The success of The Walking Dead seemed to prove that the studio’s choose-your-own-adventure game model could work with just about any franchise in the world, and sure enough, Telltale and Game Of Thrones always seemed like it would be a match made in fantasy heaven.
But that isn’t to say we weren’t wildly concerned about how this would play out in reality. Telltale has always had the pleasure of carving out and playing in its own corners of established universes – capturing the essence of a franchise but rarely interrupting or impeding on its progress.
That hardly seemed like it would be possible with Game Of Thrones; the books and HBO show (of which the six episodes dance around) are built on a difficult to parse and wildly complex foundation of lore. Basically, if you aren’t up to speed, this probably isn’t the game for you. If you are, on the other hand, what are you waiting for?
Telltale does a fantastic job of quickly introducing a new and complex cast of playable characters that’s rarely been given any screen or page time – House Forrester – but manages to find a way to excellently weave the family into the closing events of Season 3 through to the opening of the Fifth, which the game runs concurrently with.
As we were saying, if you don’t know why Winter is perpetually coming, what the Wall is, or what everyone was doing two years ago, you might struggle to get fully immersed in Telltale’s cinematic adventure.
But if you are up to speed, you are in for one hell of a ride. Game Of Thrones is known for its brutal action, unwavering violence and killer twists, and none of that changes with its transition to videogames. In fact, for the most part, the six episodes are unrelentingly grim, if not entirely upsetting at times – not that we would want (or expect) anything less from Game Of Thrones.
This all plays out in traditional Telltale fashion: you’ll battle your way through impossibly difficult conversations with dialogue options, through White Walkers with quick-time events, and you’ll have a few opportunities to explore some of your favourite Game Of Thrones locations along the way.
On paper, it might sound terribly boring, but the reality of it is that Telltale’s interpretation of George RR Martin’s world is absolutely spot on; it won’t take long before you are as engrossed with the events unfolding as you with what’s happening every week on HBO.
While Game Of Thrones: Season 1 might not be designed for non-fans, it is excellent fan service for the devoted millions out there. It’s a stunning family drama, a wonderful adventure and an excellent companion to the box sets cluttering space on your hard drive.
While it might not have the stunning production values of its TV counterpart, Game Of Thrones: Season 1 is a must play for every lover of George RR Martin’s epic.