Since its release in December last year, Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones series has been one of my most anticipated games to play in 2015. As a huge fan of HBO’s television series I had high expectations for the game and those expectations have certainly been met from just playing the first episode.
On starting the game you are immediately plunged into the Game of Thrones world, finding yourself playing as a squire to a Lord from the House Forrester. It is revealed that the starting point of the game coincides with the Red Wedding, which if you have read the Game of Thrones novels or watched the television series will know that this means chaos is about to ensue. Sure enough, after a brief introduction to characters and storyline you find yourself in the midst of a battle in the encampment you are in. Telltale effectively find a balance between storytelling and interaction with the game and this is shown swiftly. The interaction with the battle at the start led to some of the most tense gaming I’ve experienced for a while. What Telltale also greatly achieves is the fluidity of its soundtrack which can mirror the quick change from a peaceful scene to an all out war in an instant which heightens the experience of playing the game.
As this is a Game of Thrones video game, Telltale have masterfully emulated the series by killing off many characters you encounter within the first twenty minutes leaving you shocked and confused as you would feel reading the novels or watching the television show. This is great though as you feel as if you are directly experiencing and changing the Game of Thrones world that you have become so accustomed to. Throughout the game you switch from the squire Gared to members of the Forrester family whose stories take place all over the land of Westeros which again gives you the feeling of having a direct influence as this is how the books and television series are portrayed. The charming visuals which have a watercolour style effectively portray the places that are seen on the television series. As well as that, beloved characters from the series, like Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, are encountered in Kings Landing and have been modeled on the actors who play them whilst also lending their voices too, giving the added pleasure to people playing who have watched the show. These characters have been incredibly written as well, with dialogue that truly represents the characters’ personalities fans know so well.
With an introduction to a family that are only briefly mentioned in the novels and not seen at all in the television series, Telltale effectively create a feeling of attachment to the Forrester family by mirroring issues faced by characters such as the Starks in the Game of Thrones world. The end of the episode was equally as shocking as you would experience from reading or watching Game of Thrones and left with a suspense filled cliffhanger that has you hanging on the edge of your seat until the release of the next episode which I expect will be as suspenseful and immersive as the first episode has been. Telltales’ adaptation of the Game of Thrones series is definitely the fix fans of the television show need until the next season is aired in April and proves to be just as entertaining.