Have You Played… Game Of Thrones: The RPG?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

No, not that Game Of Thrones game. The other one. The one no-one talked about. The RPG one. The one that was, confusing, based mostly on the books but had some TV people making plastic-faced cameos in it. The one a whole mess of people said was rubbish, but, aha! It was not, I tell you, it was not.

Game Of Thrones suffered from dreadful acting and a stumbling start, which understandably put a great many people off it, but it grew into itself. Even one of the initially disinstered-sounding lead actors seems to suddenly clock that, actually, he might be doing something half-decent and becomes far more enthusiastic later on. (Remember that this was during GOT: the show’s earliest days, so this was not yet at the point where any actor would do terrible things in order to land a role in something with ‘Thrones’ in the title). There are also fascinatingly novel approaches to RPG combat, plus a stealth section involving a psychic dog which… yeah, makes more sense when you’re there.

It’s nonetheless a wobbly mountain of a game, and enjoying it requires the player to take a fair few annoyances and repetition issues on the chin. It is worth it, not least because this is that rarest of things: a truly complete Game Of Thrones tale, and one rife with satisfyingly dark consequences to earlier actions.

Such a shame it lacked, particularly, the dialogue quality that we’ve come to expect from our glossiest RPGs – Game Of Thrones is unfairly forgotten, for all its flaws.

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28 Comments

  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Bought it but couldn’t get through the cringeworthy introduction. Spent more time rolling my eyes than following the cutscene, so I stop playing it with about 45 minutes played.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Yes and I am quite fond of it, warts and all. I’ve actually just started replaying it as part of my reread of A Song of Ice and Fire (other than the licence and two actor cameos it clearly takes much more inspiration from the books than the show) and have been doing a blog recapping the plot. So if anyone is interested in a recap of the story without having to play it themselves or spend hours watching a let’s play here’s a link to that.

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    Gnarl says:

    Yes! It did very to capture the feel, but only just against the shoddy more-or-less-everything of it. The ending(s) are all a bit optimistic too.

    • HopeHubris says:

      Game of Thrones /aSoIaF can be a little bit optimistic. I mean, things generally go to shit immediately afterwards, but that might happen just after the ending

  4. Richard Cobbett says:

    The opening couple of hours are so, so bad, but when the actual plot is revealed it really does start improving quickly.

  5. RED says:

    It was pretty decent RPG with few lows like graphics and general feel of low budget, but story… god that story blew me away. There are few games which can squeeze pretty strong emotions out of players. Game of Thrones RPG is one of them.

  6. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    Underrated little gem. Good story and some interesting characters.

  7. Talahar says:

    It really gets better the longer you play it. :D

  8. Jimbo says:

    It was ok.

    The one no-one really talks about is AGoT: Genesis, the strategy game by Cyanide. Probably because no-one played it.

  9. Freud says:

    I did. It was a bit wonky but once you got into it I quite enjoyed it. Decent story and the combat was somewhat challenging.

  10. Digital Osmosis says:

    I liked this game! The dialog was meh to bad. The combat was pretty good until about 70% of the way through, when you figured out all the tricks and the enemies kept getting more HP – after that it just became incredibly tedious. I’m pretty sure I cheated after that, because I was hooked on the plot. The actual plot, and the structure of it, is one of the best GoT fanfics I’ve ever read. It gets the structure, pacing, and bleakness of GRRM down exactly right. For example, you play as the two main characters in alternating sections for at least ten or fifteen hours. Obviously you know their storylines will converge at some point… but **SPOILERS** when they do it’s in the middle of a dungeon. The protagonist you’re playing walks in on the other protagonist being tortured… and they are shocked and pleased to see each other again, since they were best friends twenty years ago. It’s something the game was going to make happen but knowing about their past suddenly allows the game to fill in a lot about their individual backstories, and yet the scene plays off like a big twist because of the circumstances and the strength of their familiarity. I also love the narrator **SPOILERS AGAIN** telling you right before the final boss that only one of them is going to survive, and then letting you pick which. It feels bleak and nasty and about the past and political power and appropriately westerosi.

    • Freud says:

      It was a while ago so I’m not sure I remember it correctly but *** SPOILER *** I think in my ending both died. First the red mage killed the nightwatch guy and then gave the child to Varys. Afterwards he stayed and told Cercei that he wouldn’t hold up his part of the deal and she had her guards kill him.

      So it was a bleak ending, but fitting considering what the protagonists had gone through.

      • Premium User Badge

        Oakreef says:

        ***EVEN MORE SPOILERS***
        There’s actually five different endings. First you are forced pick which character gets to survive the final fight (before even knowing why the final fight is going to take place, unless you figured out the foreshadowing) and then afterwards once either Alester or Mors is dead you can choose what happens to the baby. For Mors you can give it away to Varys in which case he returns to the Wall and finishes the game with a lovely speech to some new recruits about how they’re already dead. Or he can take the baby and go on the run with it, becoming a deserter. For Alester he can give up the baby to Varys to take away and then confront Cersei, which results in him being killed or he can hand over the baby to Cersei in which case he ends up committing suicide anyway (so no matter what the ending Alester dies). If you somehow manage to lose the fight against Valarr then there’s another ending where Varys just hands over the baby to Valarr to present to Cersei.

  11. Rahdulf123 says:

    Massively overlooked game and probably best use of the property so far for video game purposes. Lack of budget comes though, but when its two stories converge it makes for a hell of a narrative.

  12. Anthile says:

    It’s one of the most underrated and overlooked games in recent years. It’s not amazing; the combat is rather repetitive if well-intentioned and the voice acting is all over the place. However, it absolutely nails the feeling of the series. This is a brutal, brutal game. Some of the story beats may seem predictable at first but those only serve to distract you from the big emotional sledgehammers right to the gut. And you’re going to love it for that, just like the books and show.

  13. CitizenX3639 says:

    I liked this game more than most, here is my steam review:link to steamcommunity.com
    It was defiantly an ugly environment but hey, that’s GoT. Easily a must Steam sale game for those who enjoy the series or 3rd person action.

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    Aerothorn says:

    I became deeply invested in the characters’ stories, and the ending I got remains one of my favorite video game endings. It’s probably the last ‘rough’ Thrones game we’ll see for quite some time – everything else will essentially conform to the polished HBO ideal of the series, and may in some ways be better for it, but will never really stand alone as a complete, self-contained experience set in that world in the way that this game is.

    Also probably literally the most underrated game of the last five years – not in the sense that this is a Spectacular Game, but in that it’s a Pretty Good one that somehow got tons of 4/10 trash scores.

    (I looked up the other 4 on Youtube later and none of them were as good/felt as right, so that was also satisfying).

  15. Rogerio Martins says:

    Yes, the story is just amazing. Yes, the game is buggy, derivative with terrible graphics and voice acting, but the story itself is awesome, the characters are well written and the quests fun.

    And the protagonists are both very well written and awesome.

  16. Fly says:

    As for me this game was perfect after flaws in Dragon Age 2. Everything was better, especially combat. And the story… I fell in love this Cyanid games it. They don’t make AAA projects, but they make complete and strong games which you can enjoy if you can close eyes on some flaws.

  17. LetSam says:

    I wish the Beyond the Wall DLC had been longer.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      The only DLC that’s worth getting is the one that makes the model of Mors’ dog less ugly.

      • LetSam says:

        That and the weapon pack I did not get. I liked that it looks like an ugly mutt. Fit its owner.

        Has anyone mentioned Maester Martin so far? That was gold in how terrible it was. The only character to speak with an American accent and yet a neat nod to GRRM.

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          Oakreef says:

          He’s also blatantly wearing a pair of modern spectacles. It’s all a rather silly aside. I still laughed at the bad jokes about his “histories” taking so long to write.

  18. CrazyCatGentleman says:

    Waiting for second season of Telltale games

    -Dead-

    link to deconceptos.com

  19. malkav11 says:

    I keep meaning to. I own it (along with several other Spiders RPGs) and hear it’s worth it, but I have so very many other games to play, including tons of other RPGs that are probably higher priorities.

  20. bill says:

    Considering how massive GoT has become these days, I’m kinda surprised they haven’t revisited this in some way.
    (either decently, or as a cash grab).
    It sounds like they could go back, polish up (or just cut out) the crap bits, and re-release it.
    Or, alternatively, if they no-long have the license, try the old Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries trick of releasing an “expansion pack” for it.

    I do actually own it from a bundle, but I haven’t installed it.
    I have a soft spot for flawed gems, but I also don’t have the free time for many RPGs these days.

  21. klink-mit-panzerslip says:

    I did play. Then, waiting for the next episode, for some reason, I switched computer and find out there is no cloud save, unlike in other Telltale Games.

    It does not look that they, Telltale, consider that to be a problem.