While the show may be a mixed bag, TellTale Games’ Game of Thrones reminds you of how much the series could lead to stiffen necks as you lean toward your screen and with more quick time events than before, perhaps you should expect a cramp in your fingers.
Developer: TellTale Games
Play Through Time: 2 hours (includes going back to the main menu because I messed up on 2 quick time events)
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
In King’s Landing, you are faced with trying to figure out who is Lord Whitehill’s contact and what exactly are they planning? Something which, possibly, can become quite difficult based on how you managed your relationships with Tom and Sera. For, in my play through, being that I’m as nice as possible to Tom, and have helped Sera become setup with Lord Tarwick, it became rather easy to learn Lord Whitehill is trying to buy as much sellswords as possible to take down House Forrester. However, if it wasn’t for Tom tipping me off, as well as Sera helping me get into the area I needed to be to eavesdrop and ruin partnership, much less keep Margaery from spotting me, I’m unsure if I would have been able to get all I the dirt I needed to hopefully thwart Lord Andros’ plan.
With killing a brother of the Night’s Watch, Britt, comes Frost Finger sentencing me to death. Luckily, though, I have been rather kind to Cotter, and kept all of his secrets, ranging to the knife to him being a wildling, so he helps me become free. Add on Finn defending me against Frost Finger, which honestly didn’t help much, and I find myself with one wildling to guide the way toward the North Grove and some muscle.
Though seems Cotter maybe more essential, thus far, for with us meeting his little sister Sylvi, after we are attacked and Finn shows his worth, it seems she maybe what will ultimately keep us from starving, or being killed by Wildlings, while in the north. Yet, at the same time, being that we still aren’t told what is in the North Grove, though are warned in previews of what it might be, it makes the idea of Finn and Cotter dying, either by my hand or for other reasons, just so they won’t know what the North Grove holds, less of a good idea than when we first left the wall.
The main focus here is freeing Meereen and part of what may get in the way of that is old school Daenerys, before she went gaga for Daario and Beshka. Though it is really Beshka who becomes the main focus for with her being integral to Asher getting money, or warriors, from Daenerys, it more so becomes her story. Though, of course, you play a large part for you really test her loyalty to you. For whether you decide to listen to her about being a former child slave, how you handle her emotions dealing with returning to Meereen or letting her get revenge on her former master, either way you cut it, pretty much you test how far she and Asher’s closeness can be strained.
As for my playthrough, I listened the best I could, nd gave her one extra drink, and when she asked to be trusted, when she wanted to run off, I trusted her. However, I did not allow her to kill her master, and who knows how many issues this may cause in the future. After all, as she said, she has done so much for me, Asher, and what have I given her but many opportunities to put her life on the line?
While everyone else is doing their best to keep the house from falling, and while Mira perhaps knows all too well how fragile Ironrath is, it is Rodrik’s decisions which seem to determine whether everyone’s work maybe in vain. For with Ryon still under lord Whitehill; an uneasy alliance with the Glenmores, since their father is ready to marry Elaena off to Gryff; and the Boltons seemingly on their way to visit, there is a lot to worry about.
However, if you were able to win Elaena’s favor, you at the very least are given options. The most drastic one is to use Arthur, her brother, who offers his men to perhaps kill Gryff. An idea which is very tempting, but with Gwyn being perhaps one of the few people who may have her father’s ear, doing so seemed ill advised. So outside of using a trick Ser Degore showed me, to put Gryff in his place, I brought the man little harm.
Something done only to appease Gwyn, since she ultimately wants peace, and with the reinforcement that Lord Whitehill is family oriented, it seemed to be quite the good idea. That is, until I returned from Highpoint, House Whitehill’s capital, and found Ramsay Bolton in the great hall and no signs of anyone within all of Ironrath but him and Talia. Leaving me wondering where everyone went, whether I lost my bargaining chip, and whether the would-be traitor Gwyn mentioned may have been the cause of all of this. For while Elissa may have killed all the ravens, perhaps because she is the traitor, there are many ways messages can travel across Westeros.
With the amount of quick time events, and the almost nostalgic feel of when Game of Thrones knew how to build anticipation, and keep you interest, without throwing in rape scenes, I felt myself leaning toward my screen like how I used to when I first started to get into video games. For being that each quick time event seemed to mean something, whether it dealt with ego or safety, my hands were steady to the point of getting stiff and I was constantly shifting my eyes waiting for directions.
But, setting aside the moments in which I was heavily in tune, again I felt reminded of the greatness of episodic games by it always seeming that one dialog choice could possibly ruin everything. For whether it was Sera being nice to me, despite me not being all that trusting of her until rather recently; being kind to Cotter, and Finn to a point; and trying to go back and forth between appeasing the Whitehills and embarrassing them; I really felt I was walking a tight rope. One which, even with me feeling fairly confident in my decisions right now, could snap at any minute. After all, to save House Forester damn near means each and every lead has to succeed. Rodrik has to buy time; Asher has to get back home, hopefully with some help; Mira has to either find support or at the very least stop Lord Whitehill’s, and Gared has to bring that trump card home. Which, as of now, I do feel that getting every last person to complete their mission, much less survive, is very 50/50. Something both highly terrifying and exciting.
Like with most of TellTale’s games, really the only issue is that as much as you feel like you are in control, dialog wise, you are highly limited by your environment. Though perhaps the biggest issue, for me anyway, is that I wish to compare this to Life Is Strange. If only because, as noted in the Play Through Time, there are many moments in which you just want to quickly rewind to one decision and change it, but that isn’t available here. And, to me, that would be an awesome feature for when the season is complete. I mean, just imagine, the ability to change one sole decision and then see how it reverberates throughout the season.
That, more so personal, issue aside, pretty much the only issue with this game is the one I think I repeat with each iteration: That is, the false feeling that you are in control. For with you having a highly limited ability to move around in any of the environments, thus causing finding items, and talking to be people, to be very directed, and hardly optional, it does take away, ever so slightly, from the high the game gives you.
Outside of that, there isn’t anything really to harp on.