactic politics and conspiracies. The game story basically writes itself, whether you’re a Fremen on Arrakis or a member of the Spacing Guild. There are so many paths that a game could follow, with so much intricately crafted history already built in.
The Lord Of The Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings series has intensely immersive world-building that spans centuries and centuries. There are unique species, lands, languages and races that span all of Middle Earth. And you can pretty much make an amazing game at any point of the Lord of the Rings story.
You could live in the early age aka Rings of Power timeline. Or dive deep into chaos with the War Of The Rings. Not to mention all the material from The Hobbit or the actual Lord of the Rings. There are a lot of stories that are untold that I feel would be brought to life in an RPG game. We could explore the race of the Dúnedain, the long-lived race of men. Or even to live through as a companion of Isildur or just be a Rider of Rohan.
There’s so much material here and it’s a shame we haven’t gotten a full open-world RPG game yet.
The Hunger Games
Despite mixed reviews of The Hunger Games movie series, you can’t deny the deep and interesting world that Suzanne Collins built. In this dystopian future, Panem has been divided into
12 13 districts, with each having a specific type of industry. Everyone’s lives revolve in a kind of Battle Arena where each district has to send two tributes to fight to the death, as punishment for rebelling against the Capitol.
The world is interesting and dark, with small glimpses of everyday life throughout. In the books, we see the world through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen from District 12, but there are many other ways to explore the world. Potentially going back in time to play through the actual rebellion against the Capitol. Or to live through the eyes of someone in a different district like that of District 1 or 13.
Heck even living through the actual Hunger Games sounds like an intense survival RPG.
The Dragonriders of Pern
If you were a fantasy nerd in the ’80s then you would have read an Anne McCaffery book and dreamed of riding your own dragon. For those of you non-millennials reading this, the world of Pern is being invaded by a destructive spore called Tread. And it focuses on, you guessed it the Dragonriders who had a unique bond with their dragon.
There is a fantastic amount of content with the Dragonriders of Pern series. The series is compromised of 24 books that span over two and a half millennia. You can explore the initial colonisation or simply battle the Thread and live your life as a dragon rider. If you love the fantasy and magic from Harry Potter then you would have at some point dreamt of riding your own dragon. This series is where you could do that.
Game Of Thrones
Okay, we all know what happened with the last Season of HBO’s Game of Thrones but that has nothing to do with the world that George R.R. Martin has built. Established history, groups, political intrigue and politics all already exist. All we need to do is live in it. Imagine playing as a nameless King/Queensguard during the Game of Thrones. Or a nobleman during the Dance of the Dragons. Play in Westeros or the far less explored Essos as a spice trader or worshipper of the Red God.
There’s an insanely rich amount of lore for us to dive in and live through the Song of Ice and Fire series. Although I guess given the darker nature of the books this would be more like a Star Wars Jedi adventure, rather than Hogwarts Legacy. Well, whichever way they make it I think it’s a shame that all this amazing material isn’t being translated into the gaming world.