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Winter is here — and it's kind of awesome


January 20, 2015

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    Duplicating the success and fame from their Walking Dead video game series, Telltale Games has released Game of Thrones: Episode One, based on the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin and its HBO TV adaptation. Released in December, Game of Thrones is an episodic point-and-click graphic adventure like the other Telltale Games releases.
    Players' choices and actions influence events across the six episodes of the game. The game follows the northern House of Forrester, rulers of Ironwood with five playable characters who are trying to save their family during the War of the Five Kings. The settings, characters and voice actors include some familiar ones from the novels and TV series. Players will visit familiar locales like King's Landing and The Wall.
     Although the game is a point-and-click adventure, some scenes require the player to respond to a series of quick time events that make the game more action-oriented. Failing the quick time events can result in bad in-game decisions or even death of the playable characters. If the player dies, the game gives restarts at a checkpoint just before the bad decision to give the players a second chance.
    The game takes place concurrently with the HBO series, from the end of the third season until just before the start of the fifth season. Although not mentioned in the TV series yet, House Forrester, the playable family, successfully draws the player into the new Game of Thrones world just like the novel and TV show. The art style and voice acting are superb and work just as well as The Walking Dead series has for Telltale Games.
    Every decision made in the game has a consequence: not just for the in game character, but for House Forrester as a whole. If you kill someone from a rival house, they will look for revenge against the character who did the killing or someone from the family. Just as the HBO series shows rippling effects from actions, the same omnipresence is present in the video game. This ubiquity makes it apparent that any choice you make will come back to haunt you later.
    The game is great and gave me a sense of anxiety that I grew to love from watching the HBO series. True to its source, Game of Thrones: Episode One — Iron From Ice has superb writing, original characters and new experience unlike any other (non-Telltale Games) game out right now.


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