Review of Episode 1: OSWreview.com/media/game-got-s1e1
Developer: Telltale Games (2015)
Reviewed by Jay
Telltale’s Game of Thrones is a 6-part downloadable game (1 every 6-8 weeks) centred around the unmentioned-in-the-TV-show House Forrester. You play as 5 different members of the house, who have significant roles in it’s fate:
– Rodrick Forrester (first-born male & heir to the throne) at House Forrester,
– Mira Forrester (eldest daughter, handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell) at King’s Landing,
– young Ethan Forrester (third-born and acting lord) at House Forrester,
– Asher Forrester (second-born, sellsword) exiled to Essos
– Gared Tuttle (Lord Forrester’s squire) who is sent to The Wall.
Episode 1: “Iron From Ice”
• Gared (the squire) escapes the battlefield with a message to deliver
• Ethan Forrester must get start his duties as Lord Forrester (dealing with a thief, picking a Sentinel aka right hand man, and meeting with Ramsey Snow)
• Mira Forrester is scrutinised by Cersei and must ask Margaery to help her family.
Summary: An introduction to the different playable characters; great promise shown being scrutinised by Cersei, and Tyrion’s playful, wise counsel. Ramsey played a great dick heel, murderering Ethan and setting up future events.
Episode 2: “The Lost Lords”
• We’re introduced to Asher Forrester in sunny Essos. His uncle comes to convince him to return home.
• Rodrick is carted to House Forrester and convalesces.
• Gared becomes a Ranger at the Night’s Watch
• Mira still looks for help in King’s Landing for her family (using their supply of Ironwood as bargaining), but someone wants her dead.
Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of positives for this one. The graphical flaws are more apparent. I can deal with the upscaled/low res PS2 artstyle, but the brush strokes of the backgrounds cause the outlines of the characters to become semi-transparent when they or the camera moves, like a sloppy magic wand outline with too much feathering. When something interesting is happening you can overlook it, but it’s quite distracting. During the mostly boring episode 2, I almost never forgot the glitches were there. I hope it’s better on consoles (I played it on PC).
House Forrester & The Wall are quite gloomy, so it’s a lovely contrast seeing King’s Landing (and it’s nice gardens) and Essos, lots of warm orange hues.
• I know this is the case with Telltale games in general, but since the writing is worse this episode, your dialogue choices leading to the exact same response is really apparent. Apologise, or tell the guy beside you to f**k off, he’ll start chatting away regardless! What?!
• Lots of “hold forward” gameplay, as opposed to explore-type gameplay or QTEs. This one’s on the very edge of being classified as gameplay!
• There’s a big song at the end; which is quite nice (it sounds like would could be used as the song for House Forrester), it goes for a big emotional number but it’s not that impactful as we’ve barely spent any time with the characters…so the big tragedies don’t have as much gravity as if they happened later in the series. It’s well-directed and is lovely though.
• There’s a very small part where you’re asked which body to burn first. Not that it matters, but I thought it was a cool touch.
• The main decisions in general felt very small, and I didn’t spend any time deliberating – but thank God for the final minutes of this episode! After you meet someone in the gardens at midnight, there’s two big choices that were great and will lead to more drama down the line.
Overall: It’s quite a filler episode, setting up for future episodes but is weak by itself. Quite boring and not much meat apart from the fun final sequence with Mira. Thankfully things pick up immediately in part 3 (review coming this Saturday!)
• I didn’t forge Margaery’s letter. (If you do, and you stole the seal in episode 1, you can send it off, and it’ll make Rodrick winning over Elena’s hand much easier)
• I didn’t kiss Lord Whitehill’s ring (He’s not your superior! So Ryon wasn’t allowed attend the funeral. Gwyn Whitehill, mother of the opposing House, attended instead.)
• I won Rodrik’s betrothal to Elaena Glenmore (through conversation dialogue)
• I stood up for Cotter when he stole Finn’s knife (you’d have to QTE fight him anyway)
• I killed Mira’s attacker/ditched the knife (No hesitation! He’d kill you anyway to stop you talking. Guards will notice he’s missing quick enough, so ditching the knife seems prudent. Better than the possibility of someone finding you with the murder weapon!)