The transfer of films, TV shows and comic adventures to videogames is very common, with film directors and actors often getting involved. However, there are also many examples of novels being the inspiration for video games. Hard To Be A God, the new action and adventure game from Ascaron to be released in April, was inspired by the classic Russian novel of the same name written by the Strugatsky brothers.
Strugatsky Brothers’ Hard To Be A God
The Strugatsky brothers were famous Russian science-fiction authors. In their novels, they created a universe where earthmen are the explorers and conquerors of space. Hard To Be A God is one of the novels in this series and follows a spy from a futuristic earth as he explores an alien planet stuck in a medieval time.
Written in 1964, political undertones are very apparent in the book, with references to the negative effects of an overpowering church, differences between capitalism and communism, fascist dictatorship and the Nazis.
Bringing a novel to life
Great care was taken to bring the world envisioned by the Strugatsky brothers to life. All the characters, locations and factions have been recreated in fine detail, right down to a character’s individual attitudes towards others. The planet Tsurinak has been designed with an authentic medieval appearance. Clothes, structures, surroundings and basic weapons, such as swords and crossbows, reflect a medieval time.
Akella’s Hard To Be A God
The game is a sequel, set two years after the book. The Kingdom of Arkanar has been torn apart by internal wars and the nobles have entrenched themselves in their castles. Anarchy rules the world as an agent of the imperial intelligence organisation is dispatched to the rebellious kingdom with an order to kill the leader of the insurgents.
During the quest the agent comes up against bandits, mounted guards and monsters in a range of challenges, from finding lost children in a corn filed, to defeating immortal beings.