Game of Thrones RPG Trailer: Blood, Guts and Pixels


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An attendee at Interacitve Ontario’s X-Summit recorded a live preview of the upcoming Game of Thrones RPG trailer and it looks just as bloody as the books:

The game is being produced by Vince Gerardis and Cyanide Studios director Yves Bordeleau; it promises the ability to explore Westeros and play as multiple characters in multiple timelines. Winter-Is-Coming.net has more details:

  • According to their report Cyanide bought the rights to the game after EA let them lapse
  • The game will follow the books’ convention of switching storylines as the narration progresses

This editor’s take? As a WOW player (yeah that’s right), an Elder Scrolls: Oblivion fanati- alum, and having just pre-ordered SkyRim (November 11, baby), I’m pretty excited to see how true-to-books (punching through a guy’s face? Very GoT) this game seems to be. It could be a perfect continuation of the fight-to-save-a-medieval-world-using-swords-and-some-magic area of videogaming. (IS that an area? It should be.)  However, there are a couple of inherent problems:

  1. Making you switch charcter storylines stops you getting too close to one. You have to do it in the Game of Thrones world but being part of a story that already has a set path is difficult in an RPG. Usually the quests you choose, the talents you pick, and how you level determine what sideroads you take along the main narrative journey: with this type of storytelling, you are going down a fated road, which is slightly less fun.
  2. The storyline is set for some pretty failtastic things to happen: no matter how you try, [SPOILER] Ned Stark must lose his head. There’s a kind of “so what” mentality to working to level up only to be forced to fail. Yeah, big heroic ending, Ned Stark dies, his whole family is fleeing, imprisoned or fighting, and right, those dragons hatch (which is not exactly the stuff of triumph or can be the result of a +10 in Dragon Breeding).
  3. Just how much are we going to be able to explore Westeros? A la Oblivion, a.k.a every inch? It doesn’t seem this game could possibly have been in development long enough to accomplish that. So we’ll likely have a lot of explorable areas, the ones known to us, while all those untraveled corners will remain so with some invisible barriers and clever crafting. After all, a lot of it is “spoiler” material – not revealed in much detail until later in the books. And unless they take the scope of Westeros as revealed in the fullness of the series so far into account (AKA go beyond Game of Thrones itself’s storyline) I’m not sure how much we are going to get.
  4. What about the lands outside Westeros? Not all of the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire happens inside it: a lot of the key parts happen across the sea, in Essos, starting in Pentos and working Eastward. What of all that?
  5. A Song of Ice and Fire isn’t fully written, much less published: this could go the Harry Potter videogame way, of being a beautifully realized world with emphasis on the wrong things. Maybe George R R Martin is being more forthcoming than J.K. Rowling was about plot elements to the game makers – or maybe the game makers really think there is no chance book production could be so slow as to outpace their ability to put out videogames to match the plot of the books. (They should do their research if it’s the latter, because as we well know, we might not get the sixth book until 2017 if history is any indication.) Why not wait and see how the story pans out and create something truly special and epic, and something that has all the trademarks of the videogames we love – a journey that has a triumphant story, a foe to vanquish, the hope of the ending and rewards that come from all that leveling? Or maybe we’re going the WOW way here where leveling is the point? If that’s the case you’ll need a subscription base to sustain that kind of devotion. Interesting. We’ll see!

 

 

 

 

 

  • http://twitter.com/BradAusrotas Brad Ausrotas

    Well, it probably can’t be any worse than GoT: Genesis, right? However, I don’t have terribly high hopes. I don’t actually like the Oblivion style world, because it’s almost TOO much- sensory overload. I found it very hard to follow a cohesive story because there was simply so much to do, and it was hard to differentiate the important from the side quests, etc. Then again, I haven’t played Oblivion for a preetty long time, and I have high hopes for Skyrim.

    Now if Bethesda was working on this? I’d be pretty enthused. Bethesda knows how to make games, and even if it didn’t appeal to me directly, it would certainly be critically acclaimed. RPGs are a terribly difficult genre to work right, because generally it’s either really well done, or horrible. Unlike shooters, which can just be clones and carbon copies and boring as hell, there is no middle ground for RPGs. It works or it doesn’t. The list of problems you created is heavy evidence for why this one falls into the ‘doesn’t’ category.

    Nonetheless, we’ll see how it goes when it’s released! I hope they don’t plan on putting it out any time soon, as between Skyrim, The Old Republic and Diablo III gamers were have their hands WELL FULL for quite some time to come.