Game of Thrones Iron from Ice Review: A Game Worth Playing

December 5th, 2014 -

Game of Thrones has become quite the sensation in the fantasy genre, both the books and the adapted television series. Sadly, the series has not had such success with the video game format, even though it seems it would be a perfect fit. Based on the dramatics of the IP, it seems only right that Telltale would take a stab at it. With the release of Iron from Ice, fans of the series are no doubt curious as to whether it holds up with the other formats, or if it falls on its own sword like previous attmepts. Luckily, Telltale knows what they are doing.

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Admittedly, I’ve never read the books. Nor am I completely caught up on the show (I’ve watched up until season 3 – I need to watch 4 still). But based on the beginning of Iron from Ice, the events take place starting near the end of season 3, and it is set to end right before season 5. Is it necessary viewing to enjoy the game? Not at all. While it will help to know what is going on, as you’ll have background of who some of the characters are and the events that are happening, the game follows House Forrester, a family who hasn’t had the limelight as of yet, but is from the North and served under House Stark. That’s not to say you won’t see familiar faces – in just the first episode you’ll be seeing Ramsay Snow, Margaery Tyrell, Tyrion and Cersei Lannister.

If you’ve seen the show (presumably you have, as most people that read the books watch the adaptation, and your interest probably comes from familiarity with GoT), you know that each episode switches between various parts of Westeros, seeing the lives of different people, and how it affects the others. The game is no different, with you controlling five people from House Forrester. In the first episode, you’ll follow Gared, Ethan, and Mira from places such as The Twins to Kings Landing. I won’t spoil what happens with each, but the decisions you make with each character will change the outcome between the other family members. It’s exciting to see the proven formula taken to such measures, and add more replay value than previous series – though the overall story appears to push through despite your choices (at least in this first ep), as they typically do.

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Iron from Ice lasts about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and once you start, it’s unlikely you’ll want to stop. It’s just a shame that the wait for the next episode is so much longer than a week. The character models are beautiful, with known characters being so easily recognizable next to their television counterparts. The animations are also quite well done, though facial stuff can be a bit rigid, and there are portions of the game that stuttered like a scratched record. None of it ruined the experience though, even with the subtitles off.

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, this is pretty much required playing while you wait for season 5. Not only does the game tide you over, it lets you be a person in Westeros. Do you want to stand up to Cersei? Do you want to praise Tyrion? Will you choose diplomacy over battle? It’s really up to you, and your decisions will shape the way the Forresters will play out (it’s like watching the show but instead of thinking their choice was stupid, you make that stupid choice). There are five episodes to go, but with such a strong opening, it’s hard not to recommend it to anyone that loves the lore. Especially when you are in control of what happens. As with Tales from the Borderlands, I’ll be reviewing each episode, but at the very least episode one is worth your $5.

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BUY

Pros

  • It’s Game of Thrones
  • Multiple Perspectives
  • Script/Acting

Cons

  • Animation/Audio Stutters

Game of Thrones was created and published by Telltale Games. The season pass is available on the PS4 ($29.99), X1 ($29.99), PC ($29.99), and 360 ($29.99) as of December 2, 2014, with mobile coming soon and PS3 ($29.99) coming on December 9th, 2014. The PC copy reviewed was provided for us. If you’d like to see more of Telltales’ Game of Thrones, check out the official site.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

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