If you’re gagging for the fifth season of the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones” to get underway, I’ve got something to help you pass the time! Telltale Games has heard your cries and steps forward with their latest episodic single-player adventure, appropriately titled Game Of Thrones.
WARNING: Here be (possible) spoilers
If your first question is “Do I have to have watched the show to understand this game?” the answer is yes and no. You don’t have to have watched the ENTIRE series to play but it would be incredibly helpful, as the game begins at the tail end of season three with the storyline leading up to events that end just before the start of the upcoming season five. Episode one, “Iron From Ice,” is where we’re introduced to the House of Forrester, the focal point of the six episode series – don’t panic, they’ve not been introduced into the HBO series but are mentioned in the novel A Dance with Dragons. From Ironrath (located north of Westeros), House Forrester controls the Ironwood forest, coveted by kingdoms far and wide for the nearly indestructible weapons/shields crafted from the ironwood itself.
In the series opener, we’re introduced to Gared Tuttle (below), squire to Lord Forrester outside of House Frey during the infamous “Red Wedding” sequence – which also tells us we’re in the thick of the War of the Five Kings. Here’s where I also mention Telltale was quite clever by giving us said action BEFORE the opening credits – which is near similar to the show’s open – with the map showing us where we’ll be venturing throughout episodes.
While the game DOES include settings and characters from the novels (with some voices provided by actors from the television series), do not expect to see the entire cast appear. I really don’t want to spoil it for you but in the first episode, there’s fun to be had. While a single-player game, you’ll find yourself playing as different characters (including a female) during the multi-chapter episode and like any other Telltale game, every decision you make will have consequences down the line.
The look of the game has a very oil painting feel to it, as if you expect Vermeer and his “Girl with a Pearl Earring” are going to walk into frame at any moment. And if you’re into games where you get to put fresh maggots into an open wound, this is the game for you! As beautiful as the game looks, however, there’s a bit of a lag but not so long that it detracts from the experience.
I also enjoyed the opportunity to play as five different characters (making for more actions and character choices) within the universe – but don’t get too attached to any single character. You know as well as I do that “when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.”
I should also mention with the visceral images that come with a game like Game of Thrones, coarse language is sure to follow…so unless you want your kid to learn two new four-letter words that begin with “F” and “C,” within the two hours of gameplay, you’ve been warned.
Overall, episode one offers violence, intrigue and a whole new set of characters to love or loathe with a storyline that delivers the same amount of intensity that readers of the book/fans of the show have come to know and love…SO FAR. And the $4.99 price tag’s not too shabby either.
I knew I was in when I immediately shelled out the remaining $19.99 for the season pass, so here’s hoping it doesn’t take months between episodes (like it did with The Wolf Among Us) or else my interest will wane and my temper will rise (much like it did with The Wolf Among Us).
Review for episode 2 coming soon.
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