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Review | Game of Thrones

Unhappy that the second season of the hugely popular Game of Thrones has ended on a cliffhanger no less? Well fret no more, fill the void with the game based on the series. Released by Cyanide Studio in conjunction with HBO and the writer of A Song of Ice and Fire George R. R Martin.

This single player RPG follows two characters, you start off as Mors Westford a traitor to the king who has escaped death by being sent to guard a seven hundred foot wall that separates the seven kingdoms from wildlings and anything that threatens the realm. Constant winter plagues the men of the Night’s Watch.

You start off by choosing the type of fighting style you want, a choice of three in all, then you are offered the chance to give him attributes and weaknesses to balance out the character. As with most games of this genre you are afforded skills points to put into a weapons tree as you see fit, you gain more as you level up.

Complete the first chapter and a whole different quest will begin with a new character, Alester Sarwyck a Red priest of the Rhallor religion. He has returned home after a fifteen year absence to find unwelcome change. You will have to give him traits again but this keeps the game from becoming dull to quickly and leaves you wondering how the Mors story will unfold as you left on a cliffhanger. The game contains a lot of text which you can skip. Occasionally you can make decisions which can affect you later so choose wisely. The story itself is a slow burner, building up and introducing you to the different characters and plot lines that run through, stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with a rich deep immersive story.

Of the two storylines Mors seems to be the more interesting he is also accompanied by his dog which is controllable. This comes in handy in certain situations as he can track scents and attack during combat

As the quest unfolds you find yourself getting into various fights these range from plot driven altercations to minor disagreements. Using the text speech your given choices whether to fight or talk your way out. If you decide to take on these foolish people a press of R1 brings up an Abilities wheel which shows the traits you have chosen, three in all Stance, Hero and Flasks. This puts the game into a slow motion while you choose which particular ability to use. Track around the wheel using L3 and select it by pressing X. You can combine several in one go. Another press of R1 brings the game out of slo mo and you see your chosen attacks unleashed onto the enemy.

This is where the game lets itself down, the nature of the combat system leaves you feeling somewhat left out of the fray and feeling never really fully in control of the combat. An RPG based on Knights, swords and sorcery you would think combat would be high on its agenda! Yet even simple sword strikes are left to the abilities wheel. If you leave the character alone he will simply perform a standard sword swing or whatever weapon you have chosen to give him repeatedly during combat. Occasionally you will be surrounded by a number of assailants all who are relentlessly trying to snuff the life out of you, so continually having to bring up the ability wheel when every fibre in your body just wants to button mash the evildoer into lifelessness with an earth shattering combo, your left feeling empty like you weren’t really invited to the party.

Yes, its an RPG, not a combo filled beat em up yet other games of this kind do it better example the Mass Effect series which has a live in-game pause complete with abilities wheel, yet you feel far more involved and in control when combat situations arise and you can even get away without having to use the abilities wheel!

The graphics are up to par although minor glitches are present doors open through you for example. However despite that the environments are well detailed, Castle Black is portrayed very well, realistic blizzard and snow effects howling winds really bring the chill factor down, after playing there for some time you’ll want a holiday to hotter climes! The humans are a little clunky looking in the facial details but the developers have captured the look an feel of George R. R Martins vision superbly. Lip synching is more or less spot on unfortunately the same cannot be said for the voice acting but this is a minor distraction.

The music is excellent the composer Ramin Djawadi has been used in parts notably the brilliant mesmerizing theme tune. Sound effects are also good outdoor scenes bustle with life and atmosphere. The TV series was known for its graphic violence and language the game has certainly followed suit and earns its 15 certificate.

Overall Game of Thrones just falls short of being an epic RPG let down by a clumsy combat system and a slow start that only true RPG enthusiasts will appreciate.

Pros

  • Deep rich immersive story.
  • Large areas to explore.
  • Excellent soundtrack
  • Two separate characters to play, like having two games in one.

Cons

  • Clumsy combat system.
  • Large world but linear to traverse.
  • Slow start (plot wise)
  • Some graphical glitches.

6/10

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  1. Good review. I feel that its a decent game but I prefer playing Skyrim to Game of Thrones. It just does it better. As usual movie/tv game converts just don’t do it as good as original games such as Skyrim which have been developed for years.

  2. Playing this game now and I have to agree with the combat system. Not a fan of it at all, I realize it is a “classic RPG type combat game” that we see in dungeon crawlers and such. But it ruins the game for me making by making it boring. I want control of everything the character does.

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