Xbox 360 Review: Game of Thrones

Should you pay the Iron Price?

While I haven’t yet read the books, I’ve been watching Game of Thrones since Day 1. I was shocked when Ned Stark got his head chopped off by that bastard Joffrey and suddenly I was captivated into wanting to see his head on a spike. Season 2 has just finished and well, obviously that didn’t quite happen thanks to the efforts of Tyrion Lannister, who is by far the best character on the show. I was hoping for a game to reflect the epic nature of A Song of Fire and Ice, but then I began to play…

You play as Mors, a member of the Night’s Watch and Alester Sarwyck, a red-robed priest of R’hllor who returns home after a 15-year absence following the death of his father and becomes instantly embroiled in the politics of court. It’s a good story overall, although it’s a real shame that we don’t get the chance to play as any of the main characters, yet we only come across a few of them like Cersei and Lord Commander Jeor Mormont and Lord Varys, the latter two of which are the only actors who did real voice-overs for the game. I suppose because they are quite minimal characters in the show, they had some free time to record dialogue, but it would have been nice to have the rest of the cast in there.

Gameplay consists of turn-based combat like that of say, Dragon Age but not nearly as refined and is repetitive by design. You will get choice-trees in conversations that will change events of the plot, which is a nice touch, but it’s a hard sell when the combat is dull. There are moments that fans will enjoy, but you have to put up with a lot of awful moments to get to them and the real question is, is it worth it?

It doesn’t help that the game looks like something from the previous generation, I cannot remember the last time I saw visuals that looked this dated. Westeros doesn’t look pretty at all and the facial animations are pretty bad. Voice-acting is good from James Cosmo and Conleth Hill, but the rest of the cast is a mixed bag and there are some pretty bad lines thrown in for equal measure. The music matches the epicness of the show, but it doesn’t make up for the weak sound effects.

The Verdict

I love Game of Thrones, I so wanted to love the actual videogame. Instead what get is a game with dull combat, poor visuals and pretty bad voice-acting. Fans will enjoy the story, but I personally don’t think it’s enough to get you through to the end. I hope that we do see another return to Westeros in the future, but maybe when the next-gen consoles land and hopefully with a much better team at the helm.