Telltale’s Game Of Thrones Is Going To Tell A Very Different Tale
Telltale Games has established itself as a studio to be reckoned with as long as the weapon of choice is a character-driven point ‘n click adventure game. The studio’s modus operandi is typically to take an existing franchise and craft its own stories within that world. They did it with Sam & Max, The Walking Dead. The Wolf Among Us and now they’re daring to touch Game of Thrones.
How exactly does one go about telling a story more compelling than the intricate web woven by George R.R. Martin? It seems an arduous task but Telltale seems up to the challenge and given the success of The Walking Dead games, the developer has been greenlit to produce Game of Thrones in their unique way for a few years to come.
Name: Game of Thrones
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Developers: Telltale Games
Publishers: Telltale games
Release Date: December 2014
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It would be crazy to start afresh somewhere in Westeros so instead Telltale will be avoiding the big houses such as Tyrell, Stark, Targaryen and Lannister. Instead the series will follow House Forrester, a house which is mentioned in A Dance with Dragons and hails for the northern fortress of Ironrath. If the name didn’t give it away, they control a forest. The first season has been given a six episode run, a little decadent given Telltale’s standard penchant for five episode per season. Regardless, it will delve into events occurring parallel to seasons 3-5 of the TV series. Over the course of the six episodes, players will control one of five members of House Forrester at a time. Each players actions will affect the others and ultimately the fate of the house. That, in and of itself, presents something quite different from Telltale’s single perspective in other games. This opens players up to more complex narratives and of course for at least one of the playable characters to die. It’s not Game of Thrones spoilers if there’s no certainty that it will even happen.
The story will incorporate some of the big houses but in a unconfirmed capacity. Typically, fans can rest a little more easily when the creator is involved in branching projects such as this one and while George R.R. Martin may not be directly involved in Telltale’s Game of Thrones, his PA Ty Corey Franck has been serving as a story consultant on the project. It’s important to note that Telltale is not attempting to add to canon here but rather flesh out events that are fixed within the timeline of the books.
We know precious little about the precise direction that Game of Thrones will take but the first episode is titled Iron from Ice so make of that what you will. It will certainly be refreshing to see Westeros from a different, fringe perspective that isn’t the Night’s Watch. Telltale’s contract is with HBO and as such any changes that the TV series has made will follow through into Game of Thrones (not to be confused with the other Game of Thrones).
What then of the gameplay? You might expect it to be the typical adventure style gameplay we’ve come to expect from Telltale but the developer has promised a bigger scale while still keeping the narrative very intimate and character-driven. Much like the source material. Also on the cards are “large battles” which could mean anything from five guys beating down on each other in a courtyard to something a little more epic… like five guys throwing down on the edge of a cliff.
With The Wolf Among Us Telltale showed that they are not afraid to get gory and explicit so it’s likely that their vision of Game of Thrones will not stray too far the aesthetic and style established by the TV series. The real questions is whether we’ll have to play through the sex scenes because I still have scars from Heavy Rain.
Visually, Game of Thrones is once again departing slightly from the established Telltale style with a little less stylisation but still cel-shading. It’s a hard look to pull off without the heavy stylisation of TWD or even more so TWAU so the visual style may take some getting used to.
Suspected Selling Points
- It’s Game of Thrones
- Telltale’s pedigree speaks for itself
- A different take and perspective on the source material
- It could fall flat when compared to the source material
- Too much of the same
Telltale’s take on Game of Thrones promises to be something a little different to what we’ve seen before from Game of Thrones and the developer alike. Telltale’s Game of Thrones could make for a fascinating game.