By now you’re probably familiar with Telltale’s range of episodic adventures all based around popular games, TV shows and more. Point and click storytelling adventures where you decide how much of a dick, or not you’re going to be to people or the fate of other characters but do you really decide their fate, or is it all an illusion with every choice ending with the same outcome. When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. Luckily for you, Telltale’s version won’t require you risking your life or morals to play, although it’s still as brutal, morally corrupt and heartless as the books it’s based upon. Don’t get attached to any characters, because you’re in for a bumpy ride.
Like many games of this nature, set in beloved worlds, it’s definitely better to be familiar with the characters and setting, it makes their appearance have even more of an impact rather than being another NPC, although the story is enthralling enough that it isn’t a necessity, fans of the show will definitely lap up every bit of Westeros the game has to offer from the beautiful idyllic gardens of Kings Landing to the frost-bitten, treacherous, snowy North beyond the wall with all the dangers each region has to offer, some more subtle than others.
A Game Of Thrones Telltale Series: Xbox One [Reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, Mac OS
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Release Date: 3 December 2014
Season Pass Price: £29.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Developer/Publisher]
This review looks at all six episodes, the complete first season. Your adventure starts with Gared, a squire for Lord Forrester during the events of the red wedding, an event that inspired a lot of reaction videos due to it’s shocking nature and proved that George RR Martin, the author of the books, meant business. The whole season is based around members of the Forrester family and you’ll get to know them quite well. Unfortunately for Gared, he ends up having to get blood on hands in an act of vengeance after his family are killed and is sent to the wall by his uncle Duncan Tuttle, to become a man of the watch, in a bid to protect him from the Whitehills, who seek payback for the men he killed. The Nights Watch protect the south from the danger of the North, be it Wildlings, giants or a common enemy among them all, White Walkers. He also carries a mysterious message and secret given to him by Lord Forrester shortly before his untimely and brutal death, protect the North Grove.
The Whitehills are not happy that Gared is now out of their reach and this puts the Forrester’s in serious danger. It will take everything they have and every ally they can call on to keep their lives and home intact. Expect a lot of confrontations, seriously bad decision making, loss of dignity and blood to be spilled on both sides. It is Game of Thrones after all. You’ll play members of the Forrester family, as they try to make it back to save their family and their home from the unforgiving and slightly insane enemies they find themselves against.
Like a lot of the other games by Telltale, your decisions can have the same outcome no matter how much you try to be the good guy or make the right choice. I felt this more in this series than I did in any of the other Telltale episodic game. I know the people are completely insane and out for blood in Game of Thrones, but me literally crawling around on the floor, kissing someone’s boots and biting my tongue as much as humanly possible should not have the exact same consequences as me telling them to go f**k themselves. I understand it, a little, as the people you are up against just want to watch you squirm and don’t really care to make peace, but still I felt slightly disappointed when I tried to go back and change my choices, to see that it made absolutely no difference at all.
I stumbled through all six episodes trying to make the right decisions and kiss the ass of anyone willing to bend over, all in the name of peace but nothing I did seemed to make much of a difference. I did like that they stuck to the theme of the source material well, and the way they weaved the books characters into the story so seamlessly, it never felt like they just tried to think of a reason to get them there and they remained true to who they are, including Cersei who I tried to please but ended up saying all the wrong things I thought she wanted to hear.
Combat plays out the same as the other games, quick-time events and button mashing that can end in your death if you mess up. They’ll be a lot of times you are forced to defend yourself throughout but don’t worry, simply reloading the checkpoint will continue the story and allow you to try again if you aren’t quick enough to stop yourself getting impaled.
Overall, Telltale have done an amazing job staying true to everything Game of Thrones represents, the fact that they tied in the tv shows intro at the beginning will be sure to please fans of the books and TV series. The art style is very visually appealing and the story gets better and better as the series goes on, prepare yourself for many shocking moments scattered throughout, the only issue I can see people having is the way it ends, like it’s setting itself up for a second series rather than giving players closure of all the events they have experienced, but hey, another series and finding out what happens is definitely worth waiting for.