Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Dr. Anthony Betrus
Game Connoisseur 

A Game of Thrones, Choices,Choices, Choices

 

Last updated 2/12/2015 at 5:31am | View PDF



Whereas television and movies typically are linear, games, by their very nature, necessarily deal with choice. In this case, Telltale games has embarked on a six episode series set in the Game of Thrones universe. The events of the story follow House Forrester, a northern house loyal to House Stark, located near the Ironwood forest. The story starts at the end of Season 3 of the television show, at the Red Wedding. You alternatively play the role of five different people from the house, and follow the events of the Forrester family as they try to recover from the deaths of Sir Gregor Forrestor, Lord of Ironwrath, and his firstborn son and heir, Rodrik.

Major actors from the television series reprise their roles in the games with compelling voiceover work, including Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Tyrio Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Margery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), and Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon). As this story parallels the television series and books, to ensure continuity Telltale hired Ty Corey Franck, George R.R. Martin’s personal assistant, as a story consultant. The idea of story that compliments another major work has been attempted before, and I have to give a nod to the 1997 Windows game Blade Runner, which paralleled the events of the movie of the same name. Recently Telltale games has embarked a series of similar parallel game experiences, including especially the popular The Walking Dead episodic game series.

Telltale emphasizes story first, with gameplay centering around making choices. They really have mastered their mechanics, with realistic choices appearing on the screen, often with a built in countdown timer. You need not only to choose, but you must choose quickly, increasing both the tension and the impact of your choices. The dialogue is rich, the story appropriately complex, and the characters nuanced. The choices you make feel important, and this leads to a sense of deep immersion in the game world. Because the gameplay is relatively simple, and the graphics scalable, the game is available on Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, iOS, and Android. For Game of Thrones fans, this is a must.

 

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