Treachery and deadly schemes await us in Kings Landing as we attempt to survive what is known as the perilous Game of Thrones. This Telltale Games adventure series is based on the popular George R.R Martin fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO series. Telltale’s adaptation may seem similar to the T.V show and books, however, Telltale’s stylistic art style along with a new set of dynamic characters and personal branching story paths are enough to set it apart. No matter your choices, Winter is Coming and there’s nowhere to hide in Telltale’s Game of Thrones.
Episode one of season one introduces characters from the northern Forrester house who are allied to the Starks. The very first scene of the game takes place at the Twins just mere moments before the tragic Red Wedding incident and as you would expect, It does not take long for things to go horribly wrong. Carnage and slaughter ensue before the very first of tragedies take hold, almost serving as a foretelling of things to come in the game. We play as different members and affiliates of the Forrester family who are scattered around Westeros, Essos and even North of the Wall.
The Forresters face the same fiendish enemies as the T.V show, including Ramsay Bolton who is more evil and hateable than ever. Although the Forresters and many characters in Telltale’s Game of Thrones aren’t in the show itself you’ll encounter many familiar faces who are. You’ll get to plot schemes with Tyrion, fight for Daenerys, man the wall with Jon Snow and even confront Cersei Lannister herself. These characters are all impressively voiced by the same actors as the HBO show. The events of the game run parallel to the events of the show with episode one to six taking place around the shows season 3 and 4 timelines. Much like peering behind the scenes of these popular T.V show moments, you’ll get to see how these events drastically affected each new character in the game.
Game of Thrones is centered around weighted choices and employs a point-and-click mechanic system which follows the same formula as other Telltale games with a little more challenge. It’s very easy to meet your untimely demise by failing quick time event prompts. Game of Thrones is extremely action orientated and you’ll have frequent bloody fights and battles to keep you on your toes. If Telltale’s Game of Thrones could be summed up in one phrase, it would be frustratingly tragic. Touching and sincere moments are coupled with horrific, gory deaths as your left second guessing each and every choice. Decisions are undoubtedly hard to make and most choices feel like the wrong one. Ultimately, in each situation you feel as though you can’t win no matter what you decide, making choices feel like they don’t matter when horror strikes either way.
To sum it up, the game’s narrative and action orientated gameplay are truly captivating and if you’re after complete interactive immersion into a world we’ve only experienced through television and books then Game of Thrones does just that. The painterly art-style of this Telltale adaptation differs from other titles which really fits well within this fantasy setting. Unfortunately, the overall experience of Game of Thrones isn’t rewarding. The biggest illusion is thinking that we have the power through our choices to shape the game when that isn’t the case at all. Ultimately, we don’t play Telltale’s Game of Thrones, it plays us and by the end of it, you’ll be left wondering if there was anything you could have done to change it.