Telltale's Game of Thrones Review (Spoilerless) - PS4

  • Iron from Ice

    The thing that sets Telltale's Game of
    Thrones apart from the other series they have made is, unlike the others, if
    you aren't a fan of the source material already there isn't really anything
    here for you. There are lots of heavy references to the series and if you
    aren't a fan you won't understand it, not only that but you're going to spoil
    it for yourself should you choose to look at it later on because this starts
    off with one of the biggest shocking events in the series, one which ended
    season 3 of the show, and hit halfway through Storm of Swords (the third book).
    In some ways that's sort of disappointing, previously Telltale have always been
    able to make their series relatable to anyone who might pick it up, but with
    Game of Thrones it's a sort of, "oh, you haven't been watching the series?
    Too fucking bad" vibe. But then again, if you still aren't interested in
    the show or in reading the books, considering it's been a part of pop culture
    for the last 4 years, why would you buy the game? This game, in name, essence
    and all, is Game of Thrones. If you like the show or the books, you will like
    the game, if you don't, you won't.

    Like the series itself, the game puts
    you in the shoes of multiple characters, each different but equally enjoyable,
    and original characters to the story. The story revolves around House
    Forrester, one of the Northern houses loyal to the Starks, who are referenced
    at times in A Dance With Dragons, but never really discussed or described. The
    first POV character is Gared Tuttle, squire to Lord Forrester who has been
    fighting in Robb Stark's army. The second POV character is Ethan Forrester, who
    despite being just a young boy has a huge responsibility as the eldest son
    remaining in Ironrath (home of the Forresters). And finally the third POV
    character is Mira Forrester, who is in King's Landing acting as one of Margaery
    Tyrell's handmaidens. I thought it was a good choice to make using these three
    as main characters because they are so easily comparable with three of the
    existing main characters of the series, Gared has a similar vibe to Jon Snow,
    Ethan to Bran Stark and Mira to Sansa Stark.

    The stories with each of the three
    characters are all very good and they offer their own little insights into the
    world. Gared is the first character you use and he is a good clean slate
    character, who doesn't seem to have any real agenda prior to meeting him in the
    episode, he's a pig farmer turned loyal squire which makes him a good starting
    point for the player. After the prologue, Gared has to go back North which
    means most of the time you spend with him is on the road, a familiar feel to
    the source material where there always seems to be at least a couple of
    characters who are on the move from A to B. For Mira, it's an understandably
    difficult spot that she's in, as she is the eldest daughter of a Stark loyalist
    living in the capital which is ruled by the Lannisters, who are currently at
    war with the Starks. Her being in King's Landing introduces cameos from
    Margaery Tyrell, as well as Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, and it's good to see
    that they not only got the voices of the shows actors for those characters, but
    they did a great job of capturing the movements and expressions of the
    characters, as well as giving them some really good writing. As for Ethan, he's
    sort of the family connection, it's through his eyes that you get to know more
    about the rest of the Forrester family, as well as the Castellan: Duncan
    Tuttle, the Maester: Ortengryn, and the Master-at-Arms: Royland Degore. That
    little community at Ironrath is really interesting, as you start to see
    everyone has their own little feuds and there's trust issues between the
    characters, and the best part for sure is their feud with House Whitehill. When
    Ludd Whitehill shows up, there are some really interesting scenes of gameplay
    as you stand there, just a boy, trying to have a negotiation with someone who
    hates you and your family and would happily see your home burned to the ground.
    The Whitehill's villainy is one of the best aspects of the episode as it
    introduces a character who inspires hatred, but mentions of his reasoning for
    why he hates the Forresters makes me think a door could open up, as it did with
    Jaime Lannister, for the villains to move into a shade of grey.

    Gameplay wise, it's classic Telltale.
    You have quick time event filled action sequences, you have little discussion
    scenes, you have opened out exploration scenes where you get to go explore a
    little and find out more about where you are, and of course the classic forked
    decision making. The thing that's here which feels new is these big political
    negotiation scenes, where you have to try and "play the game". As
    Margaery Tyrell tells you, "You may feel one way, but say another".
    These are a classic link to the series, where these kinds of discussions are
    common place. There's a great one with Mira and Queen Cersei, another with
    Ethan and Ramsay Snow, and they're really good, they're the kind of scene you want
    to play through again to see what would happen if you'd said something
    differently or if you hadn't said anything at all.

    In terms of the choices you make, as
    far as episode 1 goes there isn't a whole lot of difference between picking one
    way or the other. I played through it the first time making decisions I wanted,
    and then a second time picking the alternatives and everything big that happens
    in episode 1 happens regardless. Sure, there are minor differences, will Ethan
    become Ethan the Wise or Ethan the Bold for example, but I get the feeling you
    won't actually see a whole lot of difference in the story until later on as the
    ripple effect of your choices spread further and further.

    If I have one major gripe with the
    game, it's the visuals. The classic comic book style is fine, and there are
    some parts where the use of artwork is just sublime (like the first time you
    see Ironrath), but there are some places where it looks blocky, jagged, or just
    low quality for an otherwise high quality game. After the prologue, they do the
    TV shows introduction going round the map and having all the buildings build
    up, but it doesn't have the same smoothness as the TV shows version, or even as
    smooth as the gameplay, it looks like something made 10 years ago and its off
    putting the comparison between that bit and the gameplay. During gameplay there
    are some annoying visual glitches like seeing your character jump across the
    screen or seeing some bad textures. None of these are so bad as to put you off
    the game, but they are noticeable. One thing they have improved on with regard
    to bugs is that unlike the other games they've made in the past, the loading
    screens are really short and there is no 5 second black screen between each
    part when they are showing the preview for the next episode, waiting for the
    scenes to load in. The perks of being next-gen, I presume.


    + Interesting new characters

    + Good addition to the source material

    + Great writing

    + Well done cameo's by the TV shows


    - Nothing here for newcomers

    - Some blocky textures and visual bugs


    If you're a fan of the show or the
    books, you should get a really good thrill out of this. It's a very low cost
    for an episode which will keep you entertained for a good 2-3 hours, and with 5
    more episodes pegged in (6 episodes in total), it might even be worth looking
    at getting the Season Pass. If you aren't a fan of the books or show, the game
    will not convince you otherwise, not that you would bother to pick it up
    anyway. Roll on episode 2!



  • Btw, I have no idea what happened with the formatting on this
  • Yeah when you copy and paste something, something weird and wonderful happens. Best thing is to actually write it all up on NooBTooB to have it look as you want it to look. There is a draft system on the site so that you can save your work to make it easier though!

    Good review. It seems like the story certainly goes places, but it seems like this game wouldn't appeal to me. Game of Thrones is one of those things for me, where I really want to like it but I just can't get into it. Another thing you touched on is how the game looks, and this has been a sore point for me with all of Telltale's games. I really don't like the art style they use. At all. And I mean for all of their games! It just doesn't jive with me. Maybe one day I'll enjoy their games, but as of now Telltale is a studio whose games have gone pretty much ignored by me.

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