Just like movies, books and plays, a good video game can tell a story and transport a player to a new world filled with wonderment and drama. William Shakespeare’s
provides a perfect example of a play that could easily be adapted into a video game. The world famous play follows Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, taking revenge for his father’s murder. Hamlet makes a perfect main character in a game, wandering the castle, finding items and interacting with other characters to seek out his revenge against the murderer, King Claudius. Hamlet’s pursuit for vengeance makes an excellent theme that drives the plot throughout the adventure and his interactions with characters make for a great role playing game.
Hamlet’s story consists of many elements that make a good game. The main character,
Hamlet, has an obvious goal to avenge his father’s death. Also, Hamlet’s uncle Claudius is the main villain with the sole purpose to prevent Hamlet from winning. The game would focus around him trying to enact his revenge on the evil King Claudius for poisoning his father.
Hamlet learns of his father’s murder from the ghost of King Hamlet himself. The late king tells
Hamlet, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder... The serpent that did sting thy father’s life/ Now wears his crown” (1.5.2540).
The action starts after the ghost of Hamlet’s father, King
Hamlet, appears to relay a horrid message from beyond the grave. Claudius murdered Hamlet’s father and taken the crown. As Hamlet progresses through the game of revenge, he will get to interact with different characters such as Lady Ophelia, Horatio and Queen Gertrude to gather information. Hamlet can collect items all around the castle such as armor or a sword to defend himself from Claudius’s secret soldiers and hidden traps that he left all around the castle. After progressing through the game, the final battle scene has Hamlet dueling Laertes. After Hamlet
beats Laertes, Laertes confesses, “It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain... Lo, here I lie,/
Never to raise again... I can no more. The king the king’s to blame” (5.2.309316).
Hamlet finds out that King Claudius has conspired with Laertes to kill Hamlet. Laertes confesses that he poisoned his sword and now both Hamlet and Laertes have little time to live. The player of the game will get to duel against Laertes and learn with Hamlet of Laertes’s sins. Finally, Hamlet will go after Claudius and kill him with a poisonous drink. With all the drama that happens in
, a decision based roleplaying game does not seem so farfetched.
A roleplaying game always focuses on the story and the development of characters. If
becomes a video game, it would most likely be a decision based roleplaying game and have a similar play style as
L.A. Noire or
The Walking Dead
. In these types of games, the environment and game itself change with each decision the player makes. As Hamlet, the player can talk and interface with other characters. Hamlet interacts with many different characters and even with himself as he gives his famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be? That is the question/
Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer/ The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,/And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep...” (3.1.5761).
ponders whether he should continue down this path of revenge or feel the relief of death and eternal rest. In the game, the player gets to decide for Hamlet whether he chooses to live or die.
Ultimately, Hamlet will have to decide to carry on and complete his mission, but the decision he makes can change how he goes about enacting…