When I first played Hellgate: London during the late stages of beta, I was somewhat less than impressed. I loved the concept and the graphical style, but the gameplay seemed kind of empty and hollow to me for some reason. Then one day will wandering through a local bookstore I picked up a copy of Hellgate: London Exodus, the first in a series of game-based novels by Author Mel Odom, whose name I recognised from several books in the Shadowrun series years ago. The story chronicles the early days of London's invasion, following templar Simon Cross as he seeks to avenge his father's death at the hands of demons that he once refused to believe in and the rise of the sorcerous Cabalists to power. After reading through the 466 page story I immediately went out and purchased the game, and found myself enjoying it more than ever. Having immersed myself in the fiction, suddenly the game seemed much more developed and interesting to me. For me this stressed the importance of a strong background story to the immersion of a video game. Having read many game-related novels over the past few years I can say that with few exceptions, I always enjoy the game more once I know details on the back story and the characters that lived through the game's events.
So what do you guys think? Has a novel ever convinced you to purchase a game you otherwise weren't too keen on? How important is story outside the frame of the game itself?