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TellTale Games acquires a new property, and it is the ever great Game of Thrones. One which they treat with more vigor than past titles, but seemingly the same amount of respect for its creators by maintaining the tone and expectations.
Episode 1 is split between 3 different characters and two primary locations. Things begin though on the eve of the Red Wedding and end around the time Ramsay Snow begins to gain power thanks to his father. However, as said, it is three characters, none of which I recall seeing on the show, who are our focus. The first being Gared Turtle (Daniel Kendrick) who is a pig farmer turned squire for House Forrester who is given information which may end up saving the house from Lord Bolton’s rule; then there is Mira Forrester (Martha Mackinstosh) who is a handmaiden for Lady Margaery (Natalie Dormer) who is trying to help her family from King’s Landing; and then Ethan (Christopher Nelson), the new Lord Forrester who is faced with trying to save his house from collapse.
As with past TellTale Games titles, speaking on PC specifically, there isn’t anything complicated here. There is tapping the Q button and then pressing E; using the ← or → to move quickly, as well as up or down keys; and they have added holding the left mouse button down and swiping in a certain direction. A possible issue if you play in windowed mode, but otherwise it shouldn’t be an issue.
Graphics & Presentation
Graphically, as always, don’t expect AAA, next gen, graphics from TellTale Games. Their focus has always been story from the get go and the graphics, in my opinion, remain on the level of the first Xbox toward the end of its lifespan. However, one positive thing which has returned is that things are a little less linear than how they were in season 2 of The Walking Dead as well as The Wolf Among Us. Now, like in season 1 of The Walking Dead, you are allowed to explore to a point, talk to people more on will than obligation, and with the game truly inheriting the spirit of Game of Thrones, it does truly feel all your decisions will have consequences. Leading you to definitely, especially as the season goes on, to maybe want to jump back and change something in hopes you could come out on top.
Overall (Longevity): Worth Buying
As an episode, really I was surprised around an hour and 45 minutes playing straight through. If just because I, in retrospect, feel as if the past games from TellTale were much shorter. However, with this title you do get the sense that TellTale aren’t doing as THQ did with their licensed titles and solely are seeking to make money and the hell with the fans. No, the first episode “Iron From Ice” takes full advantage of the desires of fans to be part of the story, without creating the issue of only getting to play your favorite character for so long, or drastically trying to interfere with the source material (mind you I have not read the books so I’m more so thinking of the TV series when I say source material).
But what truly makes this episode worth buying, despite the two-hour span, is that it brings back that Walking Dead season 1 feeling that you actually have control over the story and that anything can happen. Leading me to hope that every month we can expect something new, leading up to the series’ return in April.