Welcome to Game of Thrones the game; this is an adaptation of the fantasy novels A Song of Fire and Ice by writer George R.R Martins, of which the Game of Thrones is the first in the series. Of late the tales of War, Love, Adultery, Betrayal as well as Plotting, Manipulation and much more in the lands of Westeros and Essos have been brought to our TV screens, thanks to HBO. Now Cyanide Studios have taken the job to bring the Epic series to the gamers themselves, to allow them to experience the Westeros in all its gore, sex, blood and glory. Have they achieved what the fans want or have the failed? Let us find out.
Welcome to your new family, the game starts with you playing Mors Westford, a member of the Nights Watch. For those of you who have not seen the series or read the books, the Nights Watchmen are the guardians of The Wall, a towering block of ice that separates the north and south of Westeros. The Nights Watch protects the southern lands from all manner of enemies in the north, including the Wildings and the unnatural White Walkers to name a few. This boundary that stands at the front line is also a place where men from all walks of life can start a new; from men of title, men avoiding execution or prison to men of poverty, for all guards of the Nights Watch forsake all love, land, title, family and inheritance in service of their duty to protect The Wall.
Mors Westford is a withered and tough old boot, however with a scared face, gritty and threatening voice and weapon skills to outwit any young fighter, you can guarantee he’s a kick arse take no shit type of character. With 15 years’ service to the Nights Watch and protecting the wall, Mors is sent out to capture a deserter and bring him back for execution at Castle Black; this is the punishment for all that break their vow and desert the Night Watch. You do not get to control Mors yet as these scenes are all done as in-game footage, once the execution is done and the former brother’s head is rolling off, you are set with your first tasks.
Your first task is set off to the training ground and break in the new members of the Nights Watch. This training serves more or less as a tutorial into what is a crazy type of combat system that will take some time to get used to. All combat in the game is done in real time; you are assigned a button that slows the combat down on screen, this allows you to select an action to perform. It does take some time to get used to, as I have never played this type of system before, however once you have it down to a tee, the combat becomes really fun.
After you have learnt the basic combat system, you and the new members of the Nights Watch are sent out in pursuit of a rogue member that had killed a new member. You are not told why this member killed, but nonetheless this task must be completed and the rogue brought to justice. You get to go off the base and kill a number of Wildlings and track down this member; this is Chapter 1.
Now Chapter 2 starts, I was thinking I would be playing Mors again, but no, you get to meet a new main character called Alester Sarwyck. Alester is heir to the throne of Riverspring, but left his home to become a red priest of R’hllor after he was part of the rebellion that put Robert Baratheon on the Iron Throne. He is returning home to the city of Riverspring for first time in 15 years; however it is sad time for Alester as it’s to attend the funeral of his father the Noble Lord of Riverspring. Riverspring has gone to the dogs as his father became despondent leaving the control of the city in the hands of Alesters sister.
What ever happened to the City, either the Sister is shit at running it, or his father just could not be bothered to do anything. The whole city has come to a standstill, no trading with other cities, the open air markets are dead and the citizens are dying of hunger. It seems no one is happy so see your character return, none of his old friends and not even his sister, the only person that has a smile on his face is the person that invited your character home, Maester Harwyn.
You soon find out as the story progresses that your sister has been kissing the Queens rear to help her restore the City to its former glory, however there is a complication, the Queen wants her to marry a Lord so there is a Male running the show. Unfortunately there is only on Lord available to the sister, the Noble Lord of Riverspring’s basterd son, Alester’s step brother Valarr. Obviously Alester is not happy about this at all and sets about reclaiming his noble rights and titles from the Queen, off comes his priestly robes and in comes … well I’ll let your figure that out as I really do not wish to spoil much more.
The whole game sees you going back and forth between the two lead characters Mors and Alester, two completely separate stories one political and one dark. When I first played the game I was thrown back, when I completed Mors episode and jumped straight into playing a totally separate character, however after a while it felt like second nature and really felt like it fit really well, a bit like the TV series.
There is a huge story with plenty of dialogue to read, with an estimated playtime of 30 hours, and a fan of the books or the TV series would love this game, even to an RPG fan I would say get this game it will fit into your collection nicely. Ok the combat system is different to what we are used to, as you use a type of combat skill stacking ability. When you wish to attack, you click a button to bring up a wheel that contains your skills; you can stack up three skills in a row, while doing this the game slows itself down, as all combat is all done in real time, as stated before. Combat abilities include damage modifiers and immobilizing skills. You will quickly learn what is best to use, which does make combat feel a bit repetitive in time; however that is nothing new as most games are like this.I would have liked more gruesome deaths scenes like the chopping off of limbs, be-headings, slicing people in half and much more just like the TV series and how the books depict it. Don’t get me wrong the combat and blood effects are ok, they just could have been done better and more graphic. Give Violence! Cyanide Studios have tried a different approach to the combat mechanics and I applaud them for that, yes the combat is hard to get used to at start and does take some time to get used to, but when it comes to new concepts nothing is perfect for everyone.
Attributes in the game consist of weapon and armour base skills, with specific skills trees based around the combat style you choose and a special ability. Mor’s has his faithful doggy, which will help you in combat and Alester has fire power which allows him to augment his weapons and abilities and help him discover secrets around the world. When you start the game for the first time you get to choose positive and negative traits for Mors, then when you move on to chapter two you will get to choose Alesters traits. You will gain new traits based on your actions throughout the game, for example, how cruel you are, or how nice you are.
Visually the game is not perfect; they have however captured the feel and essence of the world, but with today’s technology available they could have made the game a lot better since they are using Unreal Technology. We liked the design of the characters and the world itself, even the voice acting was great for the main characters, the non-main characters, well they were not perfect, but they did their job nevertheless.
Game of Thrones is a very solid game, you need to look past the graphics as they are not top notch , I hope we get to see some DLC or even some improvements to the game , but most of all, I would love to see a sequel if it is at all possible. If you like to TV series or love reading the books you will love this game as well.
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.