Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode One: Iron from Ice Review

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.


Sacks O’ Fun! Little Big Planet 3 Review

As a newcomer to the Little Big Planet series, I wasn’t sure what to truly expect of Little Big Planet 3. I had known that a large appeal of the franchise was its sandbox element and the community interaction with this. Not being one of the most creative people, I was surprised to find that there was a lot more to this franchise, particularly within this game, that appealed to what I enjoy as a gamer.

As a newcomer, the best place to start for me was the adventure mode. Even though I was unaccustomed to the controls and style of gameplay, I did find the introduction a bit tedious, with a fight between tutorial and storytelling. However, once past the introductory level, I found the adventure mode very entertaining, with its mix of puzzle platforming and witty storytelling with the use of characters voiced by the likes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. With a child like aesthetic to the game, you would be surprised at the many times you will laugh at the humour, and also find some of the puzzles to be quite challenging. Playing the game on the PlayStation 4 I found the environment to be visually striking and the controls to be well adjusted to gameplay. One thing that was really appealing too was the item collection aspect of the adventure mode as by completing certain goals such as not dying or collecting all the in-level items you could earn bonus items which can all be used in creative mode, leading to a high replay value for completionists like myself.

After finishing the adventure mode, I originally thought it would be a bit daunting, heading straight into creating my own levels. However, the Popit Academy option is the perfect place to start as it teaches you from scratch how to use all the tools accessible in creative mode. By playing through the adventure mode and completing the Popit academy tutorials, even the less creative people, like myself, can find the inspiration to build their own levels and find great fun in doing so.

What is great about the Little Big Planet franchise is the community that comes with it, and with the option to access levels created by many talented people across the world, you can find hours of fun in trying out all kinds of mind blowing levels. You can feel content in the knowledge that there will likely be many months of content to keep flowing from the community to keep you occupied for a long time.

And if that’s not enough content to keep you satisfied, there is a fair amount of downloadable content that can see you playing levels from much loved franchises like Marvel and Disney, and all for a great price too. What is also great about Little Big Planet 3 is that you can have even more fun by playing with friends or strangers over the internet, albeit at the price of having PlayStation Plus if playing on the PS4.

Overall, Little Big Planet 3 can provide many hours of amusement and is likely to have you coming back for more with its high replay value and the growth of its amazing community creations.