- Platform: PlayStation 3
- ESRB Rating: Mature
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Game of Thrones Art Book Bundle - PlayStation 3 Bundle Edition
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Amazon.ca Product Description
With an original story written under the supervision of George R. R. Martin, filled with characters and locations straight from the pages of the beloved fantasy saga-including the likenesses of stars from the cast of the hit HBO TV adaptation, Game of Thrones promises to deliver the ultimate interactive RPG experience for fans of its gritty, sophisticated medieval fantasy. Become a part of the Game of Thrones saga: Play as multiple characters, embark on numerous quests, and make key decisions that have meaningful impact on Westeros in this 30?plus hour action RPG epic! An exclusive new adventure dripping with authenticity: The game's story opens up another part of George R. R. Martin's enthralling world, putting players in the shoes of two former soldiers who have made choices that led them in different directions. Feel time slow in the heat of battle: Combat mirrors the series' thoughtful approach to war and politics: fighting slows but never stops entirely, forcing the player to make quick, pressured choices before their enemy strikes again.
From the Manufacturer
THE AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL BOOK & TV PHENOMENON…
NOW A HIGHLY ANTICIPATED GAME DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH GEORGE R. R. MARTIN!
With an original story written under the supervision of George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones promises to deliver the ultimate interactive role-playing experience for fans. The game is filled with familiar locations straight from the pages of the beloved fantasy saga along with the likeness and voices of several actors portrayed in the TV series.
With this epic new Game of Thrones game, fans will have a chance to not simply read or watch the story, but to take an active role in the riveting drama as it unfolds.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
GRAPHICS - the graphics are more like for the PS2 or XBox. It's definitely nothing to write home about. It's a little dark and blocky, but change your television/game settings for a more enjoyable experience. Okay, so the graphics are not so good. Don't play this for the stellar graphics.
DIALOGUE - the dialogue actually isn't that bad. You get the real acting voices of Cersei, Varys, and Jeor Mormont, which is pretty awesome. It's definitely dialogue-intensive like a lot of RPGs, but that shouldn't bother you if you're playing an RPG. You also get to make decisions based on your own dialogue that make lasting impressions in the game. I think a big complaint here is the lack of witty humor in a dark setting like a lot of RPGs have (Dragon Age, Skyrim, KOTOR, etc.)
BUGS - this is my main issue with the game. The bugs are bad. My game froze up twice at the beginning and had to re-create my character. I was about ready to hurl the game out the window after that. No one likes to spend $60 on a game and then have it freeze up. This game doesn't autosave all of the time like some of the newer games, so make sure you save a lot.
GAMEPLAY - the battle system is similar to Dragon Age, but a lot more button mashing. It's not terrible. I like that they have a perks/flaws system, where you have to balance the two. Want an awesome perk? Well, you have to pay for it.
PLOT - things are a little murky here. There are some things that characters (like Cersei) do that are really out-of-character and seem like plot holes. I've heard from professional reviews that the ending is really great, so once I finish it I'll make an update here (I'm like 60% through). Is it non-linear? No, not really. You definitely won't be traveling to Saltpans and taking a ship to Braavos (wouldn't that be nice?).
I would like to add that regardless of storyline perfection (how can it be perfect, anyway? - it's not canon), the developers of this game are TRUE fans. They have been working on this game since before the inception of the television show and know their stuff. If you get the art book with it and read it, you'll know what I mean. They are ASOIAF-smart. The reason that this game is not absolutely 100% awesome is because of budget constraints/small studio, not because they were some kind of hack developers that wanted to make a quick buck off of a Game of Thrones game as quick as possible. Trust me, these people know their stuff.
Overall, I recommend this game for those who are ASOIAF-crazed, love RPGs, and aren't expecting a Skyrim clone turned into Westeros. You won't find that here. But you'll still have a fun time exploring Westeros.
The battle system is extremely limited and boring. You simply select an enemy and select an attack. Your character will just hack away after a special attack is performed until the enemy is dead. More often than not your character will then just stand around until you command him to the next person which becomes tedious. The battle system makes the game feel like a grind.
There are too many cut scenes in this game. It feels like Max Payne 2 where you simply walk from one cut scene to the next with absolutely nothing in between. I understand they are trying to tell a story but doing it in this manner makes the game more like an animated movie with awkward breaks in the narration.
There are some very interesting RPG aspects that are introduced in this game. The main one is the strengths and weaknesses options. You can chose a strength like +5 attack but then must also choose a weakness like -10% INT to balance yourself out. This is neat however I did not mess with it since I did not know how I would like to play the game.
Overall this game is a neat tangent to the first book of a ASOIAF but it is truly a grind to play. I would wait until this game is <$20 since it really is not worth more.
The art book is more like a meet the developers book where it talks about all of the developers and their roles. So don't get your hopes up for some awesome mass effect esque art book. You will be disappointed.
The graphics may not be that great but the art direction is pretty good. Locations like Castle Black and the Riverspring Godswood truly feel like Westeros locales. Many of the character models were done pretty good too but there are a number of characters that feel like they didn't have the same level of effort put into them when the game was being made.
The voice acting could go either way. As I mentioned earlier some of the dialogue seems really slow, but I will say that a few of the actors/actresses from the TV series did the voice-overs for their respective characters in the game and the voice actors for Mors and Alester did a perfect job portraying their characters. There's also an easter egg in the game where one of the NPCs is based off the author of the series George R. R. Martin.
The gameplay isn't much different from other tactical western rpgs out there. You can't pause the action completely as in games like Dragon Age: Origins, but combat can be slowed down drastically to allow you to plot out and execute attacks and other actions. You gain experience and level up like in pretty much all western rpgs. Most of the loot that can be found throughout the game is pretty generic, but there are a few pretty cool pieces of armor and weapons that can be obtained.
The story is where this game shines. You can definitely tell it was written by true fans of the series. I don't want to go into details and spoil the story so I'll just say that the "game of thrones" is definitely being played throughout the game. If you're a fan of both the Song of Ice and Fire series and western role-playing games in general I would recommend this game for story alone if not for anything else.
I will start by making clear that this Game of Thrones RPG does NOT allow you to play as the characters from the books/show. Instead, you alternate playing as two new characters whose story runs in parallel too and touches upon the story from the books/show. You do, from time to time, get the opportunity to interact with characters from the books/show (Jeor Mormont, Cersei Lannister, Varys); there is also one hilarious cameo. Your two characters are Ser Mors Westford, a man of the Night's Watch, and Ser Alester Sarwyck, a red priest just returned to Westeros after 15 years away.
The game creators consulted heavily with George R.R. Martin and he approved all lines by his characters and it shows. Not that the writing is quite of his quality, but that it very much matches the tone of his story. It is suitably dark and pessimistic. Rape, murder, and prostitution are commonplace. The dialogue is more than a little vulgar. You must sometimes ally with your enemies and will be betrayed by your friends. Characters may change from one to the other more than once. The past in Westeros is never dead; it's not even past. Mors and Alester are veterans of Robert's Rebellion and its events continue to reverberate 15 years later (the game appears to use the shorter time range from the books). The age of the characters also contributes to the tone as the inherent optimism of youth so common to fantasy has been stripped away. Above all, there are always dark and hidden currents.
A major mystery (and thus a major potential spoiler) from book/season 1 is revealed, a keen awareness of the later books is shown (albeit not in a significantly spoilerish fashion), and the storylines of our protagonists become intertwined well before they finally meet. One major (presumable) departure from canon is included that is central to the story.
I think it was wise to feature the Wall and a red priest, to me always two of the more interesting facets of A Song of Ice and Fire.
It's good that the story is a strong point, because it's a huge part of the game. This isn't a game for people who skip every cut scene.
Summaries of the applicable character's story thusfar are included before each "chapter" switching POVs begins, and chapter summaries are included when you die and are forced to load your last saved game.
Scrolls are scattered about the world containing info from the series (e.g., character and house bios). Series characters' names sometimes come up attached to equipment (my favorite is Strong Belwas' gauntlets, sold by a merchant at an illegal fighting pit).
GAMEPLAY - 4 stars
Game of Thrones uses a "seamless" combat system. You can transition straight from moving through an area to a fight with the only visual change being the addition of health and energy bars. L1 "slows down" the action to let you pick the skills you want to employ instead of stopping the action. Magic plays a much smaller role than usual in RPGs. Despite this being the first RPG of its type I've played, I picked up on the combat system pretty quickly.
Despite the above, the melee system is still somewhat disappointing. It is easy to lose your characters during a fight due to bad camera angles. Unless you highlight and assign a combat skill against an opponent your character will keep trying to fight their current opponent--which is more than a little frustrating when you just ran across the room specifically to change opponents and the AI sends you running back. Occasionally a character will just stop fighting until you assign a combat skill against another opponent, which may force you to wait while your energy recovers.
One professional review I read mentioned just using the same moves over and over, but I found at the medium difficulty level that I would frequently get my butt kicked and have to come back with different tactics, sometimes several times. That greatly reduces the frustration of having to fight a fight over again and is, to me, really fun.
You can choose from among six different classes (three are available for each character). Each of those classes starts with a "stance," and each stance is associated with weapon skills, i.e., special attacks and maneuvers during combat. You can choose to play Mors as a Landed Knight (one-handed weapon and shield), Hedge Knight (two-handed weapon), or Magnar (two weapons). You can choose to play Alester as a Water Dancer (one-handed weapon), Archer, or Sellsword (one-handed weapon). You will have one opportunity (at level 7) to add another stance or specialize further. You can set different weapons options (you have two, so you could set your first option as a sword and shield and your second as a two-handed war hammer and switch back-and-forth during play) to different stances so you can switch during combat, but frankly I think added a second stance is only a better option if you screwed up the first time (*cough* Landed Knight *cough*).
Game of Thrones uses a simplified version of the old AD&D 2d Ed rules that cutting weapons work better against light (leather) armor, perforating weapons against medium (chainmail), and blunt weapons against heavy (plate).
As a red priest, Alester can manipulate fire (I will never tire of setting people on fire with a flaming sword). Mors is a Warg (which for some reason the game calls a "skinchanger"). The dog is of limited use during normal combat, but he's great at sneaking up on a lonely enemy and ripping his throat out.
The story is basically linear, and you are not given the same kind of freedom to explore as in Open Sandbox games. But I've soured on sandbox games because I seem to spend all my time wandering around, and what wandering the game does allow (and it is still plenty) is softened by the beautiful, detailed, and varied settings. All of the main quests appreciably advance the plot, which isn't something I can say for the well-padded sandbox game I've been playing most recently, Red Dead Redemption, whose graphic and voice acting brilliance is deadened by huge stretches of land between objectives, forced aimless wandering, and pointless fetch quests.
Game of Thrones uses dialogue trees to enhance the RPG experience, to questionable effect. I've found going back and replaying scenes that they play out the same regardless of the dialogue choice made. Too often the actual dialogue is only tangentially related to your choice. Ostensibly your choices can have major effects over the course of the game, but I haven't noticed any I can really pin down (but then I also haven't had time to finish and replay the game).
Despite regular warnings to the contrary, automatic saves are fairly generous.
The game has crashed on me once in several dozen hours of play.
VISUAL - 4
The graphics themselves disappointing, more PS2 quality than PS3. There are framing issues, characters amusingly sheath axes and maces head first, and you can walk right through an opening door.
Characters kind of all look the same. They tend to adopt a one-hand-on-their-hip pose best described as "sassy"--not really an adjective I would ever associate with Martin's creation.
Equipment, on the other hand, looks great. You can see the scratches and emblem on your shield. The settings are gorgeous and detailed. I wandered as much as I did in part because it was so cool to see their medieval world--and maybe look up and see the Red Keep or the Wall.
My understanding is this game has been in production since well before the show aired, so the visuals are only somewhat connected. Some things are true to the show (e.g., the Wall, the Red Keep), and some are not (e.g., the Throne Room).
The game does share one major visual issue with the show season 1 blu-ray extras, sadly. The text size is WAY TOO SMALL.
AURAL - 3 stars
The background noise isn't bad, but it does get repetitive. The voice acting is sadly atrocious. It does, however, have the intro music to the show.
FINAL ANALYSIS - 4 stars
This is a game with a lot of issues, as I've detailed above. So why did I still give it 4 stars? Simple, for all the other myriad things I could be doing with my time, I've been playing this game pretty much non-stop in my free time since I got it. The graphics, etc. in Zelda and the original Final Fantasy sucked, but guess what, they were still awesome. Game of Thrones makes up for its limitations by not committing too many of the silly game design sins so prevalent from the big designers. If you don't like RPGs, aren't familiar with the books and/or show, demand a Skyrim-style open sandbox to play in, or expect games to fully leverage PS3 hardware, this may not be the game for you. But if you love Game of Thrones and/or want an RPG that's serious about its story, this game is a great option.