Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode One starts strong at the Red Wedding, but falls a little flat.
Before I begin I would like to say that saying I had high expectations for TTGOT (as I am going to call it for the rest of the review because I can) would be a vast understatement. Game of Thrones is one of my favorite Television series (I only read the first book though), and Telltale is up there with the kings of gaming for all I’m concerned. So that being said, I feel like I should think this game is a flawless masterpiece… sadly it’s definitely got some glaring issues (to me, anyway).
You play as three different characters throughout the first episode, two of whom are of the family Forrester, who’ve been mentioned in the series, but never shown. The third player-character is their longtime family friend, Gared Tuttle, who is squire to Lord Forrester. (SPOILERS for Game of Thrones follow. I should know, the game takes pace a few episodes of where I am in the show as I’m not caught up to present quite yet)
The game begins moments before the massacre at the Red Wedding, where you are playing as Gared. Lord Forrester sends Gared to get another jug of wine across the camp at the wedding site (I’m not going any deeper into what the RW is in case you haven’t seen it yet). Soon, things take a turn for the worst, obviously… I mean, it’s a wedding in Westeros.
Later on, you play as Ethan Forrester, and the bits with Ethan are my favorite. Mainly, that’s because it feels very cool to finally know what it’s like to be an acting lord in the bloodthirsty world portrayed on the show. And finally, you’ll also take up the role as Mira Forrester, who resides in King’s Landing as the handmaiden of Margaery Tully.
These definitely feel to be the most Game of Thrones-esque sections. Specifically during one scene where you are interrogated by Cersei (the ‘evil queen’), and you are torn between making Cersei happy or betraying Margaery. Thankfully I managed to make it through the scene without making either of them hate me too much. Normally I wouldn’t have cared about the opinion of Cersei, but we all know the kind of things she does when she gets displeased with someone. And if you don’t, well, it ain’t good.
The main issue I’ve come across though, is this: Walking Dead – comic book, easy comic style. The Wolf Among Us – comic book, easy comic style. Borderlands – comic book style game, easy to copy. Game of Thrones – not a comic book, not easy to translate into comic style, apparently. In short, Margaery Tully looks genuinely terrible in some angles, and great in others, and Tyrion (played by Peter Dinklage) looked a little too stubby. To be honest though, Cersei looked very well done, so there’s that.
Mediocre character models aside, there were several clipping issues I noticed. Near the beginning for example, when Gared picks a sword up off the table, his hand briefly goes through the handle, and the blade clips through the table. It sounds small, but the game is plagued with large amounts of these types of things. I feel as though with a game as potentially big as this, Telltale should have put a tad more focus on polishing it up than they did.
Another issue I had, is it felt too short. I understand all of their games have been in episodic format, but I feel as though with Game of Thrones they made it too short, I literally beat episode 1 in less than two hours. Quite small in comparison to The Walking Dead’s 4 hour installments.
Overall, even as amazing as the story is, and as intriguing as the sections with Mira are, something is still lacking for me. Telltale and Game of Thrones sound like a match made in Heaven, but sadly it falls just a bit short, even treading near the line of mediocrity.
Perhaps things will pick up in episode 2, but for right now I’m going to have to say I was a little disappointed.