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Though hard to grasp for the uninitiated, Telltale's Game of Thrones is a truly meaty addition to the established tale, creating a gut-twisting fantasy drama that will leave you feeling absolutely awful, just like Game of Thrones should.
That's not an uncommon motivation for a lot of Game of Thrones fans—and the same goes for many of the characters in the story. I can therefore think of no finer way to describe just how authentic a Game of Thrones experience Telltale has crafted.
At this juncture, we know what to expect out of a Telltale experience: less-than-solid gameplay that is balanced out by an amazing story. That being said, Game of Thrones, while a solid Telltale experience, has limited appeal. The Venn diagram of interest is flatly composed of people who love Game of Thrones with people who like/tolerate Telltale's experiences. If you love Game of Thrones and enjoy Telltale's previous offerings, you shouldn't hesitate to pick up the game. If you're someone who loves Westeros but dislikes Telltale's style, you might want to give the game a shot, if only to get another hit of Thrones before you find out what really happened to Jon Snow. On the other hand, if you don't know a Crow from a raven, you should probably give it a pass.
As a massively popular franchise that has already dominated the imaginations of fans that have devoured the five novels and those that have survived five seasons of its brutal television adaptation, Telltale Games' Game of Thrones certainly walked a difficult path in playing the (figurative) "game of thrones." While it sometimes felt a bit overburdened by trying to recreate scenarios and situations from its source material, Telltale proved itself more than capable of providing a supplementary experience to the television series/novels that Game of Thrones fans can certainly enjoy in its own right, and in particular will certainly find rewards in replaying events differently for wildly-different outcomes. The world that Game of Thrones evokes is one of bloodshed and many hardships, and whether you win or die by the end of Telltale's version of the series, Game of Thrones is still an enjoyable experience, all the way to its bloody end.
A season that began with much promise doesn't quite deliver by the time the sixth and final episode's credits roll. Some fine characters and a real sense of what makes the Game of Thrones universe tick mean this is worth checking out if you crave more stories from Westeros and beyond in the wait for more books and TV episodes.
Trying to steer the Forresters away from disaster from the perspective of multiple characters makes for a lot of compelling moments; sadly the destination isn't as worthwhile as the journey.
Season one of Game of Thrones is a decent experience but all the problems that plague other Telltale games, including clunky combat functions are there along with a bitter taste in wrapping up the finale. The story leading up to that bitter taste though, is quite fun.
Telltale's Game of Thrones is at its best when it focuses on its own characters and isn't making a point to include ones from the books and show. The first season is one that is full of hard choices and a lot of sacrifice and feels very much in line with what fans have come to expect from Game of Thrones, but just how much all of this will matter has been hidden away for a second season.
If you're hungry for more Game of Thrones content and can't wait until the next season or book, then Telltale's Game of Thrones is the perfect game to pass the time. It weaves an interesting narrative that intersects with the franchise's main plot while still poking into unexplored corners. Unfortunately, there's a distinct lack of any real choice, and a hugely disappointing ending leaves the story hanging on a sour note.
Needless to say, it's the chain of circumstances that makes a Telltale game a Telltale game. They didn't really deliver superbly the game's ending compared to how they ended The Walking Dead's season 1 and 2, but at least they did not fail to deliver its gameplay. Compared to TWD's endings, GoT's ending is a tad bit underwhelming. It has its fair share of plot twists and shocking outcomes, though, so you better be prepared on what's going to happen next.
All in all, Telltale's Game of Thrones: Season 1 is an intriguing story of a small house in the north, loyal to the Starks, in the aftermath of one of the most shocking moments in the entirety of the Game of Thrones story. Telltale's well-honed formula serves the story well, and the art style provides a welcome visual treat at times too. A fine blend of ups and downs sees the narrative canter at times, but occasionally start to struggle under its own complexity. Fortunately, it brings it all together in the end, although the typical question is raised of 'just how much did *I* influence the story?' at the end. Still, with my ending proving to be as fittingly grim as I'd expected, it's left me looking forward to the recently confirmed Season 2, even though I'm still trying to figure out exactly why I'm bothered about the Forresters.
These are their choices more than yours. One could argue that there's inconsistency between the player's ability to mold a protagonist of her own making and the game's propensity for predetermined resolutions, but at the very least the rocky relationship between the two adds an element of uncertainty to the equation that aligns quite nicely with the themes of a television show notorious for shockingly killing off main characters.
Game of Thrones will give you some pretty cool moments, especially when you start feeling the weight of your decisions. Overall, there's a good chance you'll be disappointed and frustrated with the game, rather than being mesmerized by an epic tale and great characters. You know, great characters really aren't THAT great, unless we have enough time to know them.
Game of Thrones' plot would have been interesting to play in an RPG, but the way Telltale Games handled it led to something that is mostly dialogue trees and quick-time events. There are a couple of moments where the game lets people hold the control stick up to move forward, but this is not a game with substantial gameplay at all.
Although I didn't particularly enjoy the ending, I do still want to go back and play through some other options to see what changes, so clearly Telltale didn't completely bungle Game Of Thrones. That being said, this was a pretty weak ending, and it really doesn't stack up with something as gut-wrenching as the end of Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 1. It seems likely they'll have a chance to rectify that with a second season, but my hopes aren't high that the ending to that hypothetical future series will be any better.
All in all, Telltale Games' Game of Thrones does not do well. Deciding how to play the game is impossible, because it's merely about reacting to events as they unfold. Frankly, the game is about creating one's own view of the playable characters. The most narrative impact a player can have is preventing one family member from getting killed, but, considering the game's tendencies, it wouldn't be surprising if that choice was for naught, too.
Overall, the game is not "terrible" but it just isn't for me, Game of Thrones fell short….The Walking Dead from the same company was much better due to the well-executed storyline that is used in the game. Game of Thrones has great voice acting, which was the only thing that caught my eye, but again there were too many flaws that just didn't appeal to me as much. If you are the fan of the series, whether you read the novels, watch the TV show, or both, I highly encourage you to play this game, if you have not read or watch either, do not expect this game to peak your interest in the series as it did not do the same for me, but I just don't believe that anyone who has no knowledge of this series will enjoy the game.
Telltale's original story pales in comparison to the source material and it's not an especially satisfying adventure game, either. Your choices matter about as much as the points in Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the game's action scenes barely register whether or not you're even holding the controller. Even if you're a fan of the books or HBO show, there's not much incentive to play Telltale's Game of Thrones.
A promising opening and some decent, world-appropriate characters are squandered in an overly-prescriptive narrative that ends on disappointing and inconclusive cliffhangers.