Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series – Ep 1: ‘Iron From Ice’ was developed by Telltale Games with assistance from HBO Box Office. This episode will be released on December 2 at a cost of $4.99. A code was given to us by Telltale Games for review purposes. The above video is the first-episode in its entirety and thus contains spoilers.

Without a doubt the HBO series, Game of Thrones, is appointment television. Entering its fifth season the franchise is operating at max popularity. Combined with an amazing story to tell and a fine set of actors, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has ruled the airwaves and beyond in recent memory. Therefore it is only natural for HBO to strike out and reach a deal with Telltale to bring the Game of Thrones franchise to life via video games.

A significant episode in the franchise’s history is the Red Wedding. Iron From Ice starts off with introducing us to the key players in House Forrester, the family who will be at the center of the Game of Thrones series. Being from the North, House Forrester have been the loyal bannermen for House Stark. For those who watch the series, you know House Stark was all but killed off at the Red Wedding. House Forrester, too, took quite a blow at this less than celebratory occasion. From here, we follow the Forrester’s squire, Garred Tuttle, back to Ironrath, the home of the Forresters. By this point Episode 1 is in full swing and if we mention much more, we’ll be revealing spoilers.

The strength of Episode 1 harkens back to the earlier Telltale games where decisions truly had an effect on the outcome of the story. There were many circumstances when we were left wondering, what if we made this decision instead, how would that part of the story have unfolded differently. Therefore the re-playability is quite high with this episode. We could easily see ourselves going back many times and selecting different responses to see if the episode would play out any differently.

Like the TV series, Episode 1 is jam packed with many characters, mostly new but also some very familiar faces. Tyrion Lannister and his sister Cersei make more than just an appearance as does Margaery Tyrell. Even though our beloved actors are still holed up in King’s Landing, their power has a ripple effect all the way back to Ironrath. To add to the authentic feel of the episode, the voice actors in episode 1 are the same actors from the HBO series.

One disappointment we had with Episode 1 was the overall look and feel. While the game ran smooth, not something early Telltale Games can boast, the color palette is dark and gloomy. While we understand House Forrester is going through troubled times and therefore a melancholy aesthetic is ideal, perhaps Telltale took it to the extreme. However, our main gripe with the presentation is how the characters have a certain fuzziness around them. And perhaps this is the reason they went with darker colors as the blown out edges around characters are more noticeable with brighter colors.

Game of Thrones Episode 1 Iron From Ice is a solid two hour escape which brings many of us back to some of the maddening times in the Game of Thrones series. Like its TV series counterpart, Iron From Ice takes many of our likeable characters from us too soon. A constant reminder that not one character is larger than the franchise. Depending on your choices, Iron From Ice will leave you questioning some of the decisions you made. But without question, it will reaffirm that Ramsey Snow is one of the more evil characters to grace a TV series and/or video game, in a long long time.