GAME REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES: IRON FROM ICE (EPISODE ONE) / DEVELOPER: TELLTALE GAMES / PUBLISHER: TELLTALE GAMES / PLATFORM: PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE, WINDOWS, MAC OS X, iOS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Telltale Games won plaudits and awards for their Walking Dead series, which brought a whole new interactive element to the famed comic book and television series. Now Telltale has decided to tackle the epic Game of Thrones. In terms of ambitious projects, they don’t get much bigger. Then again, many said that at the notion of Telltale tackling The Walking Dead. The big question, though, is how does George R.R. Martin’s famed Thrones world work in a Telltale Games effort. The answer? It plays as wonderfully as you’d expect.
Timeline-wise, the action picks up pretty much right at the moment that the world-shattering (it still brings a tear to our eyes, okay?) Red Wedding takes place. The player is thrown into House Forrester, bannermen to House Glover and so sworn to House Stark, and within a matter of minutes you accidently become aware of the atrocity that is about to happen as it pertains to the Starks and their followers. From there, the decision-based game quickly springs into life, giving the player barely a moment to breathe. When things finally do calm down, you are still contemplating what has gone before and scratching your head at whether you actually made the right decisions or not; if you could’ve maybe prevented the bloodshed that has occurred. It’s at that very moment that you realise that Iron from Ice has suckered you in and you’re not going to be going anywhere any time soon.
This first episode of a planned six mixes the action and narrative up, with you taking control of several different characters along the way of this first step into Telltale’s Thrones world. For long-time fans of the Game of Thrones books and TV show, there’s plenty of places and people who will be familiar. The game takes place in familiar places like King’s Landing, Wolfswood, Ironrath, and The Wall, with House Lannister, House Bolton, and House Tyrell all featured. Along the way, you’ll also meet up with the likes of Margaery Tyrell, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, and the dastardly, twisted Ramsay Snow. Surprisingly, the actors and actresses from HBO’s TV show lend their vocal skills to their video game incarnations, giving the game a real feel of authenticity.
Iron from Ice plays very much like any previous Game of Thrones material you’ve come across, be it the books, graphic novels or TV series. By that, we mean that the story is engaging, enthralling and consistent throughout this first episode. For some not familiar with the world of Thrones, they may find the game a little slow and plodding at times, but, as with the television series and books, when the action and adventure comes it comes hard, grabbing your attention and leaving a lasting impression on you. As far as giving a true video game experience of a familiar property, Iron from Ice is a fantastic start for Telltale Games and their immersion in the world of Game of Thrones; it takes its time to deliver a well-crafted story that puts you slap-bang in the middle of a familiar setting, with your decisions leaving you questioning yourself even when you’ve turned the game off, all whilst fearing exactly what Ramsey Snow has in mind for you.
Much-like The Walking Dead, it looks like Telltale has again produced a fine video game companion to an already-loved property. Here’s hoping that the game’s future episodes can live up to this great start.
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