Adapt the heroic fantasy universe of Game of Thrones, or rather, the Song of ice and fire, videogames has been – and is – a challenge, and George R. R. Martin (the author of the novels) is fully aware of it. Many studies addressed the challenge of carrying out Jon Nieve, Daenerys Targaryen O Tyrion Lannister to videogames from different points of view with more or less success. Others basically they failed in the attempt.
The reason? In essence, it is all that is lost along the way when trying to turn the pages of novels into a playable experience that is faithful to the work of Martin and that, in addition, it was really enjoyable at the controls. How complicated it is to adapt to an interactive format the constant tension that arises from the great halls and the most discreet corridors of the fortresses of the Seven Kingdoms.
That constant feeling of uncertainty that is in each little plot, in each encounter and in each unexpected alliance. That anyone can be betrayed – or annihilated – at the most unexpected moment. Something that, on the other hand, helped to greatly popularize both the novels and the series Game of Thrones from HBO. A production that -logically- started from the same challenges.
With that ahead and the backing of your adaptations of The Walking Dead o Fables (The Wolf Among Us) Telltale Games decided to dare to bring Game of Thrones to video games. In fact, the negotiations with Martin and HBO lasted about a year.
A new adventure at the Telltale which takes television overproduction as an absolute reference, both aesthetically and narratively. But he also dares to expand Martin’s universe a little more. A brave step to spice up a formula that it was already beginning to stop surprising.
Thus, at the end of 2014 it was released From Ice, Iron, the first of six episodes of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series. The inaugural chapter of a story created for the occasion and that runs parallel to the events of the HBO series.
A plot that revolves around family ties, quarrels between factions and, of course, disputes for power
A new story, tailor-made for the Game of Thrones universe
Delve at the plot level in Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series is tricky, since it involves fighting with two types of spoilers: those of the television series and those that are derived from the original plot -and its unexpected twists-, and that happen throughout its six episodes.
To put ourselves in context, in the north of Westeros a war is being waged against the sovereignty and reign of the Lannister House, who run the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms from the King’s Landing region.
And despite the advances and losses on the battlefield by both factions, it will be an unexpected betrayal executed from Casa Frey, which will finally dismantle the dome of power of the northern peoples.
As a result, all the great Houses that supported or were part of the northern alliance are at the mercy of the Lannister allies. Including the Forrester House, to which practically all the protagonists that we can control in Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series.
Which, as players, leaves us in a delicate situation: we must assume responsibilities such as the new lords of Ironrath, the fortress of House Forrester; but also to leave for the distant lands of Essos. In both cases, bearing the weight and responsibilities of our House. And sooner rather than later, exchanging stories with Jon Snow at the Wall.
Very different contexts tied by a common and increasingly twisted plot, which unfolds in a cinematographic way. Without the feeling of danger and uncertainty completely dispersing for our protagonists. In fact, we will soon discover that we will have to measure our actions, decisions and words very well. Especially, before the queen regent.
That Telltale’s adventure takes as its starting point the end of the third season of the HBO series has a direct and not very successful consequence: the plot assumes that the player is familiar with the events of the television series and the character of many characters and the context in which they are.
On the other hand, fans of the production for the small screen will find that the transition between the series and the video game it is impeccable.
Regarding its structure, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series it follows the same trend as the books or the television series: in each episode we will put ourselves in the shoes of several protagonists with a common link: they all belong to the Forrester House or are strongly linked to it.
Although George RR Martin himself was not directly involved in the development of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, those of San Rafael had the help of Ty Corey Franck, who is Martin’s assistant.
Managing to consolidate a really interesting story, with well-constructed characters and in which all the key elements of the series are present. Including fan favorite characters.
An adventure faithful to Game of Thrones and 100% Telltale
Although in the novels mention is made of the House Forrester, Telltale gets to take advantage of that loose end to develop a plot with its own character that not only complements what is seen in the television series with a side story
And the best thing is the way in which he achieves it without making it seem that the encounter of our characters with Ramsay Snow O Daenerys Targaryen is in with shoe. We will even receive some interesting proposal from the rogue Tyrion Lannister to piss off his sister.
Regarding the script, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series he knows how to be creative and daring without clashing or contradicting the HBO production. However, as for its playable scheme sins of being terribly conservative: Despite the fact that it has a very powerful and cinematic narrative, as a graphic adventure it is still a walk in which we will eventually have to make decisions.
That does not mean that we are not exposed to being struck down. While the game’s script reminds us of the risks we take if we upset the wrong lord or queen, it also retains those surprising, Martin-like twists where you don’t know for sure who will be the next to be stabbed. Regardless of whether it has a secondary, major or protagonist role.
To this we must add light investigation sequences without puzzles and cinematic scenes that are solved based on Quick Time Events, by pressing the button or the direction indicated on the screen. Of course, in the latter case we will not lose the character or the game will be conditioned, but we will return directly to the last checkpoint.
The decisions we make influence the behavior or predisposition of the rest of the characters with us. In fact, they will alter the way the story itself unfolds. But nevertheless, they will not condition the plot structure.
Which does not mean that the background work when it comes to capturing Martin’s characters in the game is impeccable. What’s more, Telltale had everyone’s looks, voice and acting talents. the actors of the television series. Being the definitive push to give consistency and credibility to this parallel story.
Finally, it is worth making a special mention of its artistic section: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series
An extra season for Game of Thrones fans that is pure fanservice
Before facing its closure, Telltale Games I planned to edit and publish a second season of Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, even the million-dollar HBO series license didn’t keep the San Rafael people in business.
Seen from a certain perspective, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series it works so well where others have failed as, deep down, it guarantees fans an unreleased season with well-constructed characters. Retaining in the process all the essence of the television series.
In fact, in Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series You don’t need to show off your skills or wits as a player: Telltale takes you by the hand in each of the six Episodes, so you only have to worry about the interactive cutscenes. Giving you enough space to freely choose what to do or the tone you use when interacting with the highest personalities of the Seven Kingdoms.
Facing uncomfortable decisions, check what chances of survival we will have by exchanging opinions with Ramsay Snow and why not? even to test the limits of patience of characters as irascible as Cersei Lannister o la Mother of dragons.
As we mentioned, the decisions we make do not affect the general plot, although they have very notable consequences throughout the game. Each of the characters will remember our actions, yes, but the moment will come when we will have to choose who we leave behind on the way, who will remain alive and to whom we pledge allegiance.
What’s more, at the end of each of the six episodes, Telltale herself shares, as a summary, the statistics with the most relevant decisions. Making us reflect on our actions and, at the same time, inviting us to return to a critical point in history and choose another path.
The end of the series Game of Thrones convinced some, disappointed others and left all the fans wanting to anything else. Giving a general feeling that the final episodes deserved to have been handled less rushed.
Luckily, Martin’s heroic fantasy universe has not stopped expanding based on comics, novels, short stories, new spin-offs Y, of course, video games. And within the latter, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series it is imposed as one of the best additions to HBO’s own production on its own merits.
And it is that – being fair – as a graphic adventure, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series it is miles away from matching the genre’s benchmarks. After all, Telltale did not stand out for making great games, but for telling good stories.
And it is in that aspect, like parallel seasonto the series itself, where the Game of Thrones Telltale is enshrined as a nice surprise for all of us who live through the small screen the rise, fall and redemption of the great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms.