Telltale Games’ premiere to Game of Thrones is a good reminder of just how exciting their format of adventure gaming can be. Although not exactly the most difficult or action driven game out there, their newest series starts out with an incredible bang in episode one, titled Iron from Ice.
Starring one of the lesser talked about houses, the Forresters, Telltale’s Game of Thrones takes many leads from the famed HBO TV show and the strong story driven book series, which is quite apparent from the very first section of this episode. Set during the events of the Red Wedding, one of the bloodiest and most surprising events in Game of Thrones, Iron from Ice keeps the pacing going strongly throughout its two hour run.
That pacing is helped by how Telltale’s choice for structuring gameplay, by splitting your actions among several of members of the Forrester family, quickly setting into motion many concurrent stories that are bound to crash together and back during the season. We’re already faced with lots of interesting and hearth-wrenching decisions that will likely mold how events turn out from here on. And hey, we also get to tango with some of the bigger names in the fiction.
Episode one already serves up quite a few of the actors from the HBO show, reprising their roles in the game, to great effect. King’s Landing’s cast of Lannisters help remind their every present danger, and tentatively offer up choices to your character at a few turns during the episode.
Knowing what happens as result of established events from the show and books, it’ll be quite interesting to see where the game’s writers will take the story in order to fit it in with the fiction. As it stands, from beginning to end, it feels like the Forresters have always been a tiny peg in the overall gigantic board that is Game of Thrones, whether or not they’ve been under the spotlight at all.
And thankfully, Telltale has also managed to bring to game form the merciless nature of George R.R. Martin’s world, one style that marries extremely well to the quick and on-the-spot decision making that’s now trademark to their games. If you’ve been a fan of their work with The Walking Dead and Fables, Game of Thrones looks to be going in the same direction, if Iron from Ice is any indication.
Still, I have to be cautiously optimistic about what’s coming for this series. Given how well this first episode manages to evoke care to an entirely original group of characters woven in among the established group we’ve grown to love or despise over the years with book and TV series, there’s plenty of reason to be hopeful.