Games of Thrones

GameThronesThis role-playing game was created in partnership with author George R. R. Martin, inspired by the first book in the author’s award-winning, international bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. Veteran fans can enjoy this quality game with the popular HBO televised series while new fans can discover a taut, engaging medieval world.

The well-timed release of this role-playing video game offers Game of Thrones additional experiences within an original parallel path using several cut scenes (some non-essential scenes can be skipped). Game developers could have simply retold George R.R. Martin’s originating Fire and Ice novels, but take the time to create a great experience founded in this world. Fans of the novel series and HBO television series will get a deeper experience based on character, setting, and situation knowledge while “newbies” can uncover a deeply layered experience.

The main story incorporates choices along the way where varying trust and dynamic allegiances demand player attention to succeed. Each chapter contains different endings and is conditional on past decisions. Nothing real complex here just basic choices where players must balance between strong and weak as well as positive and negative; good and evil; compassionate and ruthless. Characters will even appear or never appear at certain time based on continuing player choices. No spoilers here as the impressive story engages gamers who can enjoy five different story endings.

The setting, character, and secondary visuals are adequate though the facial animation need more work and better synchronization with the dialogue, which also appears in text. The menu visuals work well in battle as the action slows down without stopping just enough so players can make choices from a convenient, circular menu. These methodical and purposeful actions concentrate on skills and intuition without needless, menial “fetching” tasks that do not progress the story. One of the best choices becomes the “interrupt attack”, which freezes foes.

Players battle with fire, swordplay, archery, axes, and special attacks including switches into an attack dog’s body. The real-time actions incorporate a circular menu with choices made in slow motion, so timing is everything. Memorize all the actions and their corresponding actions for more impressive battles.

Battles with multiple targets can get occasionally frustrating and the sense of reality is blunted by rare clipping issues (unrealistic physics, objects running through each other that shouldn’t, etc.). The decision focused side quests add more replay value while the story’s intrigue holds a high interest in continuing the game and progressing to the next events including various surprises and plot twists. Also available on Xbox 360 and PC via download and a special art book bundle on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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