Telltale released the first footage of their upcoming game based on the license of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, and while short, there is enough information to glean from its 51 second span to look ahead at what’s to come.
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series is a new six part episodic game series set in the world of HBO’s groundbreaking TV show.
This new story tells of House Forrester, a noble family from the north of Westeros, loyal to the Starks of Winterfell. Caught up in the events surrounding the War of the Five Kings, they are thrown into a maelstrom of bloody warfare, revenge, intrigue, and horror as they fight to survive while the seven kingdoms tear themselves apart.
You will take on the role of different members of the Forrester household, and determine their fate through the choices you make; your actions and decisions will change the story around you.
– Developed by the creators of the award-winning The Walking Dead – A Telltale Games Series, and The Wolf Among Us
– Meet and interact with characters from HBO’s hit TV show
– Visit King’s Landing, The Wall and other familiar locations
– Feel what it is like to play the Game of Thrones, where you win… or you die
It’s important to recognize that the license for this game is only tied to the HBO series, so the story and setting of the game will be exclusively tied to the aspects touched on in the show. Don’t expect too many events or characters that never made the transition from the source material. That said, the trailer puts that license front and center, with Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister narrating the clip, and a handful of familiar faces making an appearance. The art style for this game is far more neutral than The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, and that makes the faces of Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Snow) immediately recognizable. It’s nice to see that at least one of the show’s cast will be reprising their role in the voice cast, but not all have been confirmed. Not every good actor makes for a good voice actor, but considering how on-the-nose Telltale’s going with the character design, it would only be fitting to have their characters sound alike as well. Peter Dinklage of course recently came off his controversial voice work in Destiny, but we’d like to see him lend his voice here and prove to his detractors that he can put on as good a performance as Tyrion from a sound stage as he does on set.
In the game, player will be introduced to House Forrester, a family that is only passingly even mentioned in Martin’s series of novels, and has never appeared on the show. Telltale has chosen wisely, opting for a corner of the mythology that is, for all intents and purposes, completely untouched. This will let the developers carve out their own world and story without having to tiptoe around the established events of the TV series (and hopefully A Song of Ice and Fire, too).
In terms of Telltale’s pedigree, anyone who’s played either of their recent episodic games will know exactly what to expect for Game of Thrones. Their first season of The Walking Dead garnered 2012’s Game of the Year despite its comparatively small scale and unconventional gameplay, and much of that can be attributed to Telltale’s fantastic storytelling and the difficult choices the game forces the player to make throughout the game’s five chapters. The same thing worked again, albeit to a less impressive extent, in their Fables-based series The Wolf Among Us.
The interesting thing about Telltale’s adventure games is how they make the given source material work in harmony with a gameplay structure that is wholly reliant on dialogue and point-and-click environmental puzzles. In The Walking Dead, the player’s actions and choices affect who in the group lives and dies; trusting the wrong person with a weapon or choosing to help the wrong person in a dire situation can kill a lot of people, and permanently change the outcome of your game. In The Wolf Among Us your choices affect the direction of your murder investigation; if you’re too aggressive with a character early in the game, they may be reluctant to answer your questions later, for example. The genres Telltale chooses dictate how their games will play, and so far we’ve seen two distinct types of story that work well in this format. As far as we can tell, it looks like Game of Thrones will lend itself beautifully to the mechanics as well. This is a world that is all about politics and scheming. You’ll know from watching the show how a single event can have fatal consequences. Interestingly enough, this is the first of these games from Telltale where you’ll play as several different characters, which seems like a perfect way to allow player-characters to die permanently.This wasn’t possible in The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us, and something tells us it’s thematically fitting to the world of Game of Thrones. I bet George R.R. Martin would approve of the idea, anyway.
The game will be divided into six chapters released over time, and Telltale promises the first chapter, Iron From Ice, will be available before the end of 2014, on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, Windows and Mac.
Images: Telltale Games, HBO