With Telltale games redefining the adventure video game over the last few years, when they announced that Game of Thrones would be one of their 2014 releases (along with Tales from Borderlands), it seemed like a perfect match. While sword clashes, pushing boys from four story towers and really, really terrible weddings are often the flashy takeaways from George RR Martin’s epic tale, the political maneuvering, alliances and betrayal are what define it. With a game that focuses so much on choice, who remembers those choices and its consequences, then Game of Thrones fits snugly into that play style. In the opening episode of Telltale’s latest, they hit the mark on most things and miss the target on a few.
It’s hard to explain the plot too thoroughly without spoiling how it develops, but you begin the story as Gared Tuttle, squire of Lord Gregor Forrester. House Forrester is loyal to Rob Stark, The King in the North, before his unfortunate…circumstances. This causes chaos in Westeros, of course, but especially for the Northern Houses that have are now left scrambling for allegiances and protection. The story doesn’t just stay in the North, however, as we are treated to the capital of political entanglements, King’s Landing.
While the story jumps around between characters, they all center around the internal and external machinations of the Forrester family and trying not to get the Forrester House decimated any further. Familiar faces show up for Thrones fans throughout, all with the vested interest in who the Forresters align themselves with and the plan to use their much talked about ironwood as a resource. The story takes the best of the Thrones political maneuverings and puts you squarely in the middle of them. Rarely is there a “good” response or action as opposed to “one that you don’t think will kill you immediately, even if it does down the line.” Every decision is treacherous, and like the show, you will seldom know what domino effect a choice makes in the world until it comes back against you from a different angle. Even in this first episode, the alliances and motivations of the characters you deal with weave in and out of each other. At some point you have to trust someone, but there’s no clear choice who that should be.
There are three separate “acts” or “characters” that you will play through alternately throughout the first episode and that might be why it feels a little over-long.
Read More from William Evans at blacknerdproblems.com