Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series – Episode 01: Iron From Ice
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 10

Previous attempts at turning game of Thrones into a traditional gaming experience has had mixed results, but this adventure from Telltale Games hits all the right marks. It’s got a cast of intriguing characters, gripping storyline and plenty of drama to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its two hour runtime. Interaction is rather limited, but the overall experience is very true to the source material.

Gameplay: Basically a few quick time events and dialogue choices.

Graphics: The game uses a stylish painterly look for its characters and locations.

Sound: Great music and top notch voice acting especially from the television show actors reprising their roles

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series – Episode 01: Iron From Ice

Developer: Telltale Games | Publisher: Telltale Games | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Adventure | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

With some big licenses such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and even Borderlands under their belt, there can be little doubt that Telltale Games knows how to treat a license with the respect it deserves. Older gamers will remember that licensed titles used to be something to dread as beloved characters and settings were used for cheap cash-ins designed to suck the money out of devoted fans. Game of Thrones proved that a successful fantasy series could make the leap from books to television if done properly, and with this game adaptation Telltale Games ensures that the same holds true for gaming.

This is not the first time that Westeros and its inhabitants have been presented in a computer game format, but thankfully Telltale Games has done a much better job of it than previous attempts by other developers. The game is based on the story and settings of the HBO television show and features House Forrester. Although not seen in the television series, House Forrester hails from the north of Westeros and is loyal to House Stark. The game opens towards the end of events witnessed in season three of the television show, which as fans will be able to tell you, is not a good time to be loyal to House Stark. While you don’t need to have read the books or watched the television show to appreciate this game, it certainly helps.

As this is the first episode in a planned six episode series, most of the time is spent getting you caught up in the events that are about to unfold. According to Telltale the series will place you in the shoes of five different characters attached to House Forrester, although this first episode only features three. This is still more than the usual amount of protagonists in a Telltale game, but absolutely essential given the scope of the story and the amount of locations. Although you won’t be playing as any of the familiar faces from the show you will get your chance to interact with them.

Your first character is Gared Tuttle, squire to the head of House Forrester, Lord Gregor. Also playable is Ethan, third son of Gregor, and his sister Mira. Ethan’s scenes take place in the keep of the Forresters, Ironrath, while Mira is the handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell in King’s Landing. All of the characters are reasonably likeable and the first episode does a good job of establishing their motivations.

After a quick time event heavy opening scene the game slows down and opts for the more sedate, but no less gripping dialogue based interactions that will be familiar to Telltale Games fans. You only have a limited amount of time to select your response when prompted although silence is also a valid option. Unfortunately, as this is the first episode the consequences of your actions aren’t really apparent yet and it can feel like you’re are being led down the same linear path no matter what you choose. Hopefully future episodes will show that there are repercussions for your choices.

Instead of the cell shaded comic book style look of previous Telltale titles, Game of Thrones uses a kind of painterly style to make each scene look like an oil painting. It works really well for the most part, but is let down a bit by some of the animations. The established characters such as Cersei, Tyrion, Margaery and Ramsey are pretty true to their television series counterparts although they do occasionally slip into uncanny valley territory. Like the television show the game isn’t afraid to show blood and gore, but unlike the show this first episode is devoid of any sexual content.

Most of the new characters in the game features some very decent voice acting, but it wouldn’t have been the same without the actors from the television show reprising their roles. Peter Dinklage does a good job in the small amount of time he is allotted as does Lena Headey and Natalie Dormer, but for me the standout performance came from Iwan Rheon as Ramsey snow. He retains all the unpredictability and menace that his character exudes on the show and ensures that every scene featuring Ramsey is a tense affair. The music is also very good, with a faithful rendition of the television opening and some atmospheric tunes throughout the episode.

In total the first episode lasts for about two hours which is standard for a Telltale Games title. The game manages to capture the atmosphere and characters of the show perfectly, but as with most Telltale titles the lack of interaction will be an issue for players used to traditional gaming experiences. Although you get the chance to briefly move around a few scenes and pick up objects there are no real puzzles to solve. This ensures that you can never get stuck or bogged down, but also removes any type of traditional “challenge” from the game.

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones or previous Telltale Games titles then this is an essential purchase. Although short there is rarely a dull moment and while it might be light on action there is no lack of drama or intrigue. In true Game of Thrones tradition it will also leave you counting down the days until the next episode.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device
  • Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics
  • OS: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
  • Processor: 2.3 Ghz Intel
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics or Mac Minis or early-generation MacBook

Related posts

LocoCycle

LocoCycle

LocoCycle is a game that revels in it's cheesy b-movie plot and backs it up with some nice arcade-style gameplay. Alternating between shooting cars off the road or beating up flying bad guys with martial arts moves is as entertaining as it is wacky. It's not the longest or most in-depth game we've ever played, but it is definitely worth the low asking price. Gameplay: An arcade-like experience which lacks depth, but is a lot of fun. Graphics: Nice character detail, but the environments feels a bit sparse. Sound: A nice performance from the Prague Symphony Orchestra and solid voice acting.

EVERSPACE

EVERSPACE

Everspace might not have millions of systems to explore or an open world galaxy of possibilities, but it does have action-packed dogfights, procedurally-generated levels, roguelike elements and stellar visuals. The end result is a game that is highly addictive and offers buckets of replay value. Like all roguelike titles it can feel like a grind at times, but with three very different ships and plenty of perks to upgrade, each new run is very entertaining. If you are a fan of pretty visuals, addictive gameplay and plenty of action, then you don’t want to miss out on Everspace. Gameplay: Very polished and highly addictive. Graphics: Space has never looked more spectacular. Sound: Decent voice acting, great sound effects and the soundtrack isn’t half bad either.

The Secret Order 4: Beyond Time

The Secret Order 4: Beyond Time

Sarah Pennington continues her epic time traveling saga in this fourth installment of the popular hidden object puzzle adventure series. This time Sarah finds herself stranded when her time machine is destroyed and has to deal with the sinister Dragon Clan while planning an escape. Beyond Time leaves the fantasy theme of the previous game behind for a mixture of Egyptian and Aztec elements, which results in good looking as well as interesting locations to explore. The bonus chapter, which is set in the Realm of The Dead, is also a nice addition. Although it is probably not the best place to start if you are not familiar with the series, for fans this one is a no-brainer. Gameplay: Slower paced, but features plenty of nice puzzles and mini-games. Graphics: The setting allows for some very interesting and unique scenes. Sound: Great use of sound effects and the music as well as voice acting isn’t too shabby either.

Fading Hearts

Fading Hearts

Fading Hearts was a pleasant surprise, more so when I discovered that it is not by a Japanese company. A nice combination of visual novel, dating sim and role playing that has plenty of things to discover. Definitely a title that you will want to complete more than once. Gameplay: Much more to see and do than typical visual novels. Graphics: Nice characters and backgrounds, pity about the monsters. Sound: Very nice.

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness is based on the popular anime series of the same name, but this engrossing visual novel isn’t afraid to carve out its own path. It features a very memorable setting, interesting characters and plenty of content to explore. The story is a little darker than most visual novels on Steam, which is a good thing and familiarity with the anime series isn’t required to enjoy this title. Any fans of the genre looking for something that will keep them busy for a while should definitely add PSYCHO-PASS to their collection. Gameplay: Features an engrossing storyline, two protagonists, a branching storyline and plenty of different endings. Graphics: Great character designs and backgrounds, but not much in the way of animations. Sound: Full voice acting for all the characters and some nice background music too.

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily is a hidden object game with some interesting clue hunting scenes and a story that, for once, isn’t steeped in the paranormal. It is however also a very short game and can be completed with ease by anyone familiar with the genre. Provided you don’t mind the lack of challenge there is still fun to be had with the game, but unfortunately there is nothing really remarkable about it. Gameplay: Hunting for clues and not just hidden objects is a nice feature. Graphics: The locations are detailed, but a little limited. Sound: Average music and the voice acting could also have been better in spots.

Leave a comment

twelve + 1 =