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3 Dec 2014 04:47 pm

Telltale Games' "Game of Thrones"

I've just finished playing Telltale Games' Game of Thrones and JESUSCHRISTTHATWASINTENSE! I need a place to vent for a while so excuse me while I fanboy out on my newsfeed. There are going to be considerable spoilers for episode 1 of the game as well as seasons/books 1-3.

Anyway, this episode really shook me. Right from the first scene, when you find out you're playing from the perspective of one of Robbs bannermen outside the Twins at the red wedding I was immediately transported back to my first time reading the scene. That, and watching the scene in the TV show, surrounded by my family who had no idea what it meant when the Rains of Castemere started playing, are some of my most memerable moments surrounding the show. I left my friend the squire to die as I knew I just had to get the hell out of there. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't have been much of a consequence for saving him, but I acted as I did knowing what was happening, and that was exactly what the game designers wanted me to do.

The scene in the camp is one of the onl moments of conventional action in the game and unlike the walking dead, it did feel a little out of place. I can't imagine there being a scene in the show where a flaming cart rolls down the hill to block the protagonist's path, or a stamede of horses saves their necks. It was a good way to tie in the few mechanics the game has quickly but I still felt my immersion slipping. This was only compounded on in the slightly cheesy delivery of what I assumed was to be the main story quest for Gared. I found myself picking holes in the plot and trying to find faults.

For instance, I was already mentally mapping the Forresters into the Starks (Gared=Jon, Ethan=Robb, Mira=Sansa, Ryon=Rikkon). Just because there are similarities, it doesn't mean the family isn't likeable, quite the opposite. The familiarity only serves to accentuate their differences. My Ethan was a far weaker leader than Robb, far too swayed by his advisors. Mira on the other hand, had the courage to stand up to Cersei (for all the good that did me). I was surprised by how little Gared there was beyond the first segment. Ethan was definitely the focus here, and I was expecting great things from him (*sob*) but we'll get to that.

There were definitely the usual problems with a telltale game. There was a lot of fairly questionable graphics, especially in the lighter segments (Kings Landing was a yellow brown blur on my screen) and some of the faces were a bit deformed. While I enjoyed seeing some of my favourite characters from the show (Tyrion!!!), telltales style doesn't suit the transformation from TV to game very well. Margery & Cersei look demonic, Tyrion is more reminiscent of his 'hideous' description from the book and Ramsey FUCKING Snow is... Actually he looks pretty good (in an ultimate evil kind of way).

But I completely forgot about all this once the plot started rolling. I enjoyed Mira's confrontation with the Margeary and the Queen and Gareds first encounter with RFS left me biting me nails. I was honestly surprised I got away with hiding behind a tree (and I dread to think what would have happened had I ran for it) and I loved how the character was brought in for new audiences. I sort of expected to see some Reek in this episode but I think there's a chance he'll make an appearance next time. But the real core of the story was Ethan's experience struggling with power. I chose the gruff, gung-ho, soldier because I've always thought you should choose an adviser with opposing views, in order to get a better perspective, but this just led Ethan into spiral of bad decisions, leading him to piss off the worst possible enemy.

As soon as I met Ramsey FUCKING Snow at the gates of the castle I knew I'd made a mistake. The knife edge diplomacy had me on the edge of my seat for the whole scene and I was so sure it was going to be ok. When he grabbed Talia I had a split second where I knew she was done for. I tried to maintain my composure and was completely taken aback when he laid off her. I gasped a sigh of relief... It was all going to be ok...

Oh... Oh no...

Iron from Ice started with the red wedding and Holy Crap it ended with one. If the series continues this way it's going to be Gooooood. Bring on episode 2!!

Or actually, before you do that...
Prediction Time:

  • Talia will assume Ethan's role as perspective character in the North. We'll see the story of house Forester attempting to cope with the extra load of the Ironwoods without any of their male Lords.
  • We'll have a segment with Asha (?) in Essos with Dany & Dragons and she will look like a hobgoblin on steroids.
  • Mira is going to get some more information from that coal delivery boy before he is killed horribly, (because... Telltale).
  • We'll recieve some sort of clue that Margeary isn't all she's cracked up to be. (She riped her own dress, calling it)
  • The Forester's Maester is going to do something to betray the house. I just don't trust that guy since I was rewarded for not telling him Lord Forester's Secret.
  • I will regret picking Gung-Ho man over Mr Friendly.
  • Ramsey FUCKING Snow will continue to earn his name, possibly with the addition of Reek and Roose Bolton.
  • Lady Forester will go all Cat Stark and mourn her son/husband/other-son/how-many-more-people-can-this-woman-lose.
  • Gared will go to the wall and have slumber parties with Jon and Samwell and everything will be magic. (Except, isn't this the part of book 3 where basicly the whole of the Night's Watch dies..?)
  • More characters from the TV show will be introduced and I will be unable to tell whether or not they're the official voice actors or not.
  • Another Forester will have died by the end of the episode.

      This has been fun, see you in the sequel.

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