GameofThrones_Featured
Game of Thrones is the latest episodic game series released by TellTale games. As is custom, the episodes are being released two to three months apart. This time there is a sixth episode, contrary from the usual five, and we’re partaking in the wonderful world of Game of Thrones. The events of the game take place right after the end of the show’s third season and will continue to right before the start of the fifth season.

Story

Things happened in this episode. And I mean that positively. While I’ve thought the last three episodes were rather slow, this one was absolutely fantastic. The events that have been building up in the previous episodes exploded. The chapters flew by. I enjoyed the faster pace. It kept me intrigued and this is what I’ve been waiting for from this series. There were still political manipulation moments as it is Game of Thrones, but they were underscored as compared to all the action and tension. Even with my lack of knowledge of the universe, I was able to follow everything and understand the character’s motives, or lack thereof. It honestly felt great to understand what was happening and still be so intrigued by all the action and tension.

I won’t spoil anything, but this episode had some of the best moments from the characters as well. Elena was on par. Rodrick was right up there with her. Heck, everyone was doing their part this episode. At a later point in the game you can make a wrong decision on the dialogue wheel and end up dying, but even that fake ending impressed me to no end, even if it only lasted about an extra four or five seconds. In general, the ending impressed me. Maybe I’m not used to the Game of Thrones universe yet, but I did not see it coming and I was thoroughly impressed.

While I liked the story this episode, I do have a quick complaint. The chapters in the episode felt very uneven. The first two chapters were extremely short, gone in the blink of an eye, and the other chapters were longer than those first two, feeling much more dragged out. This caused the beginning of the episode to fly by while the later part felt longer. It just felt wrong to me. I prefer either a steadier pace or the beginning being slower while the ending picks up with that speed.

Graphics

If you’ve been keeping up with my Game of Thrones reviews you’ll know that I have been less than impressed with TellTale’s work in the graphics department, but, this time, I think they really stepped up their game. It still wasn’t perfect, but it was much better than previous episodes and wasn’t nearly as distracting. Instead of having one thing insanely blurry in the background, constantly bugging you as you tried to focus on the characters and dialogue wheel, they kept everything at a minimal blur that didn’t bug me nearly as much. There was still that obnoxious, overly blurry object here and there, such as some of the doors in the background of chapter three, but they were far fewer of them this time around. This made it so much easier to get through as I was not distracted by it constantly. Overall, though the graphics still weren’t perfect, but TellTale put considerable effort in this time around and I appreciated it; they finally took notice of the flaws. Finally.

Audio

The music was on par, as it has been in the last Game of Thrones episodes. I’m still very much in love with the opening theme and love every minute of sound in between it and the ending credits. The voice acting is great, not missing a beat and reflecting the character’s emotions well. The sound effects are good, not too late, not too early, and not something completely out of place. As usual, TellTale has not disappointed me here.

Gameplay

The episode, for me, was just under two hours. As is TellTale’s style, the episode was the standard click-and-point with a branching dialogue wheel. There were a couple of quick time events scattered about here and there, but they were extremely easy and not meant to create too much of a challenge. In certain areas you can explore your surroundings, inspecting things and touching those the same things. It’s simple, but just as effective.

Probably my favorite part of the gameplay in this episode though was the use of the crossbow. That’s right. After neglecting the use of it in episode three, we were able to use it in this one. Granted I didn’t find the shooting section as intense as the one in episode two and you did have the option to skip the use of the crossbow, the crossbow was actually available to be used. TellTale didn’t just make us use it in episode two for it to never have a purpose again. I was so ecstatic at this choice (in case you can’t tell). I was so happy my ability to shoot things was restored.

Score

I did have some complaints, but they were minimal and much more trivial than the ones I had for the previous episodes. Overall, I thought this episode was rather amazing and can’t wait to see what TellTale has in store for us in the next two installments. I look forward to it.
4.5 Product Review - HTG

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