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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Video Game Review: Game of Thrones

5.0 out of 10

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When you play the videogame of thrones, you give up … or you die.

That about sums up this game, unfortunately. Created with the help of George R.R. Martin, you'll find yourself immersed in the fictional world of the seven kingdoms and winter is coming and yadda yadda yadda. I can't possibly get you caught up on the entire storyline, but suffice it to say, you can expect a less-than-terrible learning curve if you actually start getting into this game.

You know how in Martin's fantasy series, there's an insane number of characters and it just gets more and more ridiculous with every new book? Well, you can have some solace in knowing that the storyline of this particular game stays a little cohesive. You'll either play as Mors or Alester, and you'll start out in the Night's Watch, which seems like a lot of fun. It should be fun … you're defending the world from creatures beyond the wall, and you're doing it with a sword.

There are just a few problems that keep this from being fun:

The graphics are awful.

The sound regularly screws up. It's scary and tense when the sounds actually match up with what's happening on the screen … not so scary and tense when you hear a weird sound FX that doesn't correspond to the actions.

The fighting can be incredibly dull, even by RPG standards. With games like Dragon Age and Skyrim out there, every developer should at least have a pretty good idea of how to put together a passable fighting system.

Did I mention the awful graphics?

You can't really discredit Martin's decent storytelling in this game, but that isn't enough to make this game worth it. And I'm being kind of nice about this, too … the story is somewhere around A Feast For Crows, not Storm of Swords. That's a drastic change in overall quality, if you're a fan of Martin's series. And I am. I really am. I liked the idea that I would be defending the Wall. I liked that I would have an opportunity to play inside Martin's world.

I just hated the graphics. And the sloppy animations. And the horrible combat system. And the bad sound FX. It all piles up, and after a while you just want to turn off the game.

Bottom line:
Even if you're a fan of Martin's fantasy world of Westeros, you probably won't have the patience to get very far in this game. If you're not already a fan of the books, you'll probably want to burn the disc … which is a bad idea regardless of whether you rented or bought it.

And I strongly recommend renting it.

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