A Preview Of A Game Of A Game Of Thrones

A Lannister always protects his nips

An important point, I hope: Game Of Thrones the game existed and was in active development before Game Of Thrones the show did the whole sexy Tolkien thing on our TV screens. While this is of course no guarantee that it is more Stark than Frey, it does mean we don’t need to worry that it’s been rushed to market to capitalise on Dinklagemania. The TV show came about early enough that developers Cyanide were able to redesign their takes on characters including Cersei (she bones her brother!), Lord Mormont (he hates his son but he’s a good sort otherwise!) and Varys (he’s got no goolies!) to use their respective actors’ likeness and voices, but we’re told that, for the most part, the game was designed closely around the books.

“When we showed George Martin The Wall,” says lead designer Sylvain Sechi of introducing the books’ author to the giant, miles-long icy structure/metaphor that protects the land of Westeros from the wildlings (and worse) that lurk up north, “he says ‘that’s a very, very big wall.” Upon their explaining to him that they’d made it to scale according to his description, he replied that “I wrote it too big!”

Much is made of Martin’s consultation and apparent approval, though it is admitted that he’s not a gamer so may not be an entirely reliable witness. (I’d also argue that the degree to which he mucks his readers around in the most recent two books perhaps doesn’t make him an entirely trustworthy judge of what makes a strong narrative, but that’s probably just my bitterness speaking. )

He hasn’t written GoT:TG’s story or dialogue, but he has advised on it and even given information on what’s due to happen later in his books to ensure none of the game’s new characters wind up in the wrong place at the wrong time and none of his characters say something that contradicts their future behaviour. And so it is that this is a side-narrative that sits alongside the first book/season, occasionally interweaving with Martin’s characters and tale but for the most part documenting a brand new adventure for two brand new characters.

Those are Mors Westford, Night Watchman – a ramshackle but tough military division made of up former prisoners, fallen nobles, disowned bastard sons and good souls with guilty consciences, tasked with guarding The Wall in the name of whosoever happens to hold the Iron Throne.

Mors has been on the Wall for 15 years when the game begins, so he’s old, he’s grizzled, he’s not too much of a looker and he’s initially clad in the dark hood of a Ranger. By his side is faithful and most certainly not cute dog, which he will later be able to order around and even control to some degree if the player pours their upgrade points into the Skinchanger tree.

On the other side of Westeros is Mors’ sometime friend Alester Sarwyck. He’s returning to his well-to-do home in RIverspring after 15 years away to attend the funeral of his father. The Sarwycks are a vassal of the Lannisters, the family of Westeros’ duplicitous, power-hungry brother-lovin’ (and also brother-hatin’, depending on which one you mean) queen Cersei. At this point, however, the Lannisters’ grand schemes and betrayals have yet to come to pass. No-one yet knows they’re playing the game of thrones. The iffy politics of Westeros is all present and correct however, with Alester’s prime motivation for having left Riverspring being to escape an arranged marriage to his own sister. Ew.

During his absence, he’s pledged his faith to R’hllor, Lord of Light – an act of borderline illegal blasphemy but one that has granted him some mysterious fire powers. This is low rather than high fantasy, and Red Priests’ abilities are often a matter of suggestion and trickery rather than overt magic in the books (at least at first), but there’s definitely mysticism at play here alongside more outwardly explicable stuff like using a flammable oil (Wildfire, geeks) to temporarily turn a standard sword into a fiery sword.

“The Red Priest was difficult to do because Melissandre [Stannis’ minion/puppeteer, and the perhaps the most openly magical character in the books] was not typical of their powers,” admit Cyanide. So George Martin had to put them “on track with some spoilers about what these guys can really do.”

So that’s the setup. The story is split into chapters which will largely alternate between the two, though eventually they meet up and join efforts. Most of the time, whoever you’re controlling will have some sort of companion character to help drive story and pitch in during fights. The game apparently contains around 270000 words of dialogue (“as much as you get in the first book”) and will take around 25 hours to complete if you rush through it, more like 35-40 if you explore everything.

It is a linear game, a fixed story with only a handful of (apparently quite sizeable) side missions. At one point it was going to be something of a Skyrim-style sandbox, but the decision was apparently made that “we really want an impactful story” as that’s more in keeping with the source material. I can’t attest to which is the right decision without playing hours of it. I’d certainly love to play something that was organically pushing and reshaping the boundaries of Westeros’ ruling families domains, a sort of hybrid of Total War and STALKER: Clear Sky, but I totally appreciate that going sandbox is so often a recipe for random quantity over focused quality unless you have a monstrous budget to call upon.

The other major foundation of Martin’s books and the resultant show (sexy funtimes aside) is, of course, wanton violence. GOT:TG seemed to have all the hallmarks of a hacky-slashy meathead marathon, so I was a little surprised to discover that it’s actually built around tactical pause-time combat in the vein of Knights of the Old Republic or Dragon Age. To an even greater degree than those are, I think. You pause, up pops some ability menus with the fight going on in super-super-slow motion behind it, you chain together up to 3 attacks, moves, spells, potions and whatnot, including switching foes mid-fight if you wish, you resume and then it all plays out in real-time.

It’s also surprisingly statty. In a somewhat MMOish way perhaps, with messages like ‘bleeding’, ‘miss’ and precise HP loss popping, but in many cases this is there as a prompt to employ particular abilities. Mors, for instance, has special attacks which will cause double damage to bleeding enemies. Hammering your way through apparently won’t get you very far, so in theory it’s a game of thrones, observation, tactical thinking and even memorisation.

On top of that, your character build will be on that in theory reflects your preferred playstyle rather than a Skyrimian jack of all trades. Of course I can’t speak for how fluid and comprehensible this is going to be in practice, but there does seem to be a vested interest in making this a cRPG rather than Mass Effect with swords and incest.

That said, moral and conversation options will apparently come back to bite you on the arse. Early choices can have after-effect seven chapters later apparently, while the broader option of using cunning and caution rather than outright brutality tends to mean a longer-winded but less difficult time of things. For instance, charge and area and all the guards will be alerted and rush you, or use Mors’ Skinchanger ability to have his dog sneak about, occasionally using an assassination bite attack to take loners out unseen.

It aims also to specialise in the grey areas of ethics, in nastiness and in grime. One quest resolution involved saving or killing a child. A visit to a local brothel presented, um, homely staff rather than the glamorous denizens of the TV show’s cathouses. There’s no romance. It’s grubby. I really, really need to play it to form any fixed opinions, but I’m certainly leaning towards it being a faithful passion-project, not the cold cash-in we feared after the confused, sodden strategy of Game of Thrones: Genesis.

I didn’t see any dragons, nudity, red comets, Dinklages or shocking important character deaths, sorry.

Game of Thrones is out in June.


  1. Inverselaw says:

    we should have an over/under betting game for the release date.

    A game of a game of a game of thrones if you will.

    • pitak89 says:

      And a guy who doesn’t take any of this seriously.

      He would be making a game of a game of a game of a game of thrones.

      • Chufty says:

        In honour of that man’s nonchalance, I’ll roast him some guinea fowl.

        It could be the game of a game of a game of a game of a game of thrones

        • Bettymartin says:

          I’d be game for some of that.

          • Syra says:

            You win or you win or you win or you win or you win or you win or you die?

        • Det says:

          I’ll game your game of a game of a game of a game of a game of thrones to help myself to an unfairly large portion of the game! HAHA!

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I bet you ten quid I win the over/under game

    • psycho7005 says:

      I just lost the game :(

  2. Iconik says:

    Insert all the jokes we heard in an article about this game from a few weeks ago here.

  3. jonfitt says:

    In The Wall video at 0:44, is that Kratos?

    • DuddBudda says:

      I thought so, but then I was cringing so hard at Mormont I could barely see

  4. kastanok says:

    My feelings on this are changing from largely disinterested to ‘hmm, it might be alright’.

    Steam has it listed as £30. For that much, as things stand I just can’t afford to splash on something that might be a grand disappointment however. Waiting for the reviews.

    • westyfield says:

      Me too, on both points. Would love for this to be good, but not willing to take a risk until I’ve read the RPS verdict.

    • Cinek says:

      My feelings on this game were along the lines:
      lol :D

  5. Adekan says:

    “Plot Trailer 2” Is just the same trailer with Russian subtitles, FYI. Edit: I see you’ve caught that snafu already.

    On the subject of the actual game, I remain slightly hopeful. The graphics look pretty dated, but I’ve never been about the graphics anyway. The voice acting from the trailer sounds pretty damn good, and what little plot I’ve seen from the trailer sounds pretty GRRMish.

  6. Baresark says:

    My issue with this is simple. George RR Martin suffers from what a lot of writers do these days, he doesn’t know how to write a conclusion. My buddy just finished book 5 and he tells me there is no end in sight. As such, things that are based on that property will suffer from the same thing, ultimately. George RR Martin will not finish the books before he dies (most likely), HBO will not finish the show, and any games won’t finish it either. It’s almost enough to keep me from continuing with anything having to do with it.

    That said, if it’s a good RPG I will probably get it. I love a good RPG, even if it’s based off of something with the worst pacing around.

    • smeghamr says:

      Yeah, well, maybe not everything has to end.

    • MasterDex says:

      If I was a superstitious man, I’d so be hunting you down right now. But I’m not, so I’ll let it slide….this time. Having read all the books thus far, I can envision an end in sight. Everything is ramping up to a grand conclusion.

    • Werthead says:

      There will be 7 books, with a slight possibility (which the author is trying to avoid) of it sliding to 8. Books 4 and 5 spend a fair amount of time setting up the slide down to the endgame of the series, but this involved a fair bit of plot-housekeeping which isn’t the most compelling narrative by itself (although both books still have solid moments in them, just not as wall-to-wall as the first three).

      This is the same problem that WHEEL OF TIME had (not that WoT was ever as good as ASoIaF in the first place, but anyway): the author tied himself in knots and there ended up being several ‘set-up’ books (all of Books 8-10, elements of 6, 7 and 11) that were not as good as the other ones. The subsequent books forming the conclusion of the series have been much better, however.

      As for the TV show, HBO has been given an outline of the rest of the story by Martin. Assuming the show doesn’t get cancelled (and as it just recorded two series-best ratings, has been renewed for a third season and just won its bazillionth award, this isn’t an imminent threat), the show can proceed to a conclusion even if GRRM is hit by a falling satellite tomorrow.

      • DuddBudda says:

        I could never read WoT – that first book was too much of a 13-year-old’s tolkein rip for me to want to read a dozen of the flipping things
        aSoIaF may be jarring on some similar issues, but when it’s dull at least it’s original
        Dune was the same imo

        • Werthead says:

          A good example of executive meddling. The series (WoT) was originally rather different with a much older, war-veteran central character. The publisher insisted that the author changed it to something more LotR-esque to hook in casual readers. He definitely overcompensated. In Book 2 he does change things around completely and most of the LotR similarities are left behind, but by that point those readers who’d been put off by the similarities had already checked out.

        • f1x says:

          Dune was perfect from book 1 to 6, (the ones that actually Frank Herbert wrote not all the other spinoffs)
          It managed to keep surprising and bringing interesting characthers, just that there is obviously a change of direction from book 1-3 to book 4-6, as there is also a time jump, but I simply love all of them its a glorious story arch with a perfect conlusion that makes you look back and see how it was a worth trip.

          Same as for example Metro2033, I was afraid of the conclusion but it came super satisfying, but then its only 1 book so its relatively easier

          I’m not sure about ASoIaF, book 5 its been definitely willing to settle things, but how? seeing as there is a shitload of plots that have not been resolved in the past, I dont see how it is possible to tie everything, thus the deception is going to be inevitable when most of the misteries are left unresolved or banally resolved/kicked away, main problem I think its the fact that the book is trying to make you change your opinion on the characthers (aka hate lannisters then after a while realize they are actually not that bad) too often or either killing them that at some point you simply dont give a damn

    • Resonance says:

      Given GRRM started out writing short stories and has a range of success with standalone novels unrelated to ASOIAF your assertion appears a little baseless…

      The guy clearly knows how to tie up plot threads; given the range of them that have been cleverly tied up over the course of the series so far. The problem with ASOIAF is the sheer scale of the narrative – plot threads require a lot of time and attention to end in a satisfying manner,

      Given you admittedly haven’t read the novels I shan’t be to harsh, but your friend is a fool if he can’t see the reasoning behind the slower pace of books 4 and 5 – all set up for the next novel – the story is coming to an end.. How it ends and who survives is the question but by the end of the fifth novel all the pieces are set up for the finale…

    • killias2 says:

      The problem is a bit more complicated than that. Truth be told, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons are both one “book,” as events are largely simultaneous between the two. However, they weren’t originally supposed to be part of the series at all. Martin was planning on skipping ahead a few years, using Book 4 (the original Book 4) as a setup for the finale, then ending it in two books. It actually would’ve paralleled the first three well, as A Game of Thrones is basically just a setup for A Clash of Kings/A Storm of Swords.

      However, when he started writing this way.. he realized he had real problems jumping in time. He ended up telling far too much of the back story anyway, but only in a much more narratively difficult form. After messing with this for a while, he gave up, and he started writing the A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

      If you remember this back-drop to his latest two books, it’s not hard to understand why he’s had such difficulty. These aren’t stories he was planning on focusing on, and he wasn’t sure what all to say and what to leave off the table. On top of that, this project quickly ballooned beyond one book, which necessitated cutting it in half. Divorcing the material and re-building it into two separate novels became a gigantic proposition in and of itself. He’s basically run into the mother of all problems moving passed this “middle” part of the story.

      However, I get the sense that the conclusion is well formed and, likely, has been since the beginning. It’s just a matter of if he can maneuver the minefields and actually get there….

      Here’s hoping he succeeds, although, honestly, I get the sense that he never has any actual time to write anymore. Judged based on his blog, he spend 90% of his time traveling and doing promotion, and the other 10% just trying to sort out business at home during the brief interludes in his travels.

    • Syra says:

      Well the original plan for the number of novels has been revised a couple of times (lol, trilogy…)

      He has however stated that after 4&5 which are really just one book split into two (no news yet on if that means 7 total will be 8 total afaik?) no new character arcs will be introduced and winter will be played out in earnest.

      Also if you think HBO have invested however much they have into the show and not put a clause in with the publishers in the event of GRRM’s death that they can conclude the series, or indeed that the publishers won’t use GRRM’s notes to finish the series, you’re quite delusional.

      • killias2 says:

        Martin has straight up admitted that he has told HBO the broad sweep of how the series ends. If he dies but it’s still popular, they’ll keep going.. with or without books as material.

        • Syra says:

          That explains how they are consolidating or changing certain parts of the books to streamline the series. I did wonder if that might cause later inconsistencies.

        • Werthead says:

          Much more to the point, HBO will keep going regardless of whether they have books to use or not. If GRRM has not completed the final book by the time they get to the final season, they will produce it anyway (based on his notes and hopefully with him writing the final episode).

          Assuming no cancellation and no premature demise, it is probable to near-certain that we will see the end of the SONG OF ICE AND FIRE story on-screen before we read it in a book. That’s going to be interesting.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      I liked book 4 and 5. I don’t agree with the criticism they get, i think the problem is that people are being too impatient and hungry for resolution. Don’t rush, just enjoy it… World won’t end tomorrow.

      Unless you die, i guess. But you can die any day.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        Not me, I’m going to warg into my hamster!

        I agree totally, I loved the last books, especially Dance.

        • Syra says:

          I agree they are still good but they do lack something of the bite the earlier ones had. I actually liked feast more despite the fact that NOTHING HAPPENS… Dance had this weird thing where it seemed super unorganised then at the end EVERYTHING HAPPENS and it left me a bit raw.

    • Groove says:

      “My issue with this is simple. George RR Martin suffers from what a lot of writers do these days, he doesn’t know how to write a conclusion.”

      Yeah well, conclusions are really complicated to

  7. salad10203 says:

    This reads like it came straight from the developer. Where is the opinion on whether the game will be good or bad?

    • Adekan says:

      Why would he have an opinion of how good a game that he has yet to play is?

      That’s like saying you expect someone to have an opinion on your cooking before you’ve even turned on the stove.

    • elhreno says:

      Well, it may be good, or bad, or something in between.

  8. Hug_dealer says:

    This is what im spending my money on instead of D3.

    I think the game will come out right at a Decent level, the same as what mass effect was. And hopefully minus the stupid side quests that ME added.

    It uses a d20 rpg system from what i have heard. So the mention of mmo has me wondering.

    Also, if it is out in June? why does steam have it listed as a week away?

    • Werthead says:

      The release date was around 10 May until a few weeks ago. It got pushed back to June to allow time for a final polish-up. Steam presumably hasn’t updated the release date yet.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      THAT desperate to make a stand against D3 huh? Tsk tsk.

  9. Smashbox says:

    “At one point it was going to be something of a Skyrim-style sandbox, but the decision was apparently made that “we really want an impactful story” as that’s more in keeping with the source material.”

    To me, that quote says:

    “At one point we were going to design an environment appropriate to the medium, but the decision was apparently made that we would rather shoehorn in the limitations and strengths of a completely different medium.”

    EDIT: That sounded really negative, but I’m not really down on the game, honestly. I Love the Books, so I want this to be good.

    Also, this seems like a good place to link the A Song of Ice and Fire Crusader Kings 2 mod (still in development but progressing rapidly) : link to citadel.prophpbb.com

    • Adekan says:

      Honestly,a thrilling storyline is not what I would ever classify any sandbox game I’ve ever played as having. Oblivion and Skyrim both had snoretastic main stories. It seems like they’ve gone with what would best fit the source material.

      • DuddBudda says:


        in my experience, the only games that run a compelling story in tandem with any kind of open world use the DX model – open-ended level followed by open ended level

        make it open world and that ‘we have to deal with thing x right now’ chat gets pooped on when you spend a month completeing all the sidequests and then forget about the game because sidequests are voring

    • Hug_dealer says:

      to me, it reads they realized that you cant do open world and have a compelling story. Look at any open world game. They all come off as kind of meh, all the elder scrolls, fallout games.

      None of them have great stories, or characters. The only one that has ever come close is fallout new vegas, and thats because It was obsidian, and thats what they do. But even in that game, you get lost in 100s of other things to do, and the main story doesnt move along and waits for you, removing the illusion of a living breathing world reacting to your actions.

      • wodin says:

        Sorry but no one can do open world and a compelling story where the compelling story isn’t linear, they can do a linear story in an open world environment, which means main quests along a pretty linear route thats to say the main quests are already preprogrammed and lay’d out in advance and then side quests which are all pretty much the same as each other but you have a never ending supply of them in some kind of random dungeon.

        If some one can make an open world game where nothing is really lay’d out and the world changes around you and your quests may or may not influence things is the day we truly have an open world game. When that happens and also the world looks populated by more than a couple of hundred people is when I will be excited by the words open world.

        • Hug_dealer says:

          fallout 2. you can finish the game immediately, without following the story, There are other examples also.

          I think you need to reread what i said though.

          • Syra says:

            Fallout 2 is my favourite game of all time. You can just do whatever you want. Open world and a compelling story.

          • wodin says:

            Sorry mate..I didn’t read your post properly. Yes I agree with you.

            As for Fallout 1 and 2 I can only praise those two classics in everyway.

            It’s 3D FPS RPG games with an open world I have issues with as being every repetitive. If it wasn’t for the amazing graphics and scenery of Skyrim it certainly wouldn’t have got such high praise. it looked lovely and felt like a real world until you got to a town or supposed City which had about 10 people living there.

          • Zelos says:

            Fallout 2 is one of the best games of all time, but the story is anything but compelling. It’s practically the exact opposite.

            Most people I know would completely every sidequest in the game before even touching the story, not because they want to complete every sidequest in the game but because the main story is so damn uninteresting.

        • Smashbox says:

          Crusader Kings 2 accomplishes this better than any other game I can think of. Amazing, memorable stories that only I have seen.

          • wodin says:

            CK 2 is an amazing open game experience, however again it’s not a 3D FPS RPG. Those are the games that I feel just don’t work. that well as open world games. I mean exactly how many times do you want to kill a bandit in another random dungeon or cave.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Don’t forget that it’s hard to write a compelling story without the issue of player choice. I feel like it’s addition just makes it harder, not impossible. Games are inching closer to it from all directions though. New Vegas is probably the best story in an open world this gen, but I think BG came the closest to being pure open world and having a great story.

        I believe that the industry was crippled by the closures of Black Isle and then Troika, as well as the increasing graphical requirements and changing publisher roles. This has artificially retarded the growth of the industry, but now we’re seeing an explosion of pent up creative energy as digital distribution (particularly steam), bundles, and kickstarter solve the business impediments to creativity.

      • S Jay says:

        Dragon Age: Origins?

    • diamondmx says:

      Sandboxes are a poor place for a developer to tell a story.

  10. Duckee says:

    I am so confused. Who is developing this game? I just read an article that claimed and praised the Norwegian studio, which is unknown to everyone but themselves, called Artplant for a browser based Game of Thrones MMORPG. Is this the same game?

    source (Norwegian): link to nrk.no

    • kud13 says:

      The RPG is being developed by Cyanide. The same guys who did BloodBowl and (I think) that Strategy AGOT game, Genesis.

      • The Malkavian Bear says:

        Lets hope its a hell of a lot better than Genesis…..

      • Werthead says:

        The same company, but not the same team. IIRC, GENESIS was done by the company’s Canadian division, whilst the RPG is being handled by the Paris studio.

  11. Montanha says:

    I normally don’t complain about graphics, but the lack of facial expressions is what bothers me most about this game. Also, based on the trailers, the dialogues aren’t as good as they are in the books and the TV series. Unfortunately my expectations about this are really low.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      dialogues in the books often range from good, to downright bad. And the tv series happens to be able to pluck the good ones from the bad, and add their own.

    • Alec Meer says:

      From what I could tell there seemed to be a bit of a difference between the bespoke characters and the recreations of actors from the show. Mormont was OK, but Cersei definitely looked a bit Max Payne 1.

    • Werthead says:

      The game was written in French, so it’s possible the problems are down to a bad translation. Mormont mentioning ‘Wall’ several times repeatedly in the trailer is rather disheartening.

  12. kud13 says:

    Well, it seems I was right in that they are trying to make it a Witcher wannabe RPG. THrowing in Bioware’s combat.

    I generally like ASOIAF series, despite the wait on ADWD, so I’m still intrigued, if nothing else.

  13. wodin says:

    I for one am pleased it’s not open world with the monotony of rinse and repeat quests…yawn. Infact after Skyrim I’m not sure I’m going to bother with another open world RPG until at least tech is sufficient to give the world some life (I mean cities in Skyrim consist of about 20 people, obviously I’m not after thousands but when we start to get a couple of hundred citizens in major districts I will be happy) and a quest system that isn’t the same old thing dressed up as something different. Give me a more linear game that has a fair amount of gameplay, say around 30 to 40 hours, and a feeling of being part of an epic story I’m more than happy.

    Infact this article has really got me interested in the game. It sounds like it’s going to have alot of depth and I also like the sound of the combat mechanic.

    Looking forward to it. I wonder if this is going to be a surprise hit.

    • Wizardry says:

      You do know that the majority of the CRPG genre outside of dungeon crawlers are open world, right?

      • wodin says:

        Yes I do. Skyrim had beautiful outdoor environments, and nearly all the open world bits i.e sidequests resorted in you having to enter a cave to kill a bandit or some such.

        You can’t argue that open world in current CRPG’s i.e First person 3D means you have hundreds of rinse and repeat quests and a sparsely populated world. Also most of the quests will be in a dungeon or cave of some sort.

        When we finally get dynamic worlds where events happen or can happen in your game that might never happen in someone else is when we truly have a dynamic open world.

        CK2 doe sit, so does Dwarf Fortress and a few other games but no modern CRPG has so far. One day it will happen and I will be very happy to see the words Open World and bemoan the words Linear, until then linear really doesn’t bother me aslong as it doesn’t last about 10 or so hours, I do want the adventure to last awhile and the story and gameplay overall is good I’m happy.

        • Harlander says:

          The original Slaves to Armok (where DF is Slaves to Armok II) was an attempt to create an RPG with dynamic story generation baked in.

          I really hope it gets picked up again some time.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Convincing open worlds don’t require more tech. On the contrary, open worlds have lost fidelity in some ways as graphics have increased. Jeff Vogel’s games have great villages with tons of people.

      You really have to judge it on a studio by studio basis, and remember that narrative content creation takes a lot of time and energy that cannot be made by machine (although Dwarf Fortress or an imitator might change that). There’s a reason that most of the games that have great cities with oodles of content only have one or two. In my quite limited experience, Fallout 1 & 2 are the exceptions that prove the rule.

      • wodin says:

        Again I’m talking about 3D FPS RPG games, not other styles which are less graphic intensive and more can be devoted to the open world.

        Using the old ISO engines I expect you could really get a proper living world going now with todays tech.

        It can be done, but as mentioned further up once they started concentrating on graphics rather than gameplay things changed.

        • InternetBatman says:

          My mistake. Although I believe procedural content generation can solve a lot of these problems, although it would necessarily involve a graphics hit until procedural middleware can be built.

  14. Bloodoflamb says:

    “I’d also argue that the degree to which he mucks his readers around in the most recent two books perhaps doesn’t make him an entirely trustworthy judge of what makes a strong narrative, but that’s probably just my bitterness speaking.”

    It’s not bitterness if it’s true. Martin has completely lost the spark in his novels. While the two new books aren’t BAD, the sharp writing and focused story-telling that so characterized the first three books is no longer there. The series has devolved from what could have been one of the best, and best written, fantasy series ever, to a pedestrian mishmash of too many additional uninteresting characters, repetitive language, and (seemingly) pointless narrative diversions.

  15. Discopanda says:

    The best part about the SOIAF series, IMO is the symbolism and the themes. Though book 4 and 5 got a lot of criticism, I thought they covered some very compelling themes.


    Book 5: DIAHHREA.

    • DuddBudda says:

      jon snow and stannis getting drowned beneath a brown blizzard really made the book for me

    • Syra says:

      It’s not just diarrhea, it’s the bloody flux! Magic dysentry!

  16. Drake Sigar says:

    I’m impressed. Game of Thrones: The Game wasn’t even a blip on my radar before this article, so convinced was I that it was going to be another cash-in. Now it’s looking like something I definitely want.

  17. Ateius says:

    I dunno about Alec, but my Skyrim character did in fact reflect my playstyle, what with the whole “skill-ups depending on what you use” system.

    That aside, an excellent piece that has got me more intereted in GoT:TG than I was previously (which was “not at all”). Looking forward to hearing more from the Hivemind on this.

  18. HaVoK308 says:

    All this time I thought it was an Action/RPG.

  19. Yglorba says:

    The description here reminds me a lot (in a good way) of Betrayal at Krondor, a similar adaptation from a doorstopper fantasy series. Hopefully it lives up to that legacy.

    (I think Betrayal at Krondor also found a happy medium between the free-roaming / linear plot issue, where they gave you a clear narrative structure divided into chapters that affected the world as they passed, but gave you broad freedom to wander around much of the world within each chapter and pursue that chapter’s goals as vigorously or lackadaisically as you please via whatever route you please. Hopefully they manage something like that here.)

  20. thebigJ_A says:

    I don’t think there’d be an arranged marriage with your own sister. Incest is still considered wrong in Westeros, with the sole exception, formerly, of the Targaryens. It’s why the truth getting out about Jamie and Cersei is such a big deal (that and the kids being bastards, ofc).

    So, they’ve screwed up one bit of lore already. :/

    • Jigoku says:

      I’m pretty sure Alec got it wrong on this one.
      From what I gathered, Alester was not meant to marry his sister.

  21. Bishop149 says:

    “Cyanide were able to redesign their takes on characters including Cersei (she bones her brother!), Lord Mormont (he hates his son but he’s a good sort otherwise!) and Varys (he’s got no goolies!) to use their respective actors’ likeness and voices”

    Ugg I hate it when they do this. . . why not be a little creative and re-imagine things as YOU see fit rather than just stick to the TV series version of everything. Might save you a bit of cash in royalties too.

    I probably feel over strongly about this because Emilia Clarke is such a loooooong way from the image of Daenerys Targaryen I formed in my reading of the books . . .

  22. Nastorius says:

    “Upon their explaining to him that they’d made it to scale according to his description, he replied that “I wrote it too big!””

    This made me laugh so hard. I always thought GRR Martin’s architecture is borderline ridiculous. The Eyrie is probably worst in that regard.

  23. Shadowcat says:

    1) This game should clearly be titled simply “Thrones”.
    2) Pink Floyd?

  24. pipman3000 says:

    it BETTER be completely accurate and true to the book down to the last lemoncake

    *gobbles up giant-sized lemoncakes*

    *is george r. r. martin*

  25. kukouri says:

    Too bad the first Game of Thrones game that came out on Steam awhile back has made me cynical about any other games based on it.

  26. LostViking says:

    If game developers put the same amount of work into licensed titles as original ones (like Half life and Halo), who knows what might have happened. The game of thrones setting is brilliant, but it is not going to be realized by any half assed game :(