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Game Of Thrones Episode 1: Iron From Ice review

We check out the first episode from Telltale Games.

If you’re not up to date on the Game of Thrones books or TV series then please be warned this review may contain spoilers.

Telltale Games have found plenty of success with their episodic adventure games. After titles such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands their next effort is to give HBO’s Game of Thrones the same treatment.

Game of Thrones – A Telltale Game Series is set across six episodes and takes place between events from the end of season 3 and the start of season 5 of the HBO TV show. The TV show is based around the book series A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin. For those that read the books these events are around book three, A Storm of Swords.

Instead of recreating the show the events of the episodes take place alongside them. Many of the main characters from the show feature in the game and are instantly recognisable. They are also voiced by the real life actors including Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow.

The game focuses on characters from House Forrester which hasn’t so far featured in the show and only played a small part in the books. This is a noble house from the Wolfswood in the north of Westeros. They are Bannermen to House Glover and loyal to the Starks. The Forresters are based at a stronghold called Ironrath which is surrounded by ironwood trees. Their house words are ‘Iron from Ice’ which is also the title for this first episode.

As Game of Thrones fans will know it’s a complex story with a huge cast set all across the Seven Kingdoms. The game recreates this complex feel by letting you play from five different points of view. These five characters are all part of House Forrester and this first episode has you take control of Lord Forrester’s son Ethan, his daughter Mira and his squire Gared Tuttle.

As you would expect this episode has a mammoth task of introducing all the new characters and setting up the rest of the series. Events begin outside the castle of House Frey during the Red Wedding. Fans of the show already know what happens at Westeros weddings and will always remember this particular one.

Telltale have really captured the feel of the show and the Forresters quickly feel like a part of it. During the game you spend your time making decisions in conversations, walking around to explore and taking part in Quicktime action sequences.

The action parts work quite well but if you’re not paying attention it can be easy to miss a prompt. The best parts are where you get to choose the responses for your characters. It’s actually quite intimidating when you go up against character from the show like Cersei and Ramsay.

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It’s often impossible to work out which is the best choice and you know that nearly all of them will have an impact on future events in some way. In this first episode your decisions don’t always feel that important but I’m sure some will come back to haunt me later on.

The episode ended with a particularly shocking scene that proves the game is just as happy as the source material in killing off characters when you least expect it.

Graphically the game has gone for a painted aesthetic which isn’t for everyone but I really like it. Some scenes have rough parts but most of it is gorgeous to look at. The new characters all look good but those from the TV show really stand out the most.

Iron From Ice is a great first episode from Telltale that really captures the feel of Game of Thrones. Watching the show or reading the books can be shocking but it’s even more so when you’re making the decisions. Game of Thrones fans will feel right at home but players new the series should be prepared to feel a bit lost.

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