I know I rarely look at games that perform badly but I think this is an interesting case because of the game’s connection to one of the most popular TV shows now and its failure to make an impression despite huge strides in the industry itself. However, it does go to show that one of the golden rules in the gaming industry is still standing strong.
That's pretty much the whole of Game of Thrones. Sad dialogue, combat, sad dialogue, combat, sad dialogue, more sad dialogue, something outright horrifying happening, sad combat, and so on repeated in varying orders for a bit more than 20 hours. I'll admit that as a fan of the source material, I did find myself increasingly willing to put up with Game of Thrones' mediocre mechanics and ass-ugly graphics for the sake of pushing forward in the story. At points, its tale can be quite gripping. But between its healthy dollops of bloated dialogue, its endlessly embittered tone, and its perhaps unsurprisingly bleak conclusion--no matter which of the multiple endings you end up with, mind you--I ultimately found Game of Thrones too soul-draining to enjoy. There is fan service to be had here, but the trade-off of what you have to endure to experience it isn't balanced in your favor.
Cyanide's middling adventure RPG may whet the appetites of courageous souls that want to steep a tad longer in the world of Game of Thrones. Less ardent fans should move along and be thankful that HBO already bested the perils of adapting and expanding on such rich source material. As we've learned from the devious Seven Kingdoms, good intentions can lead to disconcerting results.
I still enjoyed my time with the game though, and appreciate what it brings to the table story-wise. Whether any of the events featured here will make their way into the canon proper I’m not sure, but as a side story it’s certainly an interesting tale. And once you spend a little more time with the combat you’ll find a better experience than the first few hours let on. So yeah, if you’re a big fan or even just a fan from the T.V. show with little interest in the books, I’d say you should eventually give this one a look.
Although Game of Thrones is far from the best RPG you’ll play in 2012, fans of the show and/or books will really enjoy the story here. After all, it’s a long time until The Winds of Winter. The game is heavy on conversation and exploration and exceptionally light on combat. When there is combat it’s extremely easy and dull. As such, games who like hack and slash RPGs might be better off looking elsewhere. Fans of the series or those that grew up with tabletop RPGs might appreciate the fact the game is combat-lite but even they will be a bit disappointed that you can literally stand up and walk away from combat to do something else and come back to find your opponents dead. Game of Thrones definitely isn’t for everyone, but I did have fun with the game and I’m even contemplating a second playthrough to see what I missed.