03rd Dec2014

‘Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

game-of-thrones-iron-from-ice

Coming so closely after the first episode of Tales of the Borderlands (which I loved), Telltale Games had a lot to prove with Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice.  With the source material being so popular and good, and the use of some of the actors from the show this wasn’t something that was impossible.  With the trailer not exactly blowing me away though I wasn’t sure, but thankfully now I’ve made it through the first episode I’m a lot more confident about the game than I was before the release.

I won’t mention much of the story but saying that the beginning of the episode starts in the aftermath of the Red Wedding should give fans enough of a hint as to where we are in the Game of Thrones timeline.  The player takes control of characters from the House of Forrester, controlling the choices they make and trying to survive the aftermath of a war where the Forresters were on the side of the Starks, and when that is the losing side, there is a certain lack of popularity at this time.

One of the characters that the player controls is Mira, the handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell this gives the ability to have some of the story taking place at King’s Landing, meaning interactions with not only Tyrell (voiced by Natalie Dormer) but also Cersei (Lena Headey) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage).  It is impressive that your encounter with Cersei is actually an intense and claustrophobic encounter very tense as we would expect with her.  You are part of the games that are taking place between her, Tyrion and Margaery and this does not feel like it will be an easy encounter at all.  Having to choose your words carefully the verbal sparring between the brother and sister leads to pointers showing just how weak you are and it is obviously designed to make you realise you are in a losing battle.  With the game pointing out that things will be remembered and how characters are not impressed with your responses, you soon realise that you have to be as cutthroat as the people you are interacting with.

At Ironrath, the fortress of the Forresters we also encounter Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon) and if you are experienced with the Game of Thrones you already know how dangerous a character this is.  It is obvious that the story in future episodes will see the player coming into conflict with Snow many more times, which is something to look forward to, especially with the excellent Iwan Rheon being such a success in bringing his character from the television to the game setting.  It’s nice to see that the characters brought from the show live up to what we hope of them and don’t suffer from bad voice work, this really does feel like Game of Thrones, especially with the dangers that we face and the feeling of total doom.

While it does feel that Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice does successfully replicate the television show into game form, as an episode it does feel that this is doing a lot of setting up the scene for what is to come.  This isn’t a bad thing but it does feel like there is better to come.  For people wondering if you have to see the show to fully get the most out of the game, the answer would be yes but I’m sure people can still go into it cold.  For fans of Game of Thrones though because we know the events that have led up to the story and we know what is to come certain story elements have more of an effect and we know how to react to certain characters.  Though simple advice is to just not trust anybody at all and use all friendships to your own advantage.

My biggest question I asked myself with Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice was which is best, Tales of the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum or this, and I do think that I prefer the Tales from the Borderlands based on these first episodes.  The fact is though they are two different games with totally different tones and both stand up very well as Telltale Games.  Iron From Ice is a very solid start to a new Game of Thrones story and as a fan of the show I am already hooked.  Now I just have to wait for episode two, not only for this but also Tales from the Borderlands, please Telltale don’t leave us waiting for too long.

***** 5/5

Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice is available on the PC and Mac through Steam now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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