Fans of the Game of Thrones television show should take care: Game of Thrones: The Game is first and foremost an old-school role playing game. The game looks as though it was designed with RPG fans in mind as opposed to offering something more familiar for fans of the television series. In many ways, GoT:TG has more in common with George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books than the HBO drama. Still, the developers managed to work in the likenesses of some of the characters from the show offering a little continuity between the game and the HBO series.
GoT:TG relies on standard RPG systems of inventory management, loot gathering, skill trees, lengthy dialogue scenes, and slower/strategic combat. The section of the game we played took place in King’s Landing – specifically Chataya’s Brothel and the dungeons and labyrinths below the Red Keep. The visuals are not overly impressive but the twisting alleyways of city and the dark dungeons under the Red Keep feel right for the world of Westeros.
It seems that most of the player’s time will be spent in combat or engaging in long conversations between characters. Combat centers on selecting, readying, and activating skills and abilities to create a series of attacks. This means that the player must choose carefully in order to ensure that Mors or Alester can use ranged, melee, and healing abilities in the right order for maximum effect.
Character abilities are accessed through radial menus. While accessing them, the game does not pause but everything simply slows down (similar to what you’ll find in The Witcher 2). As a result you can still be attacked while searching for the right ability to activate, which offers a bit of extra tension and strategy to the game.
Thankfully, it looks like the Game of Thrones RPG is not trying to pander to the fans of the HBO series but is a game designed with gamers and RPG fans in mind. Fans of the books may also have incentive to play since the game will visit locations the HBO series has either ignored or not yet covered. The game also features its own unique 30-hour narrative that takes place near the end of book one – Atlus’ Aram Jabbari mentioned that people around the realm are still talking about Ned Stark, “and it will rhyme with his first name, if you know what I mean.”
Overall, Game of Thrones: The Game looks promising as a throwback to old-school RPGs with a focus on careful character progression, thoughtful leveling, and strategic gameplay. It launches May 15 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
Make sure to check out our interview with Aram Jabbari, PR & Sales Manager at Atlus, as he talks with us about Game of Thrones.