Saturday, 13 July 2013

Game of Thrones: Video Game: Played Until It Crashed

Why hello, Aaron here from Harvey's computer, we are back from travelling, so here is an article I wrote before we went away. Articles regarding our adventures will follow as soon as I can get to my home, rather than just theirs. Hope you stuck with us despite cripplingly absence, and enjoy.

Like most of the games in my embarrassingly big Steam Library, I got the Game of Thrones Video Game (Annoyingly titled just Game of Thrones, unlike Genesis) for about 75% off in a Steam sale, and I was never expecting it to be great. A view things might try and fool you into thinking they gave a shit about this game. They have voice actors from the show! Specifically, two voice actors from the show, Jeor Mormont and Varys, only the latter of whom can read his lines without sounding like he has the desire to commit ritual harakiri. It has a deep RPG based combat system, and impressive this console-generation graphics! Eh...You'll eat those claims yet. Cue the picture.

Don't be fooled into thinking those are the graphics, I have reasons to believe that is just a nice picture.

So yeah, you may have noticed in the title, after the awkward surmise that this is the Game of Game of Thrones. Played Until It Crashed, and that is because yes...Indeed, I could only make this thing run for a square 53 minutes before it fucked itself over and died. But don't worry, those 53 minutes seemed like forever. Remember how I said Jeor Mormont sounded like he wanted to commit Seppuku while reading, well I wanted to while listening as well, every piece of Dialogue save from Varys is both so painfully delivered and also utterly bland generic fantasy tripe and trope. Blagh, cue next picture.

Are you a HARDCORE GAMER who loves a CHALLENGE?! Well this Game is piss easy on Lord anyway, so move on.

As a Historian it bugs me the quote is appropriately accredited, but y'know what, even I can't find fault with a title screen. (Except, y'know, this is really damn lazy)

Varys then talks for ages in a piece so well scripted I assume it wasn't really made for the Game. I imagine when he appears in-game he shall want to die like everyone else.

It is almost like I'm looking at an actual inflatable doll of Jeor Mormont. 

I guess it meant immediately South, but South of the Wall is a pretty damn broad area. This also warranted a screenshot as that play button down there had actually broken, I kid you not.

And now in the dubiously titled Prologue you meet own hero, the ugliest mofo north of The Wall, Mors Westford. Or wait, is that the guy Mors was hunting, man these guys are forgettable.

I was going to critique this for lazy exposition, but judging from the voice acting, I'll gladly take all the walls of text you can give me.
Oh yeah, wait a second, this is Mors, no less ugly. In-fact he looks like a deviantartists wet dream. All those hoods and chains, though he does appear to have a waist capable of supporting his upper body so perhaps not.

So yeah, it tries to give you the illusion of choice, you can make Mors really lucky, smart, or sturdy, but I looked into the actual stat changes and they barely alter a thing, also you can decide the name of the fancy sword-swipe that Mors will use every few seconds when the button turns back from black and white. There are also two other classes that aren't "Hedge Knight", but one is basically "sword and axe" and the other is "Sword and Shield". Eh, maybe I'm being too harsh, it just all seems very not Game of Thrones. I mean if we are talking thematically here, skill distribution for types of slashing should be way down the list in my Game of Thrones RPG.

Welcome to the Night's watch...All 7 of them, and they are about to execute one. That is Jeor Mormont talking by the way, sadly a great character, though for the purposes of this review he might have to be slaughtered.

So yeah, you can pick what dialogue you say in this, though it is both A) disconnected and B) completely irrelevant. You select the concept of what you are going to say, rather than the actual words, and the conversation will always correct yourself irrespective of what horrible thing you make Mors say.

And this is a very strange scene where Gerold admits that he would've gladly forced sex upon the recruit who just died. Your responses are basically. "Oh Gerold you rascal" "Oh my god I can't believe you are a rapist" and "Bit insensitive eh gerry?" 

Then Mormont explains like, the entire Night's Watch mythos to a bunch of recruits in the most uninteresting way possible, especially if you already know the canon depressingly well. You can bet I selected "Enough Talk".

 So yeah, then Mors kills Gorold even though that is almost definitely Mormont's role in the book. "He who passes the sentence must swing the blade" and all that. Then Mormont kind've, just waits around near the corpse forever, like he is waiting for you to leave...Disturbing.

Now this scene won the game some bonus points, Celtigar is actually a fairly prominent House in terms of the books, and it is nice to see some class warfare being shown as well, shame it was terribly delivered and the responses added nothing.

Christ, no wonder there are 7 Night's Watchmen left if this counts as training. Mors totally kicks all their asses to an eighth of their health. This is also the first showing of how god awful the combat system is.

Again, another nice touch shows that they paid attention in the World-Building with Jon Arryn, why not more of this?

Again, a nice reference to the very first scene of A Game of Thrones regarding Will and Gared, and Sir Royce.

I think I've been harsh enough. This map right here? Perfectly fine. 8/10, would select from again.

Oh boy, fighting Wildlings...Nope, just two guys pounding each other with really blunt swords.

Oh yeah, plot, so like, Mors and his new recruits he pounded 9/10ths to death have to go find a guy who murdered another guy because that is 90% of the Wall's questing economy.

Oh yeah, the inventory system sucks complete ass as well, everything is really unresponsive and you have no way of making stuff line up, or knowing what it does. It makes the Day-Z inventory system look like a bastion of good design and planning.

So then some Wildlings pop out of a door and straight up murder Ronnet Hill I think he is called, though who really gave a shit about him. Seriously, clearly meant to emulate the "anyone can die" feel of Game of Thrones, but I need to actually give a shit about the character before you take a throwing axe to his lower jaw. Mors proceeds to batter them to death with his really blunt axe.

So Mors like owns this guy in an elaborate cut scene to try and make you forget you just spent 3 minutes hacking away in the world's most boring MMO-style combat system. Seriously, Dungeon Siege 1 has more immersive combat than this game.

And then you torture this guy through really painful to listen to Dialogue for about 7 minutes, I can't even remember what about, the location of some guy, but not the guy you were sent to find, he died several cut scenes back....And then it crashed. 

Yep, this is as far as Game of Thrones allowed me to get, I may try and make it work again and capture more of this shit, but yeah, as you can gather, I give this one hell of a low score as a video game in general, as a game supposedly representing A Song of Ice and Fire, then it falls even lower to like a 2/10, and that is only because it remembered who the hell the Celtigars and Arryns are. Wow. Even Genesis was better than this crap, maybe I'll show you Genesis next.

Anyway, for now, playing bad games so you don't have to.  


  1. I read a read a review that described this game as "a joyless slog through a dull and ugly world". And a "wasted opportunity" which is a given.

    1. Yeah, one day we might get the GoT game that actually lives up to the series name. Until that glorious moment, we have the board game.

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  2. On roughly the same subject, did you see that the youtubes have graced your Ice and Fire podcast with an advert?

    1. Hooray, now the corporate machine truly can spring to life. Soon WaC t-shirts will be mandatory wear.

  3. Last picture, that man has an insanely large left hand and arm. Are the graphics that bad throughout?

    1. They are horrendous, sorry for late reply. Yeah, the combat animation just makes everything look so much worse as well, be thankful these aren't gifs.

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