WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS.
In my review for the previous episode of Telltale’s Game Of Thrones I expressed my doubt in the developers ability to be able to round off any of the plot strands that had been growing since the series’ debut. With an increased focus on adding more and more without even a faint whiff of resolution, it seemed unlikely that character goals would be met and a satisfying end would follow. In that same review, I also stated that it was my belief that Telltale were purposefully holding back on large amounts of narrative in order to necessitate a second series at some point in the near future. Well then, guess what? Both of my predications came true, and it’s a real disappointment.
For what began as potentially one of the most promising series from the folk who brought us The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and most recently, Tales From The Borderlands – Episode Six of Game Of Thrones entitled “The Ice Dragon” completely fails to provide a fitting-ending to the series. Rather than delivering on an engaging and impactful narrative, Telltale’s Game Of Thrones predictably keels over and dies at the final hurdle, totally failing to bring any closure to the events that led up to this so-called ‘finale’. As the end-credits begin to roll, and the entire season draws to a close, you’ll wish you never bothered in the first place.
Though previous issues such as troublesome pacing and a lack of meaningful action have certainly been rectified here, the issue ultimately lies in the fact that this doesn’t play out like an ending at all. Feeling closer to a mid-season finale than anything else, players are left with a mass amount of cliffhangers where there should be resolve. Though several ending monologues delivered by several of the games main cast do a nice job of recapping all the pivotal decisions made throughout the entire season, it ultimately reminds you that none of them really mattered in the long-run as most of the pay-off is still so-far in the future. It’s incredibly frustrating to see so many plot strands left totally open, and this total lack of closure makes your time with the series feel almost worthless. Essentially being provided with only half of the story, it makes it necessary to pick up the second series of Telltale’s Game Of Thrones (when it releases) in order to see how things play out. For those who decide not to continue with the franchise – and I really don’t blame you – unfortunately you will be left with only half of the picture.
On the plus side, the narrative developments seen over the course of this episode are significant enough and fairly enjoyable, but it did nothing to help my waining interest in the lives of House Forrester and the people of Ironrath. In what comes as no surprise, despite looking as though they might finally be successful in their attempts to fight back against the Whitehills, House Forrester once again are kicked to the dirt. As all of this happened in one of the closing scenes, I couldn’t help but feel totally apathetic to the proceedings. For what had already begun to feel tiring in a previous episode, it now feels borderline tedious. Though the source-material is infamous for its bucket-loads of misery, there are still moments of genuine happiness and hope smattered throughout. Instead of giving the Forresters a small glimmer of any of this, or even a small victory, once again they are faced with yet another lost. As a result, it’s hard to even care about those characters anymore. There’s only so much repeated despair that you can be battered with before you feel numb to it all and throw your cares to the wind.
Fortunately, Gared’s story is hopeful and once again starts to become interesting once again after his involvement feeling stale during the past two instalments. Finally reaching the mysterious ‘North Grove’, it’s a breath of fresh air to actually see a character finally make some headway with their mission. It’s just a real shame that the series should end here as things start to really heat up within these chapters, and Gared himself becomes a much more interesting character. Mira’s side of the story gets a great push too, and very quickly all of her problems come crashing down on her. Though it is tragic, especially given the fact that she has become a genuinely likeable character as of late, it is compelling to play and there are a few surprises in-store for her that makes your time with her consistently enjoyable.
The episode itself has enough happening within it to entertain, with the action QTE segments rearing their heads several times, a handful of genuinely tough decisions to make, plus even a few nice twists here and there – but when the final chapter ends you’ll be left feeling empty, frustrated, and asking yourself if that’s really it. Despite its merits in the pacing and action this time around, the episode can’t hide from the fact that it fails to produce a fitting ending to this series. Without any plot strands tied up, players are left hanging with an incredibly unsatisfying ending that makes their time and effort spent on this game feel wasted. The developers have already confirmed that season two is in-development right now and shouldn’t be too far away, but my general interest in this series has plummeted in-fear that the story will once again be strung-out unnecessarily. Unfortunately for this reviewer, I don’t have the urge to revisit the lives of House Forrester any time soon.
It’s a real shame that Telltale’s Game Of Thrones had to end this way. As someone that started to really enjoy the series despite its flaws, this is sadly an ending that does everything wrong. With the previous episodes focussed so heavily on adding more and more with little to no resolution, the end-result is a finale that leaves everything wide open.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.