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5 Video Games with Well-Developed Characters, Plots and Worldbuilding! Revealed by UK Book Editor

Professional book editor in the UK delves into her top 5 favourite video games and explores why their characterisation, plot and worldbuilding could help aspiring authors with their novels!

When we think of stories, characters and worldbuilding, we often imagine books, films and TV shows, but less of us consider the power of video games.

Sadly, video games often conjure the image of teenage boys who have nothing else to do, or adult men who still live in their parents' basement, but video games target a wide range of people and offer so much more than may meet the eye at first.

I've always loved video games and continue to play them now, partly because they provide a huge escape and partly because the plots, characters, settings, worldbuilding and immersion is just as good as what you can get from a novel.

So, this post is all the about my top 5 video games with well-developed characters, plots and worldbuilding.

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1. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition is my all time favourite video game BECAUSE of the large cast of well-developed characters, the epic plot, and the extensive worldbuilding...but mainly the characters.

You play as the 'Inquisitor' of an Inquisition that gets formed throughout the game to fight against demons and enemies that want to take over the world. The main villain is an archdemon called Corypheus who will do anything in his power to defeat everyone in the land, but you and your Inquisition have to stop him once and for all.

Along your journey to saving the world, you meet heavily fleshed out characters with deep backstories, which is my favourite aspect of the game, you get to explore the beautiful landscapes across the world of Thedas, which vary in terrain, weather, and habitats, and the plot is just a unique ball of wonder, heartbreak, and unexpected twists and turns!

As I've mentioned above, my favourite part of Dragon Age: Inquisition is the characters, the very large cast of characters, in fact.

Each character is completely different with their own backstories, goals, dreams, pains and traumas. Some of the characters get on with you better than others, depending on your choices throughout the game, and they all have their own opinions of each other within the inquisition.

However, despite the relationships, friendships, animosity or hatred that develop during the game, everyone works together to fight against Corypheus, and you as the player really feel as if you're part of them and belong in the world of Thedas with these people.

So, if you're after a game that teaches you how to create a beautiful balance between characterisation, story arcs and detailed worldbuilding, I'd highly recommend Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Additionally, Dragon Age: Inquisition has medieval elements to it regarding much of the buildings, weapons, clothing, food, and way of life, so if you're writing a medieval fantasy, this game may be a good option that shows you how to develop your world in the best way possible.

2. Assassin's Creed: Origins

Set in Ancient Egypt, Assassin's Creed: Origins follows the heart-breaking story of Bayek of Siwa, an Egyptian Medjay, who embarks on a mission to avenge the murder of his son.

Throughout the game, you get to defeat the different historical villains who had a part to play in the death of Bayek's boy and also learn that Bayek and Aya's relationship can no longer be fixed after their tragic loss.

Instead, they put their love and passion into founding the Hidden Ones, the very first creed of assassin's.

Though separated, Bayek and Aya lead their secret order and pledge to forever protect the innocent from the shadows.

Although the game developers have done an insane job of creating an incredibly realistic Ancient Egypt that you can explore to your heart's content, it's the story that gets me every time.

So, if you want a game that could teach you how to write a powerful narrative with heart-breaking story arcs and life-changing decisions, I'd recommend Assassin's Creed: Origins, even if you don't play any of the others in the franchise.

Or if you're setting your novel in Ancient Egypt, the game will give you a realistic insight into the sights and sounds of that time period.

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3. Elex

Although a lot of gamers hate this game due to its clunky combat & questionable dialogue at times, I love Elex and its sequel because of its unique concept and plot.

Within the game, Elex is an unknown substance that ends up on the planet of Magalan after a comet hits the surface, and thereafter, Magalan's civilisation is divided into factions.

The Berserkers reject any form of technology, limiting themselves to a medieval way of life.

The outlaws are literally outlaws who live in the desert, claiming to be 'free' and have their own rules.

The clerics are all about religion and technology, worshipping their god & relying on machines.

And the albs are addicts who use Elex to function, depleting themselves of all emotion.

So if you're writing a science fiction / dystopian novel that has different factions and you want some advice on how to make yours completely different from one another, Elex could be a good option for you to play, even if you don't complete the game.

4. Far Cry: Primal

An abundance of gamers swear by the Far Cry series, but you often only hear praise about the Far Cry instalments set in the modern day, and although those are probably fantastic games, they don't resonate with me as much as their historical counterpart - Far Cry: Primal.

At the beginning of the game, you quickly discover that you're part of the Wenja tribe in prehistoric times, but your people get killed by a saber-tooth tiger, leaving you to survive on your own without any weapons. The aim of the game is to rebuild a new Wenja clan, searching for new tribespeople to join while surviving the wilderness and learning to craft various prehistoric weapons along the way.

While you never really see your character, you get to meet and interact with many people who agree to join the Wenja tribe, so the game allows you to learn more about their personalities and backgrounds. However, although the characterisation in the game is amazing, my favourite part is the immersion Far Cry: Primal gives you, and could really help an author who's writing a novel set in prehistoric times.

Not only do you get to clearly see everything in the game, you get to actually do things you can't necessarily do in other games. For example, if you craft a weapon in other video games, you can probably do it in the crafting menu and boom, it pops out from nowhere, but in Far Cry: Primal, the player is able to physically see how all the weapons are made, as the game is played in first person, so your character's hands are on the screen at all times.

As a result, I'd definitely recommend Far Cry: Primal to writers who are outlining, writing or editing a manuscript set in prehistoric times as the game offers an immersive experience and really teaches you the way of tribespeople.

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5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the games that always lures me back for different reasons. Sometimes it's fun to just roam around as an elf assassin, looting and levelling up until another game catches my attention, and other times, it's a huge escape to spend ages creating the perfect character and fully immersing yourself in hours of medieval fantasy.

Many people love the story of Skyrim - obviously - but it's not the narrative that continues to draw me into the game, and it's also not why the game has made it onto this list.

Instead, my favourite aspect of the game is the setting, which could really help aspiring authors who are writing historical (medieval) fiction or a historical (medieval) fantasy.

If you take away the story and just focus on the locations and non-playable characters, Skyrim does an amazing job of showing players the way people would likely have lived during the medieval area.

For example, the characters live in small cottages with cattle, chicken or crop farms outside; they have small markets and shops that sell general goods in each major town, selling foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish; they have local blacksmiths nearby who also run their own armoury and weapons shop; they have clothing shops, cosy taverns, places of worship, and holds, inhabited by jarls.

If Skyrim didn't have an epic story, millions of side quests to embark on, and endless locations to explore, the game could easily pass as a medieval fantasy simulator, so I'd definitely recommend The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim if you want to learn more about a medieval way of life as a writer.


So, there we have it - 5 video games that have amazing characters, stories and worldbuilding that you should definitely play if you haven't already!

Speak soon,

Chelsea x



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Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm a professional book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!

With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!


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