WINTER HAS ARRIVED
Telltale delves into its latest adventure in Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice. House Forrester is the center of attention in a largely unexplored sector of the GoT universe.
WARNING: HBO’s GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS BELOW
There had yet to be a well received Game of Thrones video game until now. Blending its typical cell-shaded art style with masterful story telling, Telltale has another hit on its hands. The source material of HBO’s GoT is unique to Telltale in the fact that they are somewhat bound by how far their story can go. In The Walking Dead, the series is all but disconnected completely from AMC’s version. The Wolf Among Us is a prequel story to the Fables Comic Book Series. Tales From The Borderlands follows Borderlands 2. GoT takes place beside seasons 3 and 4 of its TV counterpart.
The story begins during the Red Wedding. You control Gared Tuttle, Squire of Lord Forrester. You hear many things that give root to where you stand in the timeframe, such as a brief dialogue on the capture of Jamie Lannister. Combat breaks out, which leads to the first of many branching options. Shortly after, you make your way to House Forrester to meet some of the family, including Lady Forrester.
You also take on the role of two more characters, both from the Forrester Family. First you play as Ethan, the new lord of Ironrath. Ethan is young, seemingly indecisive, and the opposite of the ever-beloved Joffrey (yes, that was sarcasm). You must deal with decisions based on the decisions you made when you played as Gared. They seem inconsequential initially, and they never take the forefront during the episode. If Telltale’s past games are any indication, these decisions will set the stage for the rest of the season (which is 6 episodes total as opposed to 5).
Next, you play as Mira Forrester, daughter of the lord and handmaiden to the future queen, Margaery. This part of the game features a brighter tone that sets it apart from the cloudy, gloomy Ironrath. This was my favorite part of the episode in part because I directly interacted with stars from the HBO show. Each character’s likeness is voiced by their real life actor. You will run into the lovable Cersei (again, sarcasm), Margaery, and my bar-none favorite, Tyrion Lannister. Peter Dinklage sets the expectation high, as usual. I truly perked up when I had dialogue with him and I hope that this side story holds significance in the following episodes. The interactions with Tyrion and Cersei take place in The Great Hall, in front of the infamous Iron Throne. As a fan if the HBO show, I was highly ecstatic to “stand” in front of the throne.
The episode’s final 2 chapters feature a more heightened sense of intensity, one similar to what you might experience during the show. The decisions become bigger and more direct. Who will be your Sentinel, your trusted adviser? Where will you negotiate in hopes of avoiding war? The first portion of the episode is a tad slow moving, but the latter part is consistent with the sense of urgency you come to expect from GoT. Pair this with a truly shocking ending and all of a sudden, I can’t wait for episode 2.
I wouldn’t say that Telltale’s games feature predictable endings, but this one in particular is surprising. I was genuinely stunned, which is a major credit to the writing of the episode. Despite knowing to never get comfortable in the GoT universe, I did exactly that. What follows is an oddly familiar parallel to what happens in the earlier seasons of HBO’s show to one of the primary families.
Despite superb voice acting and a story that picks up nicely towards the end, the graphics feature motion blur in certain parts. In a game that is using an engine that has been around for years, this should have been a no-brainer. Also, the controls during action sequences are a bit wonky. This has never been a strong suit of the games, but in an action-heavy game, this needs to be “ironed” out. One last minor gripe of mine is the over-the-top gore and swearing. Though consistent with the HBO series, it feels so out of place in a fantasy setting.
Iron From Ice sets a good precedent for the inaugural season of Telltale’s Game of Thrones. It is an artistic, well-produced piece that will add nicely to the universe’s canon.
+ Superb Voice Acting brings GoT to life; I finally got to be apart of the universe
+ Jaw-dropping ending
+ Authenticity to coincide with HBO’s series
+ Peter Dinklage
– Poor controls
– Average graphics during action sequences
Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 1: Iron From Ice was reviewed on the Xbox One. It is also available on Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, iOS, and PC.
Josiah LeRoy is Geekiverse’s Senior Editor and second biggest GoT fan (hey Sam!). Follow him on Xbox Live & PS Network via josiahislegend.
Check out our reviews of other Telltale games here: