There are 7 really long novels and 40 hours of TV but if you need more Game of Thrones, a new Telltale Series is here with six episodes forthcoming. Episode One: Iron from Ice focuses on House Forrester, a lesser house, which I don’t remember at all from the books or show. But it’s understood they are a real house in the world of Westeros and not one created just for this game. That’s obviously a good way to go if you’re a game developer — a House that’s relatively unknown and unmentioned provides more creative freedom and less threads to weave together.
The game’s teaser trailer shows a different look than The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us. It has less of that comic-book feel to it now. I’m all for new things but this isn’t new. Maybe there is a contractual obligation to maintain realistic likenesses of the actors in the show (Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer, Peter Dinklage), but the quality of the graphics is very iPad-ish.
But I can get used to that as long as it plays like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. As I noted a year ago when it was announced, the key to a successful Game of Thrones episodic game is how it handles its characters. The book delves deep. The show not as much. An episodic game should come somewhere in between. How will Telltale deliver? Both the RPG and MMO tie-in games sucked, but they didn’t suck because they didn’t explore the characters. They sucked because they just sucked. An episodic game is expected to explore. Can’t be plot-driven.
I was excited a year ago. After seeing the new teaser trailer, my expectations are somewhat lowered, but considering the episodic model requires excellence to sell its subsequent episodes, and given Telltale’s track record, I’m betting Iron of Ice will be pretty darn awesome.