Game of Thrones is one of the finest examples I have encountered of a game that’s nearly good. Game of Thrones will surprise you with its well written story and dialogue, its twist and turns and its fairly inspired gameplay, while conversely coming across as completely rushed and buggy. Most will likely not be able to trudge through the deluge of muddy textures and terrible voice acting to get through the 30 or so hours of gameplay. That’s a shame because the story told by Mors Westford and Alester Sarwyck is genuinely interesting.
At first I was worried that I wouldn’t “get” the game due to my complete lack of knowledge of the series, but after some back research and actually sitting down with the game I am convinced that it did not hinder my experience of the game. From what I can tell the characters that are in the show don’t even really look anything like their in-game counterparts. This is indicative of the game in general. It just feels lazily slapped together at times. That’s not to say that there’s no fun to be had here, however most of it occurs at the end when the story really takes center stage.
Some of the models in Game of Thrones look absolutely dreadful. They could honestly be found in a last gen title. The animations aren’t much better. They range from unnatural and stiff to absolutely ridiculous. On top of the bad models, it seems like they only made 4 or 5 different character models at times. You’ll see cut scenes where a guy and his 4 twins are in the corner chatting it up. These moments triggered out loud “are you serious?” moments from me often. This is just laziness on the part of the developer.
The music often cuts in and out, it loops at weird intervals and is generally not good. Every now and again the music will stand out and match up nicely with a big moment in the story, but that’s only before going all weird again.
The combat is actually one of the game’s strong points. There are plenty of options to build your character, even if you only need one or two attacks to finish the game. The game’s main component is pressing L1 or R1 to slow down the action. This slowdown allows you to plan your attacks using a menu wheel system and it’s actually fairly intuitive. While doing this you can switch between characters and coordinate your attacks, return to normal speed and wait until your energy recharges so you can do it again. This is actually a pretty interesting idea, except that you only really need to use 3 or 4 attacks for the whole game.
All in all Game of Thrones is a lesson in laziness. The potential is fully there. They had an interesting combat system, great writers and a great story, but really nothing else came together. The near constant muddy textures, glitches and bugs will be far too much for the average gamer to overlook. That is, unless you’re a giant fan of the series. You can literally walk through some of the landscape in the game. People complain about Bethesda games being buggy? This makes them look like the most polished games around.
Thanks to Atlus for supplying us with a copy of the game for this review.