[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. This is true even if you’re not after the throne, yourself. Telltalle Games’ new series has, within just its first episode, given us a look into the lives of a cast of characters that have no ambition to sit on the Iron Throne, but are forced to play in order to keep themselves and their loved ones alive.
The game also does what all of Telltale’s games do best: making us care for a cast of characters in a very short amount of time, and making us try our best to keep them alive through swift actions and Quick Time Events. The choices sometimes feel a little too rushed, but it’s like that in life. It also manages to feel pretty much like sitting through an episode from the show itself.
The characters you’ll be playing in the first episode (and presumably all the episodes) are all members of House Forrester, long time allies of the Starks, as well as one of their squires. We get treated to the company of a handful of characters from the show as well, played by their original actors.
The Forrester family has its own living, breathing backstory, and that story bleeds into the ‘present’ of the game, making for a wonderful atmosphere. Some allies are simple to understand, others being in more of a gray area that can make the player a little uneasy given the events unfolding around them.
The first episode, Iron From Ice, plays out like a standard episode of the HBO series, opening with an exciting hook. You’ll start as Garred, loyal squire to Lord Forrester himself. From there, the game follows Ethan and Mira Forrester as they try to do the best they can for their families from their unique positions. Young Ethan has to try and keep his family together while his father is away at war, and his sister Mira has to play politics in King’s Landing as handmaiden to King Joffrey’s fiance, Margaery Tyrell.
Much like the series, almost everyone feels like a potential villain, making you play cautious at times: keeping information to yourself, pocketing items that may or may not come in handy in the future, sending people away so they don’t overhear sensitive conversations. Politics abound, but sometimes you’ll make a decision simply not to be a dick to your little brother, or so that your best friend doesn’t hate you.
Visually, they said they wanted to go with a style that looks like an oil painting come to life, and they’ve done just that. The graphics to get a little clippy once or twice throughout the game, but not enough to be a huge annoyance.
The only thing it’s missing so far is maybe a little bit more humor, something to put you a little at ease after an hour of ruining characters’ lives. The QTEs and the choices you have to make put you on the spot in a realistic way, as they do in all of Telltale’s games. All in all, the first episode has me excited for the next installment, and the rest of the series as a whole.
Episode 1, iron From Ice has a playtime of roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, and costs $4.99, while the series total costs $29.99 for all six episodes. It’s available for Xbox 360/One, PS3/4, PC, Mac, and iOS.
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+ Feels like an episode of Game of Thrones
+ Immersive and story-driven
+ Fleshed-out characters
+ Great musical score[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]
– Graphics seemed a bit shaky once or twice
– Not enough humor, be it dark or otherwise[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_progress_bar values=”95|Story,80|Gameplay,80|Graphics,85|Entertainment” bgcolor=”custom” units=”%” custombgcolor=”#51db1a” el_class=”square-corners”][/vc_column][/vc_row]