Anyone who has played Telltale Games’ excellent “Game of Thrones” series (one of the best games of 2015 so far) up to the just-released fifth episode shouldn’t be surprised to know that there is blood and heartbreak in this 2-hour episode of this incredible game. Really, anyone who’s watched the Emmy-nominated HBO show could tell you that the penultimate episode is one of those scripts in which actors and actresses hold their breath on first reading, fearful that they won’t make it to the final page.
It’s no spoiler to say at least one character with whom you have become invested won’t make it to episode six of “Game of Thrones.” And, once again, the choice is yours. Episode five of “Game of Thrones,” subtitles “A Nest of Vipers,” is one of Telltale Games’ greatest accomplishments. There are multiple action scenes, intense character development, and a climax that will have you screaming at the TV like the first time you saw the Red Wedding go down.The emphasis has been placed even more firmly on Rodrik, the current leader of House Forrester, stuck in a nightmarish dynamic with the Whitehills and the vile Ramsay Snow. Since the day he climbed off a cart of dead men, Rodrik has been faced with a dozen tough decisions, and he’s faced here with some of the most important of his entire life. There’s a scene late in the episode that I won’t spoil but my blood was boiling as past decisions I have made as Rodrik were thrown back in my face as mistakes. Again, Telltale redefines game authorship.
These weren’t Rodrik’s decisions or a developer’s decisions—they were MY decisions. And I stand by them, even as I watch them lead to tragedy.
Meanwhile, Asher has freed Meereen with Beshka and is still recruiting slaves to bring back to his brother Rodrik. Time is running short and Asher has to impress everyone who crosses his path enough that they want to put their lives on the line for his cause. In King’s Landing, Mira continues the political cause to save her family, although she may have told a few too many lies, now feeling like she’s untrusted by Cersei, Margaery, and even Tyrion (this arc is easily the most star-studded, although increasingly the least satisfying, largely by virtue of the intense, life-or-death stakes going on in the other subplots). Finally, Gared is WAY beyond the Wall, trying to keep his band of outcasts headed to the North Grove but facing increasingly deadly conditions and legendary enemies.
There’s a density to the storytelling in “Game of Thrones” that is so accomplished that one can begin to take it for granted. In the aforementioned confrontation with Rodrik, the conversation is based almost entirely on the arc that I specifically chose in previous episodes. Would I have different allies if I had made different decisions? Might I not be betrayed? Might the cliffhanger finale not even come to pass? We are WAY beyond the “Left Path vs. Right Path” narrative choices of the first season of “The Walking Dead.” Each path you take branches off to another path and another path, until I may be playing an ENTIRELY different version of “Game of Thrones” than you are. In fact, I look forward to going back and playing it again with different decisions and paths taken, just to see how it turns out.
If anything, the only disappointment in “A Nest of Vipers” comes from knowing this incredible saga is almost over. “The Walking Dead” is one of the most influential and important games of the ‘10s. I enjoy every minute of “Tales From the Borderlands.” And yet I’m thinking that “Game of Thrones” may be this company’s greatest accomplishment to date. We’ll know after one more episode. visit Real Money Wild Jack Casino