23rd Jul2015

‘Game of Thrones: Episode Five – A Nest of Vipers’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

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While the illusion of choice is somewhat waning now in Telltale Games, Game of Thrones: Episode Five – A Nest of Vipers proves that they can still tell a good story and kick you in the gut. More importantly, they can create a game that can stand tall in the world of Game of Thrones. Especially with the hard choices made in this episode.

Even before the theme music starts in this episode the tone is set in a gory way, and is fitting for what is to come. While the trailer for the episode may have felt quite serene, this is a trap as there is nothing serene here. This episode is violent, full of blood and has just the right level of political manipulation to keep the King’s Landing fans happy.

Without posting any spoilers, at this point in the game I feel like I have become a true Lannister in moments of choices made. I’m ready to use whoever is in my path to reach my goal, and I have one aim and that is to make sure the Forrester family survive. I’m sure that Game of Thrones fans like me doubt how this could be possible though, especially as they are a side story to events that have already happened in the television show. I guess though they can have their own little victory, if it is coming. I cannot help but feel that things are not going to end well at all.

So is the scene set for the final episode? Yes it is, and to get to that point there are some hard decisions to make. There will be differences in the final episode, but in truth these are minimal even depending on the choice that were made. These games have certain story beats, and we will hit them. There may be slight differences but overall it will still end the same.

While this seems like a negative view to take, I don’t believe it is. What Telltale do well is to provide a well-written story that we enjoy to be a part of, Game of Thrones: Episode Five – A Nest of Vipers is a nice pay off to some of the slower episodes that have come before it, and there is never a moment that we feel outside of the Game of Thrones universe. The fact is I will rate this episode high, in story terms it may be my favourite, and a big part of this is down to the combat.

While the combat is quick time events, anybody who has played previous games by Telltale know what to expect and we accept this as the best way to control the events. It allows for a certain amount of deaths through not hitting the buttons right, but for the most part we can comfortably continue our story, and that is more important than a deadly challenge. This is a point and click adventure not Dead Souls.

Game of Thrones: Episode Five – A Nest of Vipers is an episode of jaw dropping moments, because in story terms it does provide some important story events that do push for really hard choices. For fans of Game of Thrones, the choices do tend to come easy, the simple rule is everybody is expendable. That makes this episode especially harsh, as they are not choices of the heart, but the cold-blooded choices of somebody who wants to succeed, even if they are likely to fail horribly. Do we expect anything else?

****½  4.5/5

The fifth of six episodes in the series, A Nest of Vipers is available now on PC/Mac from the Telltale Online Store, Steam, and other digital distribution services; as well as the PlayStation Network for PS3/PS4; the Xbox Games Store for Xbox One & Xbox 360; iOS devices via the App Store and Android-based devices via the Play store.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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