When interrogated, did you tell Cersei what she wanted to hear or did you side with Margaery? Were you honest with Daenerys Targaryen? Did you stand up to the Whitehills or did you kneel to bide your time?
For the vast majority of the Telltale’s Game of Thrones series, the choices players were forced to make have been tough but at the same time they felt disjointed. In episode 6 of Telltale’s Game of Thrones season finale, it all comes crashing down and we must suffer the consequences for the choices we’ve made. And in typical Game of Thrones fashion, it doesn’t matter what you chose, it’s going to end in heartbreak and horror but it’s a great ride while it lasts.
In a Game of Thrones season finale, every character is liable to be killed off. Knowing this ramped up the tension all throughout the episode. Even the most minor things made my stomach churn with suspense, thinking that this would be the untimely end of characters I so desperately wanted to keep alive. But this isn’t just done to torment players. It’s justified by the narrative. The writers aren’t afraid to take everything from you and this makes for a gripping interactive adventure to cap off the first season of the game.
Your choices really do matter
Sometimes Telltale games have been a little bit of a letdown because your choices leading up to the climax don’t really have much of an effect on the story. This final episode of Game of Thrones on the other hand succeeds in creating a ripple effect with every choice you made earlier in the season. This adds a whole new dimension of replay-ability to the entire season and will surely be a headache for narrative game completists such as myself. But to their credit, replaying the game to find out just how the seemingly minuscule choices early on affect the story’s overall arc is going to be one of the most pleasurable headaches in history.
All I will say about the game’s climax is that it legitimately broke me. I can’t say enough good things about the game’s writing and acting. The storytelling’s execution is flawless. George R. R. Martin himself could take some pointers from Telltale’s team.
As to be expected, there are some lip sync issues, glitchy textures and some pregnant pauses in the middle of scenes. But does it really hinder your enjoyment of the game? It didn’t for me. I’m merely mentioning it because it will bother some players. If it does, just take a deep breath and it will pass before you exhale.
Minor bugs aside, Telltale has put together an incredible Game of Thrones story. So much so that it’s very close to eclipsing the HBO show. We can’t wait to see how Telltale plans to follow up an amazing first season. And though the wait for the second season will be long and arduous, replaying the first season over and over again to see all the story’s different paths will certainly make the waiting easier.