Telltale games have had a habit over the past three years producing exemplary pieces of digital art in the forms of The Walking dead season 1 & 2 and The Wolf Among Us. So it was with much wonder and Hype that when telltale announced it was to deliver a series around HBO’s blockbuster take on The Game of Thrones many questioned whether it could be done. Could it really stay in Cannon can it deliver to such high levels of story and suspense!
I held out much hope for this upcoming series and as a fan of HBO’s TV adaptation I couldn’t wait to see what Telltale had up its sleeve. Those are rather large ones too as Telltale are not only producing Game of Thrones material but they are also releasing Tales from the Borderlands at almost identical timings and release dates! Is this now a stretch too far? Early indications are that nobody should be worried and if this first episode is an indication of what lies ahead we could be in for a real gem over the coming months.
For those not in the know this series is set to run alongside the TV series spanning seasons 3-4. Indications are Telltale will complete their season one ahead of the release of HBO’s fifth season. A result of this alignment brings many strengths to the fore. Voice acting is done by the TV stars and the characters are representative of those we love or hate. Peter Drinklage lends is voice amongst others and this delivers the level of voice acting Destiny players can only now wish for. The characters appear in familiar surrounds such as kings landing or the wall.
Telltale has decided to switch to a multi character perspective much like the TV show. This sees the player take the role of one of the House of Forrester characters with an over arching story wound through each characters individual tale and journey. It’s a great change and I found it lent itself well to the pace of the game where no character overstayed their screen time but more importantly I didn’t feel at any stage during episode one that I wanted to switch back or be depressed that the story had moved on.
The opening scene is set during the red wedding for fans of the show and books this is an infamous event and one that I will never forget from the TV shows. Your opening character is a lowly servant of sorts but you’ll soon be flung into the thick of it. Mechanics here haven’t changed for fans of Telltales previous titles and that will surely help you get stuck in during the early button pops.
Visually it’s typically Telltale with a more sketched feel from what was seen in the Wolf Among us. The sounds really set the mood and the ambient music is a great tone setter.
After the first scene the most amazing thing happened and if anyone was to do it justice I’m so glad Telltale took to it with such brilliance.
The opening cinematic for the Game of Thrones is legendary and many have made their own iterations either from Lego or paper. I didn’t expect Telltale to step into this but they really have taken to delivering this series like a TV show so out of the closing opening scene the Game of Thrones theme tune bellows out and you are whisked through Telltales graphically depicted 7 kingdoms in the same way the TV show did.
“It was a real treat, had me smiling like mad and delighted. This is a winner!!!”
Previous Telltale games were dogged with a typical problem frame rate and load time issues. It was the biggest barrier to me personally reliving my adventures in these worlds and experiencing new ways to take characters through their journeys. I am pleased to say that those issues do appear to be behind them and episode one for the Game of Thrones didn’t produce any noticeable hiccups during dialog choice which helped the story flow beautifully. The action sequences bring nothing new to the table and the same visual Guides and markets seen in the Wolf Among us are found here too.
A nice touch and one that will please fans both new and old to the Game of Thrones series is the introduction of a Codex section in the main menu. It’s a brief solution to empowering the player to understand the character and much of the huge lore that surrounds this world. After all we have essentially jumped into season 3 and knowing your Boltons from Starks would be a useful idea. That said I would recommend watching the TV series before you tackle the game as despite the introduction of the Codex there is simply too many story elements at play for you to feel empowered at making the right choices if you don’t know the people involved. That said even for the most veteran of Thrones fans there’s still plenty to shock you and keep you hunting for more. We won’t spoil it for you but rest assured Telltale are going to keep you guessing and hanging on with every dialogue choice.
Overall Telltales first episodic foray into the Game of Thrones world with the episode titled “Iron from Ice” is a triumph. I would hold it against any of their previous episodes across all their titles and would go as far to say this is my favourite. It makes a wonderful job of making 3 playable characters work within the episode whilst keeping the story connected and fresh. It’s technically blessed and feels super smooth to play (reviewed on PS4). For Playstation fans they can rejoice in the fact that the platinum trophy will return for completing the first series. I simply can’t wait to explore more.