Version tested: Xbox One
Also available on: Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PC, Android, iOS
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Graphic Adventure
It had to happen sometime. A betrayal. I just didn’t think that it would be Game of Thrones itself betraying me. Very meta.
The game misremembered one of my choices from a previous episode. I tried to spare the life of the guy who killed Tuttle’s family on The Wall. He died anyway, and I’m sure I would’ve been blamed for it and ended up in a cell for that, but when I saw in the opener that the wrong choice from a previous episode made its way into the current one, I could tell we were off to a bad start.
Actually, the whole opening “Last Time On…” sequence got us off to a bad start. The load times between scenes were insane. I actually had time to get up and go get a drink while dramatic music played over a black screen and the game tried to remember my next choice.
Unfortunately, this didn’t stop once I got into the game. The magic of tense, dramatic moments was often broken by chopped up dialogue. I knew when something important was about to happen because the game would freeze momentarily nearly every time.
The story itself was good enough. Lots of time with Daenarys and in Meereen; excellent tension with Rodrik at Ironrath (and Highpoint). Lady Mira got some time on screen and made some interesting revelations (seems she’ll be squaring off against Cersei again next episode). Tuttle is out beyond The Wall in the midst of Wildlings.
One expects the story to lag a bit around this time. Its episode four of a six-part series. Things are being set up for the final couple of episodes. I’m totally fine with that. But the technical problems were inexcusable. This game is a long way from hyper-realistic graphics and it’s downloaded to my hard drive. Maybe if I was running it from my 360 I could understand, but the Xbox One has more than enough horsepower to run this game smoothly.
When your entire game is made of QuickTime events, immersion is your entire deal. You need to write a good story, and immerse the players in it. The chopped up scenes yank the player right out of that immersion. If you want to recreate this episode, dial back your internet service to the lowest speed possible and try to watch an episode of Game of Thrones on YouTube that’s broken into seven parts. That, along with my loss of faith in the games ability to save the proper choices, really deflated me on this series.
I hate to say it, but it seems like Telltale got their money out of season passes and may have moved on to other projects. I hope I’m wrong.
Billy is a freelance writer living in Indianapolis with his dog, BoJack. He enjoys TED talks, video games, sunny days, football, and the salty tears of his enemies.