Game of Thrones has become a cult phenomenon, garnering millions of fans around the world through its successful TV show and novels. With the story’s emphasis on politics, romance, murder, conspiracy and power, fans will no longer have to wait every week to see more of what Game of Thrones has to offer, or even read the novels to find out, as it’s now on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
With new characters and story, just what misfits and dark tale await fans? Since we already know that Game of Thrones has a superb story, can the gameplay match the its quality? Did Cyanide Studio do justice to the game’s RPG elements? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Game of Thrones.
A Well Thought Out Story
One of the reasons that Game of Thrones became an instant hit is due to the well-thought out story that it contains and, luckily, Cyanide Studios did some justice to the overall plot of the game. Instead of basing the story on the popular TV show or its array of novels, a new story was written for the game which focuses on the two main characters: Mors, a Nightwatch who spent most of his life protecting the Wall, and Alester, the heir of Lord Sarwyk of Riverspring who was exiled from his hometown and later became a red priest of the R’hllor religion. Just like in the novel, the game is divided into several chapters where you’ll switch between Mors and Alester. These two characters have their own story to tell and fans who love mysteries full of twists and murders will find the story of both characters rather interesting.
Despite the game not being based on the TV show, those who are a big fan of the HBO series will have something to look forward to as certain characters will be making an appearance, such as Cersei Lannister. Also, there will be some locations from the TV show that will be making an appearance in the game, such as the Castle Black. While it’s not really a tie up or a continuation to the TV series or novels, it does a good job in crafting a story that fans will be interested to watch from beginning to end. Expect to see some references as the events in the game are built around the first season of the TV show.
Your Choices Will Make a Difference
Similar to the offerings of great RPGs of this generation, Game of Thrones includes an interactive story in which the choices that the player makes have an impact on how people perceive you, thus it can lead different endings. With a game having a deep storyline, such as this, expect to be involved in a lot decision-making conversations between characters. The way the story plays out depends on how you progress in the game.
Deep Character Customization
The moment you start the game, you will enter a deep character customization for the two main characters. In the game, there are different classes that you can pick from right off the bat. The moment you finish picking a class, you then go to a part where you select the character’s strengths, which act as an added bonus. However, if there’s a strength, there’s a weakness. Depending on the strengths that you choose, you will also pick weaknesses that will greatly effect your characters. Weaknesses such as energy restoration is down five percent or lose more HP when poisoned are among the option available. Picking these will determine how your character performs and, yes, it’s tough.
In Game of Thrones, you gain experience after each fight and you level up. Just like the other westernized RPGs we’ve played, every time you level up, you will be given skill points that can be used to enhance the stats of your characters. Both characters can equip all kinds of weapons, but their effectiveness will rely on the Weapon Stats that you upgrade every time you increase in level. Since each class favors a certain weapon, it’s recommended that the player’s focus remain on the weapon best suited for their class when upgrading.
Slow & Painful Combat System
The combat system in Game of Thrones is often compared to the first Dragon Age, in the sense that it’s slow and creates action-deprived combat scenarios. During my time with the game, the combat system felt lacking and was not any better than the first Dragon Age. Every time you engage someone in battle, your character’s party, including yourself, pulls up a weapon and then you choose three attacks to put in the action slots just beneath the character portrait. You will then wait until they reach their turn. This game has the classic Baldur’s Gate and KOTOR battle system, making it pretty painful to experience. The most annoying part is the excessive use of the ability wheel, as it’s the only way to pick abilities. It would be much better if abilities were mapped to the buttons.