Game of Thrones Episode 3 starts to reveal the avenues that the series will go down and hinting at possibly where they might end. Unfortunately, those avenues look, not predictable in the means players will reach them, but somewhat predictable in their end. That is especially true now more than ever, as Episode 3 starts to reveal plot points that those who have read the books or watched the show will know never happen.
So far, Telltale has done a reasonable job of carving out their own place in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe with their introduction in Episode 1 (even though it was very similar to what we've seen before). That trend continues somewhat as many of the similar characters in Telltale's Game of Thrones follow those that have already happened. The similarities between the Forresters and Starks, and all the Whitehills seem to be varying degrees of Ramsay Snow (with a few exceptions), continue. Think especially on where some characters are going and how they mirror quite heavily those they interact with (hint: pay attention to Jon Snow).
Preexisting material not only affects Game of Thrones Episode 3 in that way, but seems to limit where we as players can see it going in the future. Hinted at earlier, those that have an even small awareness to the universe will know how some plot points Telltale are pushing won't work out. Considering how popular the books and TV series are, one would expect this kind of issue to have been on Telltale's minds.
Instead, Telltale seems to be sacrificing some of their originality in attempting to get as many cameos from the show as possible. That may be unfair for now, but some of the ways Game of Thrones Episode 3 seem to be pointing reflect that mentality. Of course, not everything has been revealed about certain areas of the story, so I could be wrong. But for now, much of the tension and curiosity is lost because I know the story won't be going where it presents itself as ending up.
But, that is not true for everything as there have been more characters introduced and certain plotlines developed that are original to their story. So far though, they don't seem to have been fully utilized. With that said, Game of Thrones Episode 3 only marks the ending of the first half, there is plenty more to go. Hopefully, less time will be spent with characters/events/stories we already know so we can see things from Telltale's creation.
Looking at the overall story, Telltale seems to be trying to outdo George R.R. Martin in the viciousness and hopelessness that permeates much of the universe. In some sense, Telltale seems to be trying to outdo the Stark's misery with the Forresters. The intense amount of hopelessness is around every corner, almost to the point of exhaustion. There are some places that the Forresters have little hope, but the chances of certain allies coming through for them is very slim, particularly so if you know about the events that happen later in the books or show.
But, Telltale does a reasonable job at keeping the idea that player agency will keep that hope alive. Game of Thrones Episode 3 continues the difficult decisions of Episode 2, and those decisions seem to be the only thing offering hope. Nearly every storyline followed in this episode heaps on more and more hopelessness, but some are mildly offset by some choices you as the player can make. However, if I have learned anything while playing this, any decision I think is the right one is almost always exceedingly crushed by unforeseen consequences.
Though, that is the world Martin has created and Telltale has done a good job keeping the tone. However, they may be overdoing it a bit so far. Less people have died than I thought would have by now though. Game of Thrones Episode 3 has set up plenty of deaths for the future, so I don't think that's too much of a worry.
Telltale's usual technical issues reared there head here unfortunately as well. There were quite a few times where the game would nearly stop while someone was speaking to pick up again. There were also some places where the audio just sounded terrible. And this was the first time where one or two characters didn't do all that good of a job with the voice acting.
The visuals continued to be roughly the same. Drogon and his animations were not all that great though - obviously Telltale did not spend as much time on those as they would have liked. Some moments really did capture that oil painting look, but, again, for the most part it just made most objects look fuzzy - as if they had some bad AA.
Game of Thrones Episode 3 does a good job of moving the story along, but those that are familiar with the story and universe may question where it may be going in some places. Regardless, this was another great installment that should please both fans and those new to the series alike.
This game was purchased by the reviewer and reviewed on the PC.
This was another great installment that should please both fans and those new to the series alike.(Review Policy)