Bullet Point Review: Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 5 – A Nest of Vipers


It is a bit unbelievable that this is only my second piece of gaming content since creating this site. I’m ashamed :'( *sniff*. But anyways, instead of writing long and drawn-out articles about games. I would instead like to cater for the TL;DR crowd, *ahem* including myself. I will be doing reviews by listing the top 10 things that I enjoyed about the game and the top 10 things that I disliked about the game. Essentially combining two of my favourite things: reviews and top ten lists. And so the Chewns’ Bullet Point Review is born! First up on my gamer playlist is Telltale’s Game of Thrones series with the latest episode number 5: A Nest of Vipers. Enjoy!

P.S. I will keep this as spoiler free as possible…

The Cons – Nay!!!

10. The betrayal

Depending on your choice, one of your advisers in Ironrath will betray Rodrik. While this is definitely very Game-of-Thrones-like, it felt forced and I did not feel like it was deserved. There could have been some more fitting reasons for betrayal. Or a betrayal from a different character that made sense. The betrayal was also way too obvious, I saw it coming a mile away.

9. The length

It seems to be a trend with Telltale games that the penultimate episode in the season be markedly shorter. Game of Thrones is no exception, but what’s worse is that there was some definite padding here and there. Most notably the rabbit hunting nonsense.

8. Rodrik is cripple? or is he?

But he throws away his crutch as if he can just decide whether to be cripple or not. He obviously just felt like being cripple this whole time and then decided against it later.

7. Beskha’s past

Beskha continually insists on Asher keeping her secret. This annoys me because she should know that there are way greater powers in play than her past. Daenerys has taken over Mereen and Asher is about to join a war, I don’t see why Beska is still so caught up in her stuff when Asher goes out of his way to please her.

6. The Bow and Arrow

During Gared’s story line the player had to hunt some rabbitses. Sadly the bow and arrow mechanic was shit. And we were not given enough chances to figure it out. It might have been better just left out of the game.

5. Ramsay Snow

From the series, we know that Ramsay Snow is obviously alive and well after the events of the game. I feel like it was unnecessary to have such a powerful and effectively immortal foe for the Forresters when the Whitehills were enough for this role.

4. Daenerys

For some reason, the Telltale version of Daenerys is uncharacteristically mean to Asher. I feel like she does not resemble the much loved Khaleesi from the series. Not only does she snub Asher but she also tries to recruit his uncle. That entire situation just seemed weird to me.

3. Freezing frames

I am playing on PS4. In my game, almost every scene ends with a weird little freeze frame. I am guessing this happens because the game is about to load the next scene and gets stuck. This is quite jarring for me and I would have liked a smooth transition between the game and loading screens. Instead of worrying that my system might have crashed every couple of minutes.

2. Loading times

Why are the loading times so long for such a small and relatively simple game?

1. The Game Engine:

We finish of the con list with a problem that quite frankly plagues most of the recent games developed by Telltale Games. The game engine sucks. I understand that they are trying to find parity between all devices but I am playing on PS4 and I feel like the game should run, play and look a bit better than it currently does.

 

The Pros – Yay!!!

10. It’s Game of Thrones

I mean come on! Who does not want more Game of Thrones content?

9. Increased action

This was quite an action-packed episode and it was lovely seeing Asher in action and being an overall bad-ass along with Gared and Rodrik.

8. People die

Is this not why we watch the series?… *ahem* along with boobs… This episode contained a couple of major deaths with great bearing on the story.

7. Shock factor

Leading from my previous point there were definitely some shocking developments. I was left staring blankly into space after some scenes.

6. Rodrik got laid

Awww yeah! Rodrik’s decisions with Elaena can lead him to getting some action. I may be mistaken but I think this may be the first time this kind of thing has happened in a Telltale game. It’s cool either way.

5. Mira keeps scheming

Mira’s time in Kings Landing playing “the game” is quite entertaining. I somehow managed to impress Cersei this time around and had a great interaction with Tyrion. Although it was clear that the entire scene had no real bearing on the overall story.

4. Story lines converging

At the end of this episode we finally see some of the the different parts of the story converge. While I expect Mira and Gared’s story to continue in following seasons. The Ironrath and Mereen story lines will probably come to an end in the next episode.

3. Asher is a bad-ass

Man, he was killing fools left and right and taking no shit from anyone. I enjoy playing as Asher, he may be my favourite of all the playable characters in this series.

2. Massive decisions

The end of the episode forces you to make one of the biggest decisions in a Telltale game to date. Essentially deciding the tone you will be taking in the coming war. Some of the other smaller decisions also felt more impactful than in earlier episodes.

1. Spectacular setup

This episode was the set up to the impending war between the Forrester and Whitehill houses over the Ironwood groves. The ending of the episode not only leaves us with a sense of loss but also gives us a stronger reason to fight for the Forrester family. I can’t wait to pick up that sword and ride into battle!

 

Overall Impressions:

This was a great and entertaining episode. It managed to deliver quite a bit of action, dialogue and meaningful choices despite being a setup to the impending battle in the next episode. Asher was bad-ass and Mira is definitely getting better at playing the game. While Gared’s scenes were a bit weird and padded, the introduction of the White Walkers will no doubt have bearing in the future. Rodrik getting laid was unfortunately the best part of the Ironrath story line but this should end nicely in the next episode. Anyway, let me know what you thought of Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 5!

 

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Image credits: Telltale Games


About Yanas

Largely irrelevant, emphasis on the "large". Named for the lord of wisdom, makes unwise decisions on a daily basis. Because, why not?