For a while now, I've been the proud owner of a few graphic adventure games by Telltale Games that I've never gotten around to playing (I'm looking at you, The Walking Dead). I know the games are amazing and I'm not anti-graphic adventure by any means, but sitting down with a story based game that lets you make decisions...well, it's a difficult task to accomplish in an environment where people want to talk to you while you game. Or at least, they come in talking to you RIGHT at the part where you really need to hear what's going on and you end up missing what you're making a decision on. Let me tell you - that's a whole new level of rage quit right there.
However, when I heard Telltale Game's released a graphic adventure for Game of Thrones...heck or high water, I absolutely had to try that demo. I've never read the books and while I have problems with details as remembering the names of people, places and wolves, I still consider myself to be a big fan of the HBO series. I had initial concerns that I wouldn't be able to follow along with the story, but after I started playing those fears went away quickly.
The first episode of this six-part game is entitled "Iron from Ice," and the game focuses on the loyal bannermen of the Starks, House Forrester, and the impact on their house since the Red Wedding. They are located in Ironrath and are in control of groves of ironwood trees, which is highly sought after wood used for making ships and weapons. The story itself cycles between three characters: Edwin Tuttle, the squire of Lord Forrester, Mira Forrester, Lord Forrester's eldest daughter who serves as handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell at Kings Landing, and Ethan Forrester, third son of Lord Forrester. I am reluctant to go into many details of what the story is about, but I will say I was surprised how quickly I was drawn into this game as events coincide with what has happened in the show.
The game includes familiar GoT characters (Cersei and Tyrion to name a couple), and actual GoT cast for the voice acting which is bonus. Although I will add that the character likenesses in the game will look a little off at times. For instance, Margaery Tyrell's face looked smooshed and Tyrion's head looked super sized in comparison to Cersei. But it wasn't off-putting enough to stop playing.
I honestly didn't high hopes for this game. I didn't think the storyline would be edgy enough or come close to rivaling the complexity of GoT, and I was dead wrong. I played the demo and threw $5 down to finish. Episode 1 took about 2 hours to complete, and I immediately sat through a second play through to see how things would change with the different decisions made. While this episode lacks the nudity of the show (I was actually thankful for that), it definitely is violent. Honestly, I saw the warning but I didn't really expect it -- just giving a head's up to gamer parents that this is definitely not something you'd want to play in front of little ones.
Overall, this is a game GoT fans will definitely want to check out. The only regret I have is buying the individual episode and not throwing down $20 up front for the season pass.