You might be one of millions of fans of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones. Perhaps you have read the entire (as Douglas Adams might put it) increasingly inaccurately named A Song of Ice and Fire trilogy (to date). You may have enjoyed one of Telltale Games’ many other genre bending titles. Maybe you are just aimlessly searching the internet. Regardless of how you became aware of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, I will do my utmost to provide you with an informed review that will aid you in your decision of whether or not you would like to play the game.
I should begin by stating that I am a massive fan of both the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Game of Thrones show. As such, I have a massive appetite for any content related to Game of Thrones. I came across this particular game whilst casually browsing various titles on the Playstation Network. I was immediately intrigued. My interest was further piqued when I learned that this would be a six episode series, of which only one had already been released. This format, while old news to those familiar with Telltale Games, was fascinating to me. As of now, they have released two of the six episodes with the rest to follow bi-monthly (allegedly) until completion. These aptly named episodes allow the player to delve into the world of Ice and Fire as several different members of House Forrester. In an attempt to avoid spoilers, I will simply say the games story begins at what is considered the most gruesome event of the latter half of book 3 and season 3 of the show. The Forresters are Stark bannermen who must now deal with a world rapidly collapsing around them.
The beauty of this game is that it allows you to interpret events on a personal level and react to them accordingly. This is achieved by prompting the player with three (sometimes two) different dialogue options periodically throughout every conversation. There is a time limit indicated underneath these options to create a sense of urgency. This is one of my favorite features as it truly makes me feel as if I’m having a real conversation. If you don’t choose in time, your character remains awkwardly silent. Conversations represent the bulk of the game. Because of that fact I must admit I was initially unconvinced that I would find the game fun. I have since come around due to how spectacular of a job Telltale Games has done of making the player feel very much involved in the story. Every choice you make results in a different outcome, some of which greatly alter the story arc.
The rest of the game takes shape in the form of walking, observing, and… fighting! The walking and observing gameplay seem primarily to be for the purpose of learning more about the Forrester family and your characters current surroundings. However, there are occasionally items one can pick up and stash away. The fighting mechanics share a similar urgency to the conversations. Directional analogue stick swiping, quick button recognition, “strength test” like button mashing, and analogue aiming make up the fighting in this game. One must aim before shooting an arrow, grabbing an item, punching an opponent in the face, etc. If the player is not quick enough, death arrives swiftly.
If you are still on the fence about purchasing Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series, there is an option to only buy one of the episodes. If you’re like me and can’t get enough of anything Game of Thrones, you can buy the season pass at a cheaper rate than buying every episode individually. The story, albeit not as grand as the books or the show, is quite immersive. I for one have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in this gripping tale and am eagerly awaiting the next installment. My only real complaint is that the frame rate can be a bit choppy. My half-joking complaint is that the episodes could be a bit longer. The first two only took me a couple of hours a piece. At the very least, this game has satiated my hunger for the time being. I am still anxious for season 5 and Book 6. Although, I have come to terms with the probability that I will be old and grey before The Winds of Winter arrives on the shelves.