• As always with any of my Telltale Game reviews, I will attempt to keep spoilers to a minimum, but there still maybe some spoilers ahead, especially when talking about episode one.  So with that in mind, you have been warned.

Now with all Telltale videogames that I review, I will try to keep spoilers to an absolute minimum, especially as their games are all about the unique storytelling.  Episode one Iron From Ice is finally here and it see’s you playing as three character prospective from the family members of House Forrester, Gared Tuttle (squire to Lord Gregor Forrester), Ethan Forrester, a young boy thrown in charge of House Forrester and his sister Mira Forrester who is the handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell in Kings Landing.

The episode kicks off with Gared Tuttle, loyal squire to Lord Gregor Forrester and they are caught up in the war of the five kings and are located at House Frey, where the infamous Red Wedding took place, fans of the TV series will know how that party turned out.  With betrayal taking place both inside and outside the grounds of the castle, Gared notices that something is not right and all hell is about to break loose.  Being the loyal servant that he is, he attempts to warn Lord Gregor Forrester of a forthcoming ambush, but all does not go as he’d hoped.  The events then take him on a journey to inform House Forrester of their pending doom.  But the sinister Ramsey Snow is after Gareds blood, which see’s him exiled to serve on the Nights Watch and at The Wall.

Following the events at House Frey, Ethan Forrester is a young man thrown into an almost impossible situation and whether he likes it or not, he must now lead his family’s house.  In Game of Thrones it’s all about playing politics, but will this be too much for Ethan, especially when it’s always going to be an up-hill battle to command respect from his seniors?  Finally we have Mira Forrester, stuck in the place where playing politics can be you strongest alley and your worst enemy, good old Kings Landing.  Serving as a loyal handmaiden to Lady Margaery (who is on the verge of marrying King Joffrey), Mira is forced into the deadly politics game.  In King’s Landing it’s near impossible who to know is truly trust worthy and who is waiting for the right moment to stab you in the back, especially when the fate of your family is potentially in your hands.

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If you had played Telltales previous games, especially with The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, you will grow familiar with Game of Thrones very quickly.  While Game of Thrones doesn’t feature elements of horror in the respect that The Walking Dead does, decisions that you make are arguably more daunting then in any other game from the talented studio.  When you encounter characters such as Ramsey Snow and Cerci Lannister, they are not the most welcoming of characters, even on their best of days (if they have any).  Cerci Lannister is an intimidating, ruthless lady who will walk over anyone to get what she wants and she is a very difficult character to try to please, let alone guess what she may be thinking.  She is without question the queen of the politics game in King’s Landing, though unlucky for her, her brother Tyrion Lannister might just be the King of politics in the home of the iron throne.  So when Mira is quizzed by Cerci in Tyrion’s company, it’s a daunting encounter with Cerci as you attempt to pick your words careful, the phrase “treading on eggshells” could not be more fitting here.

Ramsey Snow on the other hand, is another kettle of fish.  If you watch the HBO series (or of course read the books), then you will know that this power hungry man, is an absolute psychopath and when you’re in control of the young man Ethan (trying to do what’s best for his house), going up against Ramsey Snow is downright terrifying.  As with all Telltale games, the choices that you make play a huge role, but now perhaps even more so with Game of Thrones.  Every answer that you give or every choice that you make, will not please everyone and you will make enemies, whether or not you believe you’ve made the right choice.  Then throw in the fearsome characters that you encounter and Telltale’s pressure timer pushing you to make a choice, this game will turn you into a nervous wreck, making you worry about all the consequences of your choices.

In terms of visuals, there’s only so far that you can take Telltale’s signature art style, even on new gen systems, but even so, Telltale’s Game of Thrones looks fantastic with its oil painting texture.  Not only has the voice cast lent their voices for this game, but also their likenesses too.  With The Walking Dead, character likenesses were not based upon the TV series.  This didn’t matter so much, as most of the characters that you encountered within the game, were based upon the comic book series.  However with Game of Thrones being mainly influenced from the immensely popular HBO series (visually and cast at least), having the character likenesses is perhaps even more important as it will allow for the player to gain an instant attachment to the characters that they are interacting with.  What impresses me most of all about the Game of Thrones visuals, is that despite its comic style, the likenesses are instantly recognisable and look fantastic.

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If I was to have one criticism with the games visuals, I would say that the framerate can still suffer at times.  I find this a particular disappointment, because this was a problem with the last gen systems and you’d think it would be ironed out on the new gen versions.  But I cannot stress this enough, this is a minor gripe and certainly did not affect my enjoyment and immersion of this game.  However framerate issues aside, pretty much all will be forgiven when the credits role at the early stages of the game with that awesome TV intro sequence, and the iconic theme music with a touch of Telltale Games visual presentation.

During my first hour of Iron From Ice, I must admit that I was getting a little concerned that Telltale Games Game of Thrones would not live up to my beloved The Walking Dead gaming series.  But while there any familiar faces within this game, you are essentially being introduced to a new set of character with the Forrester family (unless of course you read the books), so you will have to give yourself time to adjust in that respect. When you get past the hour mark however, you will soon find yourself hooked within Telltales new world.

Despite its slow start, if this first episode is anything to go by, the choices that you make in this series are possibly going to be the toughest that you’ve had to make than any other game from Telltale.  Its dam near impossible to know who to trust, who is listening, who is an informant to a possible enemy and how your choices will affect the outcome of the game and those around you.  Either way no matter what choice seems right at the time, shit will hit the fan at some point, but that’s one of the reasons we love Game of Thrones so much.  Even though this is only the first episode in the series, it’s absolutely fantastic how Telltale have managed to take the tension from the HBO series and implement it into this episode so well.  If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and Telltale Games, deciding whether or not to buy this game is a very easy choice.  So my advice for when playing this game is to put a pillow on the floor to cushion the blow, because jaws will drop.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake