A disappointing end to a promising series.
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Format: PC (reviewed), PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Released: November 17, 2015
Copy supplied by publisher
Telltale’s Game of Thrones has had its problems – for the most part it’s been a well told adventure, but its consistent hopelessness and desperate need for some satisfying moments have kept it from being one of the studio’s best. With so many plot threads still up in the air, I was curious how exactly Telltale would resolve everything in order to give The Ice Dragon the conclusion it deserves.
I now have my answer.
The sixth and final episode of Game of Thrones is an unfortunate disappointment that ends with the resolution of nothing. It’s merely a continuation of the humiliation conga that is House Forrester’s biography, one that ends with a cliffhanger rather than anything of substance.
Naturally, there are choices that can affect the outcome, with different roads to reach, but the ultimate consequences equate to roughly the same message – Game of Thrones was never going to wrap itself up this season, and the ultimate tease for a second set of episodes is utterly exasperating.
I should have seen it coming, really, but this hindsight does little to satisfy me. After a decent series, the ending is a damp affair.
We’ve had five episodes of drawn out embarrassment, punishment, and destruction – players needed something to feel jubilant about. Episode Six gave me one chance for revenge, one opportunity to take some joy in an action, and even that was swiftly taken away to be replaced with yet more misery for the family of Ironrath.
Even George R.R. Martin knows you need to change the tune a little bit to stop your audience getting bored. It can’t all be depression.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of these people who crave a happy ending – I wouldn’t be a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire if I was – but you can only maintain an atmosphere of depressing failure for so long before it invokes apathy in the audience. Had there been more hope spots throughout this season, more opportunities to score some meaningful wins, then an ending this dismal would have worked.
As it is, it’s just more despair piled upon despair, and as such, I’ve all but lost interest in the story. Telltale went in entirely the wrong direction for this “concluding” episode, merely continuing the exact same note it’s doggedly maintained for five episodes now before promising another season to see where things really end up.
Hell, at this point, the Forresters are pathetic. Following this episode, I’ve all but lost any investment I may have had in them as protagonists. It’s hard to have respect for characters who are so repeatedly shoved into the dirt and made to look like desperate failures. I don’t care about House Forrester anymore. Not after this episode.
I’d rather root for the Boltons – at least they can achieve something.
Structurally, the episode is sound. It’s as well paced as any other, and its action scenes are pretty solid. As objectively as possible, I can say it’s as good as any episode in the series to date.
This had to be more than that, however. After all the time spent in this game, all the intrigue and the wondering exactly how House Forrester would prevail, an episode that’s just “more of the same” is exactly not what needed to happen.
As a big fan of Telltale’s work, and a Game of Thrones aficionado, I found this to be a dismal letdown. I expected better – hell, I at least expected to feel something at the end of this chapter. Instead, I feel nothing. I’m just completely apathetic to the whole thing, and I feel no reason to be excited about a second season because, well… it’ll just be more of the same, if past experience is any indicator.
At least the little ending narrative is nice, even if you’ll be spending most of it saying, “Wait, is that it?”
Yes that’s really it.