Game of Thrones has enthralled fans through its hit HBO television series and the George R. R. Martin books. The action is gritty and the political drama intriguing. Most important to the series’ success is that the characters illicit an emotional response for their duplicity, occasional knuckleheaded decisions, and brazen acts of cruelty.
The winding plot with its multiple perspectives and intersecting storylines lends itself well to a video game. TellTale Games was particularly well-suited for the task of creating an interactive story given their success with The Walking Dead television franchise and other adventure games.
The result is a six part episodic series that borrows heavily from the television series while offering a unique take on Game of Thrones through the eyes of House Forrester, the former bannermen for House Stark. The game picks up right before the infamous Red Wedding scene. The massacre leaves Lord Gregor Forrester dead alongside the other Stark bannermen.
You play the game from multiple points of view, starting off as Gared Tuttle, a squire to Lord Gregor who finds himself escaping the Red Wedding massacre with Lord Gregor’s sword and an important message for his uncle. Once you arrive back at Ironrath the perspective changes to the new lord of House Forrester, the young Ethan Forrester.
As Lord Ethan, players will have to make a number of important decisions that ultimately lay the groundwork for the rest of the game. He is immediately confronted by moral dilemmas, such as finding the appropriate punishment for a thief and a deserter. Lord Ethan must also confront internal politics and choose a right-hand man. Most importantly, you will decide how to respond to external threats. House Forrester’s very existence is in danger due to the fact that it found itself on the losing side of the war.
The side story feels fresh, even for anyone who has read the books and watched the television show. In fact, it’s most recommended for fans who have already at least gotten through Season 3 as it will otherwise contain spoilers. If you have no exposure to Game of Thrones at all, I would highly suggest either reading the books or watching the TV show first as this game is not really a good starting place.
The production value is the high quality that one would expect from Game of Thrones. Fans of the TV show will immediately recognize familiar voices of characters like Tyrion Lannister, Queen Cersei, Margaery Tyrell, and Ramsay Snow, whose actors reprise their roles with the same amount of enthusiasm and vigor that they have in the show.
One thing that makes Game of Thrones such an enticing series is that you never know what will happen next. The TellTale Games series has that same unpredictable nature, leaving you clamoring to play the next episode. Overall, Game of Thrones Episode 1 Iron From Ice is a solid first outing for the video game series.