Game of Thrones is a 6 part episodic game based on HBO’s Game of Thrones, which itself is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin. The game is a point and click adventure game played similar to Telltale’s other games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. The game revolves around members of House Forrester of Ironrath and their trying to save their house after backing the losing side of The War of the Five Kings.
This game shouldn’t be used as an introduction to either the show or the novels, as it starts well into the story, starting at the infamous Red Wedding and intersecting with different major events. Throughout the game you take the role of five different members of House Forrester who are spread out across Westeros and beyond. The characters you control are Ethan Forrester, whose story takes place within Ironrath, who becomes Lord after the events related to the Red Wedding; Mira Forrester, handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell, who is currently in King’s Landing; Asher Forrester, currently in exile; Essos, Gared Tuttle, who was previously squire to Lord Forrester, whose actions ignite the events of the game; and one more character who won’t be named for spoiler reasons. Across the series, your characters interact with characters from the show, including Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei, Tyrion Lannister, Margaery Tyrell, Ramsay Snow, and Jon Snow, all voiced by their respective actors.
The game plays pretty much exactly the same as Telltale’s previous games with a combination of point and click aspects, quick time events, adventuring and a choice your adventure book. As you move about the game, a reticle appears to allow you to interact with certain people and objects throughout the game. While talking to characters, you will be given a choice of 3 dialogue choices and a silent option. If you don’t choose an option, the game defaults to silence. Events during the story and how others see your character will reflect you dialogue choice. Quick time events are used during certain scenes to give a sense of urgency as failing these will either lead to negative consequences or death for your characters or others.
The series’ decision mechanics can be difficult at times, depending on how you play your characters. There are the “nice” and “ruthless” decisions but sometimes a decision comes up where one decision doesn’t necessarily go with how you play the character but seems necessary and one where it goes along with your character but seems like the wrong choice in the long run. The game has a time limit on the dialog options, so you don’t have time to really ponder the effects of these choices.
Game of Thrones’s graphics seem to be the worst of all of Telltale’s games. Not to say it’s all bad, but they do leave something to be desired. Maybe it’s just my computer, but a quick scan of youtube videos seem to say otherwise. The backgrounds have this watercolor feel to them but when the character models move across the backgrounds the edges aren’t smooth and appear jagged, broken and muddy, even parts of the background seems low resolution. It kind of has that look as if someone tried to remove an object from a picture and the background didn’t remove completely. I don’t know if this was a design choice or if that’s just how things just so happened to end up, but their other games do look a bit better. The character models themselves do look great and the models for the actors in the show look spot on. The only exception in my opinion is Ramsay, who looks more like a ventriloquist dummy of himself
The music is very fitting for the game and the voice acting for the most part is good. It does really make you feel like you are watching an episode of the show.
The story takes place concurrently with season 4 and, like the show at times, does suffer from mostly build up. With the exception of Asher’s story, there really isn’t a whole lot of action going on. Mostly it is just the other members of House Forrester creating alliances to help defend themselves against their rivals, House Whitehill. Every action and event from the five currently released episodes seem to be building up to what can only be an epic finale, much like it’s tv counterpart. The decision to focus on a smaller house, instead of one of the already established houses, helps to flesh out the world of Westeros beyond the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens.
The game story, much like the show, does break away at points to follow the other characters. For the most part, these characters’ stories do feel like they are making a difference in the future of House Forrester. The only real exception is Gared. Aside from being the catalyst that kicks off the war between Houses Forrester and Whitehill, really doesn’t seem to be absolutely necessary to the story and unless some big payoff happens in the upcoming episode six finale, that time could have been better spent with one of the other four playable characters. Even so, the story is a nice addition to the overall Game of Thrones universe and is great to see that the effects of decisions of the larger houses.
Telltale’s Game of Thrones is a nice look into some of the smaller houses that inhabit the Seven Kingdoms. Sure, it requires knowledge of the show up to season three, but that is who it seems like this game is for, unlike The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us, where they are made for fans of their respective series but do not require any knowledge to really understand them. Overall, for fans of either the show or Telltale Games, Game of Thrones will leave you wanting to see how your choices mold the story and how the story of House Forrester unfolds.
Game of Thrones is available to download on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and compatible iOS devices. The 6th and final episode has yet to be released.
Game of Thrones - Episodes 1 - 5
Telltale’s Game of Thrones takes you further into the land of Westeros in a way only Telltale can.