TellTale Games have raised the bar in storytelling ever since The Walking Dead Season 1, which went on to win Game Of The Year in 2012. They followed it up with season 2 of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. So far TellTale Games hasn’t disappointed in any of their work yet, and now with their new game Game Of Thrones (GoT) based on the HBO show of the same name, I hope they will continue to make the good work we are so accustomed to.
The game presumes you already either read the books or watched the show because they don’t explain anything to you. When I first started watching the Game Of Thrones HBO show I had the same problem with not knowing anything thats going on. Even with the first episode, the narrative is laid out as though viewers are supposed to already know the backstory for the characters and the different houses involved. Now after having watched all four seasons of the TV show, the game is easy for me to understand, but if you haven’t watched the TV show, I would recommend watching it before starting this game series. The series will take place between season 3 all the way leading up to the beginning of season 5. In this review I will talk about things that happened already in the HBO show, I will keep it to a bare-minimum, spoiler free, just in case you haven’t seen the show.
This game is different than other TellTale games for two reasons: (1) it consists of 6 episodes rather than the usual 5 episodes as seen in other TellTale game series, and (2) we also have five different characters to control as opposed to one. At first I thought five characters would be a lot to juggle with but it really works well with the HBO Game Of Thrones themed narrative, showing different parts of Westeros. It’s also a nice touch to switch up the environments now and then. I didn’t expect to play more than one character in the first episode, but the transitions to different characters feel really well done.
In this first episode “Iron from Ice”, players take on the role of 3 out of the 5 playable characters. Gared Tuttle is a squire to Lord Forrester, Ethan Forrester is a young boy that must fill the shoes of his Father at Ironsrath and Mire Forrester is a handsmaiden to Margaery Tyrell at Kings Landing. Each character has different story objective to play out but they ultimately share the same goals and hopes for House Forrester. House Forrester are loyal Bannerman to the Starks of Winterfell. Since the War of the 5 Kings, the Starks are losing dominance in the North. The game starts exactly at the Red Wedding, where in the first couple of scenes you will confront a lot of quick time events, which fortunately isn’t as laggy as those seen in The Wolf Among Us. These QTEs really pulled you out of the gaming experience, although they’re quite fluid at 60 fps. The majority of the game will have you talking to characters and making hard decision mechanics that are typical of TellTale games. The story is well written and will completely immerse you into the series. House Forrester is super interesting and as the game progresses you will want to find out more of its backstory and where the story will go. Also for trophy lovers, this game does come with the platinum, so we don’t have to wait for the retail version.
The art is different in this game as well, The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us have a comic book art style while Game Of Thrones‘ visuals are similar to oil paintings. The backgrounds, particularly those depicting Kings Landing, appear fuzzy and rough like a Monet painting at times. Add to that the hard to read texts in the top left corner of the screen, where you see dialogues such as “Cersei is pleased with your answer“. The words here appear distorted and I find them hard to read. Aside from that, the game looks great for the most part and at 1080p resolution running at 60 fps the game is buttery smooth.
Margaery Tyrell, Cersei Lannister and Tyrion Lannister are some of the characters you can expect to see in Episode 1: Iron From Ice. These characters look spot on and are fully voiced by the original actors from the HBO show. Dialogues with these characters feel really authentic. Cersei makes you feel intimidated when she talks down to you while Tyrion, voiced by Peter Dinklage (who does a great job here unlike in Destiny) is a helpful guy who carries a sarcastic attitude about life. Margaery, with her sweet and light caring toned voice, is soothing to listen to. We also get the super awesome theme song from the HBO show which is the coolest thing you can ask for to start off an episode.
TellTale does a great job with creating a side story in the Game Of Thrones universe to keep you fully interested and ready for episode 2. We can see more iconic characters making appearances like Jamie Lannister and Daenerys Targaeryn in future episodes. We can expect to see Jon Snow in Episode 2 for sure . With a great breathtaking ending, just like at the end of each episode in the show, all you can do is wait until next time to catch more of the series’ excitement.