It has been almost a year since the Game of Thrones series by Telltale Games arrived – to a rather mixed reception from me personally. However, over the course of the episodes that followed it managed to form a great connection between the gamer and the characters, whilst adding much more action too. Now, with ‘The Ice Dragon’ finale looming, it’ll be interesting to see if Telltale can create that fine balance to the end of the season, which should aim to bring closure to story arcs but also leave enough there to entice the gamer into the already announced second season.
Given that horrendously difficult choice at the end of episode five as to whether the player saves the noble and inspiring Rodrik or, Asher, the no nonsense action man, it was sad to see either of them take one for the team. For the purpose of my main playthrough, I had to save Asher because he’s been the star of the series since his first appearance in Meereen. Gared was still making his way to the North Grove, in a journey that put plenty of obstacles in the way, alongside Cotter and Sylvi. Meanwhile, the despicable Mira was manipulating everyone and anyone that she came into contact with, because this is Kings Landing after all and that’s just what people do.
Saying goodbye to Rodrik couldn’t have been more difficult, however, having Asher alive for who knows how long is vital to the success of ‘The Ice Dragon’. Once again I’m loving the responses available for selection and to be able to see him grow into this place of responsibility he has now that Rodrik has, involuntarily, relinquished the title of Lord at House Forrester. It’s worth noting there are some decent action sequences involved using QTEs, thus keeping the player on their toes in between the rather laid back approach one can take for conversing. The House will rise or fall with Asher at the helm, making each and every decision vital to ensure that whatever happens… Ludd Whitehill gets what’s coming to him.
Mira – that irritating, generally boring girl who has survived far too long for my liking – may have to watch her back after making enemies faster than King Joffrey ever could. It seems as though someone is out for her and although you will find out whom, I just can’t be bothered with all the backstabbing and lies that surround her. There isn’t ever a good outcome from a response chosen by the player; it’s either tell lies or throw someone else under the bus. I’d go as far as saying that out of the five characters that can be controlled at certain points in the series, she’s almost the villain of the family.
Last but not least is the incredibly docile Gared Tuttle, an honorary Forrester for as long as he’s on this mission. The North Grove is on the horizon, but all isn’t as it seems and in all honesty, the people you’ll come across are pretty odd. There’s a spot of fighting to be done which requires good reflexes as buttons pop up really quickly. Moral decisions are a regular occurrence in the Game of Thrones world, which is why I was pleased to see Gared having yet another dilemma thrust upon him where his heart says one thing but his head says another. The consequences are… well, we won’t really know until next time.
I can’t imagine it being easy to develop ‘The Ice Dragon’ because on the whole, Telltale Games have delivered an episode packed with enough closure, emotion and action to warrant a finale. The fact that this isn’t the proper end of the series means they had to leave small windows of opportunity for stories to carry on. That doesn’t mean that no one dies, nor does it mean that this is a mass culling of the Forresters, as with Game of Thrones, anything goes. Most importantly the technical issues that plague many of the Telltale series’ have gone, for now.
This series has captured almost everything you’d expect to see in the world from which it was adapted. I’ve come to accept that the writing is rarely going to match that which we’ve become accustomed to, but the rest blossomed into a great tale of families and betrayals.
Until next season… IRON FROM ICE!