Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series is an interactive story based on George R.R. Martin’s popular series of novels. Have I read any of the books? Heck, no. Have you seen the size of those tomes? Far too wordy for someone whose literary limit does not extend beyond four-panel Garfield comics. I haven’t even watched the critically acclaimed TV adaptation, although I really should. The show has plenty of full frontal nudity to keep me amused and I hear the cast list includes a longhaired Sean Bean. Do you know how Eddard Stark keeps his locks clean? When showering he lathers his scalp with “Head and Shoulders.”
Telltale’s six-part adventure focuses on House Forrester, who as their name suggests are renowned for their forestry talents. For many generations the Forresters have harvested Ironwood and fashioned it into shields, which have the durability of Captain America’s oversized discus. Unfortunately for the Forrester clan the crown has recently changed hands putting their future in peril. The new monarchy has commanded that the rival Whitehill faction will take ownership of the woods the Forresters depend on for their livelihood. To make matters worse a hostile Whitehill battalion has been stationed at the Forrester stronghold of Ironrath.
In order to ensure the Forrester’s survival players will take control of four different characters. The first of these is teenager Ethan Forrester who has been appointed lord after his father was slain during a rowdy marriage celebration. Cripes that reception sounds messier than the time my uncle drank way too much during my sister’s wedding. Anyway, Ethan has the unenviable task of appeasing the provocative Whitehill forces based at Ironrath. What tact should he take with his diplomatic relations? Swallowing your pride and capitulating to the Whitehill demands might be the safest option to pursue, but how can you hope to maintain the reigns of power if you appear weak in front of your citizens?
Fortunately for Ethan he is not alone in the quest to save House Forrester from extinction. His eldest sister Mira Forrester happens to be the handmaiden of the kingdom’s future queen. Perhaps she can convince her lady to quell the dispute with the Whitehills? If negotiations falter however the services of exiled Asher Forrester may be required. When news reaches him, of his family’s plight, Asher sets off to recruit an army capable of repelling the Whitehill ranks. Also aiding the Forrester cause is squire Gared Tuttle who is presently based at the nation’s chilly frontier. Whilst serving at Pink Floyds “The Wall” he investigates rumours pointing to the location of the fabled North Grove, which may hold the key to resolving the Forrester/Whitehill conflict.
My final score for Game of Thrones is three and a half stars. It’s decent although I would rate Tales From the Borderlands and The Walking Dead much higher. Such a shame, as the political skulduggery found in Martin’s books and Telltale’s panache for crafting titles were you have to make tough decisions should have resulted in a classic. Overall the story improves after a slow start, but it is let down by an abrupt cliffhanger finale. Given that the game is six episodes long, which is lengthier than your usual Telltale fare, I was expecting something a little more substantial than setup for a potential season two. At least when the TV show leaves you in suspense it has the courtesy to compensate you with images of Daenerys’ tatas.
Ultimately Game of Thrones was a mixed bag. I enjoyed Asher’s swashbuckling and Gared tangling with frosty undead. Ethan’s plight however depressed me to the point were I started performing reprehensible acts just to get vengeance on the Whitehills. Mira’s levels felt pointless, as nothing she did seemed effective in recruiting the nobility to her cause. Control wise I have no complaints, even if some of the quick time events caught me out on occasion. In terms of graphics GOT is one of the uglier titles in the Telltale library – their engine is okay for cartoony character designs, but it doesn’t do a great job of rendering Peter Dinklage’s likeness. Quibbles aside, I still enjoyed GOT enough to buy the sequel. I want to see how the Forrester war plays out. Can’t we all just get along? Why is everyone feuding over the throne anyway? A chair fashioned out of swords can’t be a comfy place to park your posterior.