Our final verdict on Game of Thrones across the entire season.
In the past few weeks I’ve finished two different Telltale Games episodic titles and it would be safe to say I’ve had two entirely different reactions to actually finishing those games. While Tales from the Borderlands brought me a wrap-up I both wanted and expected, Game of Thrones seemed to entirely focus on trying to hook me into another season. When that sort of content is being delivered on television, I expect it. When that kind of content is being delivered in a product that people have to directly pay money for, I find that more than a little bit annoying.
That isn’t to say that Game of Thrones isn’t a fun story on the journey to the end. That’s actually the most frustrating part about this title. The unusually long six episode setup is fun and engaging and allowed me to play the same kind of political games full of death, destruction and intrigue that we’ve actually seen in the television show. All of that, the first five episodes was pretty much exactly what I wanted to see. The problem is that all of that buildup petered out a bit with the final delivery.
"The problem is that Telltale could have had a bit more of a conclusion than it did with Game of Thrones."
I won’t completely spoil the ending, because there is certainly enough interesting story that I don’t want to scare anyone off when it comes to finishing the game, even if they aren’t really finishing the game. Shortly after the final chapter was released for this series, Telltale Games announced there will be a Season 2, and attempted to make excuses as though we should have expected the ending because we always knew this project was going to span multiple seasons just like the television series.
The problem is that Telltale could have had a bit more of a conclusion than it did with Game of Thrones. We were all pretty confident its Walking Dead franchise was going to get a second season, but the company still managed to wrap up the first game’s storylines enough to give us a satisfying ending. It seems like the developers could have wrapped up House Forrester’s storyline a bit better. The second season could have focused entirely on another viewpoint, the way the series has done and the way this game even did from time to time. It wouldn’t have been that hard.
"Game of Thrones doesn’t focus on the characters you’ve met in the series but brings them into my story enough that I actually felt like House Forrester belonged in this world."
I don’t want to spend the entire review complaining about the final episode when there’s plenty else to talk about. On the whole, the game might be the most immersive and engaging experience in its own right. Tales from the Borderland hooked me with it’s humor and crazy over the top fights. Game of Thrones hooked me because I actually felt like the small decisions I made when it came to discussions with the Lannisters and other enemies and allies throughout the game were actually leading to something. I felt like I was actually trying to outsmart the queen, and trying to win over The Imp. I felt like I was actually moving pieces on the chessboard in preparation for something big.
Part of the immersion I felt was because this series is one of the first to truly allow me to play alongside characters from the series the game was based on. Tales from the Borderlands did this to some degreee, and so did The Walking Dead, but only in passing and only as a kind of nod to the original stories. Game of Thrones doesn’t focus on the characters you’ve met in the series but brings them into my story enough that I actually felt like House Forrester belonged in this world. This is especially true when I was operating in King’s Landing alongside Margaery.
"The game also isn’t going to be for everyone, because at times it seems to plod more than some of the other titles."
On its face, and standing alone, there are still some pretty big negatives when it comes to Game of Thrones, even if I’m going to ignore the ending of the long running season. The art style for the game is quite similar to the art style of other titles in the Telltale stable but the water painting look, which I assume is supposed to look high class is actually kind of annoying to me. It seems to make the facial features of characters I know and either love or hate look just goofy enough to convince me they aren’t them. Maybe that’s the intention but it’s not a choice I particularly agree with.
The game also isn’t going to be for everyone, because at times it seems to plod more than some of the other titles. Game of Thrones, both this version and the one you see on TV involves more politics than you realize. That means a lot of sitting around and plotting. For political junkies like myself, that’s actually a lot of fun. For those who are playing for the sword fights and use of magic, those are in there, but they aren’t nearly as fun to carry out as it would be if this were a straight up action game. When all is said and done, the game is a very good Telltale games series right up until the very end.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
It’s fun to see characters I recognized from the series intermingled with new characters specifically built for this game. The twists and turns of navigating the political world of Game of Thrones made me feel as though I was indeed prepping to sit on the Iron Throne.
The sixth and final episode of this season left a lot to be desired.The art style was underwhelming.
Season one of Game of Thrones is a decent experience but all the problems that plague other Telltale games, including clunky combat functions are there along with a bitter taste in wrapping up the finale. The story leading up to that bitter taste though, is quite fun.