Nothing pleases me more than new episodes of Game of Thrones, especially when some helpless hero is flayed, impaled, decapitated, has his head exploded or the character Hot Pie shows up. It really is an experience best shared with the family.
Because I lack the patience to delve into the multithousand-word novels, and because the series is in between seasons, getting my recommended weekly dose of schadenfreude has been harder and harder to come by — until Telltale Games released Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice, the first in an episodic game that puts you in the Iron Throne, kind of.
Telltale Games has earned quite the reputation, with incredibly immersive series based upon popular franchises. The Walking Dead, Fables and Back to the Future have all received adaptations and been very successful (well, save for the latter).
Unlike The Walking Dead, the most popular of the Telltale series, Thrones takes part in the same universe and its focus — on three characters from the House Forrester — is directly affected by the events that occurred in season 3 of the HBO series or the novel A Song of Ice and Fire. In other words, if you aren’t caught up with either, don’t bother unless you love spoilers.
House Forrester is a little-known house from the north caught up in the War of the Five Kings, struggling for survival. Players will need to be as cunning as a Lannister to avoid being wiped off the face of Westeros.
Similar to The Walking Dead, the series is just that, a series. This first episode sets up the plot by giving you, as one of the three characters, tough decisions to make as it jumps around to the three stars.
As Garred Tuttle, squire to Lord Forrester, you’ll see the most action via Quicktime events that lead to Game of Thrones, patented violence, but eventually, you’ll need to get your diplomacy on to deliver a message, which doesn’t sound very exciting until you realize that most of Game of Thrones is like watching a meeting of the United Nations.
Fans of the show will be happy that main characters such as Tyrion Lannister are voiced by their television counterparts, in this case Peter Dinklage. It’s a nice touch that will keep players and viewers invested long into the next season,when gamers might have more knowledge of the events transpiring, having set some wheels in motion themselves.
At just two hours, the first episode sets up what’s to come via a visit to the sadistic Ramsey Snow, a chat with Mean Girls’ star Queen Cersei and a hint at more sadism to come. Unlike other series in Telltale’s successful adaptations, the game of Game of Thrones will include six episodes, just enough to get you through the long wait for the next season of the show.
Who knows where this one will end up? North of the Wall? South of the Wall? On the Wall? This series will be worth keeping up with. In the meantime, between episodes, go check out the incredible The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead, the latter being a thousand times better than the AMC television series.
Chris O’Neal was sent to the Wall for being Chris O’Neal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @agentoneal.