Telltale's Game of Thrones (2014)

I was expecting to really like the Game of Thrones by Telltale. I like the TV-show, like so many others do and I generally like Telltale's interactive fiction games. But after all is said and done, after the last episode, the top thing on my mind about the game is "meh".

I mean, it's not horribly bad or anything. It even has its moments, but overall I didn't feel invested in the story, which is extremely important for the kind of games Telltale does. Or in this case, I hesitate to call GoT even a game, as it has very few interactive bits in it even for a Telltale game. Or maybe it just felt like that, as for the most of the time I had a hard time really caring of who lived or died in the turmoil of the house Forrester's blight. Only during the last episode did I actually, genuinely start feeling something towards the characters, but that was far too little, far too late. The road to the last episode itself was far too flawed.

The only character of the game I actually cared for gets her hands bloody as well. You go girl.

The main issues I've had with the whole thing is not the fact that we are playing as characters not familiar from the series. Or the Telltale game engine that is so clearly in its death throes. No, my issues is, that the story itself tries almost desperately imitate the show.

The writers follow the violence, the betrayals, the closeness of death to the t, but they don't really have anything original to add to it. The story is filled with cliches and many things you'd expect to see in a story based in the world of GoT, but the writers don't manage to actually follow the unexpectedness of death nor did they have the guts to put in sex as well as violence.

Oh yes... sex in video games. No, that's just impossible, despite the source material the game would be based on is not shy about the subject matter. From some reason, the game developers seem to think that gamers are shrinking violets, scared of sex and ready to take their pitch forks and torches to the developers' doorstep. If Telltale were to make a game based on Emmanuelle, they'd find a way to leave the nudity out of it.

Sadly enough this kind of action is the only kind of action you'll be getting. And I was so looking forward for QTE sex fests.

And what comes to the unexpectedness of death, maybe games are just not built for it. Not in this kind of interactive stories anyway, as in the end, it's usually the player who is making the decision. Or maybe it's just that the writing is so obvious when it comes to deciding the fate of the characters. Then again, maybe it's again the fault in writing for not really making me care that much.

The story also has familiar faces from the TV-series reprising their roles. You see Jon Snow and the ever loving Lannister siblings Tyrion and Cersei for an example, but they are just flavouring and seem more like fan service rather than any meaningful additions to the story. When they appear it often feels that they're there so that devs can say, that it really is an official GoT game. Honest.

Hey look, it's those guys. It must be good then.

 The ending of the last episode paves a way to a second season. The main story arc is left unsolved and Telltale has already officially announced their intentions about making a new season. But I really don't care in one way or an another.

I can't really recommend it, but if you want it, you can get it from GOG or Steam.