Warning: Mild spoilers for the first episode ahead.
Telltale is by now a household name for dramatic storytelling in video games, with well developed characters and intriguing, entertaining plot lines. Games such as "The Walking Dead" or "The Wolf Among Us" have shown new heights that can be reached even with mediocre source material, and the recent "Tales from the Borderlands" shows that they also succeed at comedy. Their track record gave rise to hopes for a good "Game of Thrones" game, of which there haven't been much lately. So, did Telltale succeed? Not to beat around the bush too much: most of the time, yes.
In the first episode, released this week, you are playing as three different characters of the not yet developed northern house Forrester, located somewhere in the vicinity of Deepwood Motte. The story kicks in right at the Red Wedding, where you as Lord Forrester's squire, the lowborn Gared Tuttle, have to try to save your lord and escape the carnage. Back at Ironrath, the seat of house Forrester, the family has to come to grips with the new realities under Bolton rule. Your player character switches to Ethan, the young new lord who has to set aside his toys in favor of ruling. You're torn between the advice of a grizzled old knight pleading for war and a lowborn castellan pleading for diplomacy. All the while, your sister Mira is in King's Landing as a handmaid of Margaery Tyrell, trying to help her family from afar...
Telltale's games are a very peculiar beast in the gaming world. I always few them as the spiritual successors to the 90s interactive movies, a popular genre back in the day. It's not that those games would have much gameplay - you have an occasional quick-time-event, sometimes you walk around, clicking stuff, and often you choose between dialogue options. But that's about it. Usually, you watch the story unfold. I've played my fair share of Telltale games by now, and I think I have a fair grasp of how they work. However, if you don't want your experience spoiled because you don't know what to expect, please seriously consider skipping the next paragraph.
|Ramsay and Lord Whitehill.|
|Cersei Lannister. As if you didn't know.|
|The Catelyn clone that is Lady Forrester.|
|Pictured: a fair and responsible lord|
|Ethan, rolling the hard six|
|Telltale made its name with The Walking Dead|