Telltale’s Game of Thrones series is coming to an end, but the creators of the game are definitely determined to leave you with something to remember them by. While the entirety of the episodic PS4 game has been a joy to play the latest, and penultimate installment was the most impressive yet. As the story-line comes to a close, things everywhere grow more intense, and with the ability to play multiple characters, the player experiences the growing tensions in a medley of ways, each of them exciting and engaging.
As one progresses through the episode, one is simultaneously reminded of how far each character has come since the game started, but also how much more there is to lose now, if one only makes a slight misstep. Ultimately, however, the last scene in the game leaves the player with a heart-breaking choice that hits harder than anything that has come before. The episode is extremely successful in immersing the player in the world of Westeros, but the ending of Episode Five cements once and for all that this is a dangerous place we are in, where death is always close, and heroes rarely win. If there were any doubts that Telltale could translate the complex world of Game of Thrones into a video-game format, none should remain. This latest episode outdoes itself, both in being true to an already established milieu, but also in creating rich new stories and characters that are just as memorable as the ones we see on TV or read about in George R.R. Martin’s books.
The game begins where the last episode left off with Ramsay Bolton once again paying a visit to the Forresters. Tensions run high as the sadist intimidates the Rodrik and Talia Forrester with a signature flaying demonstration before announcing that he is leaving the two opposing houses of Whitehill and Forrester to fight out the battle for control of the ironwood trees amongst themselves. Despite the gruesome tragedy that Ramsay leaves in his wake, there is still love to be found for Rodrik…and traitors as well. The game then switches to Asher Forrester in Essos, who having completed his mission for Daenarys still finds himself in need of warriors to bring back to Westeros. Soon Asher finds himself in the company of hardened pit fighters who he must prove himself to through a vicious round of combat if he is to gain their loyalty. Elsewhere, in King’s Landing, Mira is forced to help Cersei against Tyrion, but plans to do not go as one hopes. Beyond the Wall, Gared Tuttle attempts to continue his journey to the mysterious North Grove which proves difficult when he is faced with doubtful little sisters, and hoards of White Walkers.
The game then returns to Ironrath, where a traitor in the Forrester’s midst is revealed, and a difficult decision must be made as to whether to kill him or spare his life. As the game comes to a close, Asher returns by sea to Westeros, with a hearty group of pit-fighters at his back. Rodrik is there to greet him, but things turn sour when the Whitehills ambush, leaving the two brothers to face a difficult decision which only one of them will survive. The game ends with a heroic last stand before a tragic death, that will leave the player a little shaken, no matter which choice you make.
Overall, like the episodes before it, “A Nest of Vipers,” is outstanding in it’s gameplay, story-telling, and general faithfulness to Game of Thrones. The game is generally simple to play, but vastly rewarding for it’s complex narrative and is good choice for gamers of any experience level who are looking for ways to get back into the world of Westeros in between Game of Thrones seasons. “A Nest of Vipers,” has left me with high expectations for the final episode. I am excited to see what happens next.
Have you played “Nest of Vipers?” You can acquire the code here, which will be compatible with Playstation devices. What decisions did you make? Comment below!