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Game of Thrones - All News

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Thursday - November 08, 2012
Thursday - October 11, 2012
Friday - August 10, 2012
Tuesday - August 07, 2012
Saturday - July 28, 2012
Thursday - June 07, 2012
Friday - June 01, 2012
Thursday - May 31, 2012
Saturday - May 26, 2012
Wednesday - May 23, 2012
Saturday - May 19, 2012
Wednesday - May 16, 2012
Tuesday - May 15, 2012
Saturday - May 12, 2012
Tuesday - May 08, 2012
Friday - May 04, 2012
Thursday - May 03, 2012
Tuesday - May 01, 2012
Saturday - April 28, 2012
Thursday - April 26, 2012
Wednesday - April 25, 2012
Thursday - April 12, 2012
Wednesday - April 11, 2012
Wednesday - April 04, 2012
Sunday - April 01, 2012
Thursday - March 29, 2012
Wednesday - March 14, 2012
Sunday - March 04, 2012
Wednesday - February 29, 2012
Monday - February 27, 2012
Sunday - February 05, 2012
Thursday - February 02, 2012
Tuesday - January 24, 2012
Wednesday - January 11, 2012
Thursday - December 22, 2011
Wednesday - December 21, 2011
Monday - December 05, 2011
Wednesday - November 09, 2011
Friday - April 15, 2011
Box Art

Thursday - November 08, 2012

Game of Thrones - New DLC - Beyond the Wall

by Aries100, 19:13

Borcanu writes in to say that Game of Thrones has gotten a DLC. It is called Beyond the Wall and you learn a bit more about it here.

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - October 11, 2012

Game of Thrones - On Sale @ Steam

by Aries100, 21:34

Borcanu writes in to share that Game of Thrones is on sale at Steam. You can get the Game of Thrones bundle at 75% off, and Game of Thrones game itself for 50% off. Both offers expires October 15th.

Friday - August 10, 2012

Game of Thrones - Interview @ Dagon's Lair

by Myrthos, 12:54

Dagon, of Dagon's Lair, informed us of an interview he conducted with Games of Thrones lead designer Sylvain Sechi about the choices made and the reception of the game.

(Note that you have to scroll down on the page to read the English text).

First reviews on english console dedicated website gave to the game average ratings, whose I really don’t understand regarding the PC release. After, other specialized websites, like us at Dagon’s Lair or RPGFrance published far more positive reviews.
Are the sales meeting expectations ? How was the reception ?  Are there big differences on PC or console ? What was your studio’s reaction regarding the reception for the game ?
Syl : It’s too early to have detailed sales figures, but the game seems to do well. About the press reviews, it’s something which touched us much. It’s hard to work 3 years, sweating blood, without reacting regarding the comments of the journalist testing our game.  First opinions were mainstream magazines whose readers are mainstream action gamers / core gamers who play mainly on consoles. We knew GOT was a hardcore game. An « old school » RPG, and those journalists didn’t like at all some aspects of the game. In Europe, the critics were mostly better, with some good ratings. I think european gamers are more bound to the game and to its’ story than next-gen graphics.
On the player side, it’s been mostly positive and that made us feel good. Even if they didn’t like the game, we had a very good reception from RPG fans. It’s mainly for them we created this game. Respect of the licence and of the story are two strong points. Players are divided about the combat system. Some love it, some hate it…

Tuesday - August 07, 2012

Game of Thrones - Review @ PC Gamer

by Dhruin, 00:55

PC Gamer looks at Game of Thrones, resulting in a score of 58%. For fans, however, they suggest looking beyond the score if you have the patience:

Even when you ‘get’ it, combat feels weak and ill-thought out – bland, uninteresting, and based almost entirely around status effects. Use skill to make enemy bleed (or whatever). Use skill that does extra damage against bleeding enemies. Repeat until all the enemy’s blood has gone. Other elements are simply out of step with the source material, such as glugging down health potions mid-fight and Alester’s more advanced fire powers. Honestly, it’s best to just switch the difficulty to Casual and focus on the story. Most regular fights become trivial, though there are still a few tough ones to handle.

Ultimately, Game of Thrones is a frustrating, ugly, low-rent RPG that’s flawed in almost every way and difficult to impossible to recommend – but which fans still might enjoy more than they probably should. At the very least, it’s not a lazy cash-in, just one trying its best on far too small a budget. If you can tolerate that – and yes, it’s a lot to tolerate – don’t necessarily run screaming from its score.

Saturday - July 28, 2012

Game of Thrones - v1.3 Patch

by Dhruin, 01:24

A v1.3 patch has been released for A Game of Thrones, though I can't find any change notes for the life of me. Here's the post from the official forums and if you know what it does, let us know:

GAME OF THRONES RPG 1.3.0.0 UPDATE (264 MB).

1. Click http://www.focus-files.com/patchs/GOT-R ... .0-ALL.exe
2. Save AGOT-patch-1.3.0.0-ALL.exe application file on the hard disk.
3. Once download done, run AGOT-patch-1.3.0.0-ALL.exe and follow the instructions.

INSTALLATION UNDER WINDOWS VISTA AND WINDOWS 7:
Right mouse click AGOT-patch-1.3.0.0-ALL.exe application file and click Run as administrator.

Thursday - June 07, 2012

Game of Thrones - Reviews @ Games.on.net, Hardware Heaven, Strategy Informer

by Dhruin, 22:40

Here's a trio of Game of Thrones reviews as the game rolls out internationally. The mixed form continues.

Games.on.net doesn't have a score but despite the interesting story, the lack of polish is an issue:

The lack of polish in the looks department could be forgiven if the actual gameplay was compelling, but the combat system - the thing that takes up the majority of the player's time outside of the long-winded conversations - is both dull and mechanical. At its core the combat engine is similar to that of Dragon Age II, combining real time and turn based combat, with characters hacking away with normal attacks until you choose to you a special ability. Unfortunately, no matter what class you choose, from Hedge Knight to Water Dancer, combat always ends up the same. Characters may have a dozen skills to choose from but combat always resolves in the same way, stun enemies trying to use abilities, try and knock them down, take advantage of the knock down. Rinse and repeat. There is no spark or variation in fights. What's more, the animations are as mechanical as can be, sapping any residual excitement from the fights.

Hardware Heaven goes for a modest 70% - once again, one of their criticisms is probably a plus for our audience:

The storyline is strong, and one of the best aspects of the game. However the combat system isn't intuitive and takes some getting used to. The time lapse technique is interesting, however it would have been better used a tad more sparingly as we found we had to use it almost constantly to keep our character alive.

Despite the 6.5/10 score at Strategy Informer, this sounds great:

Even better, GOTTG is one of the few games that properly attempts to incorporate player choices into the narrative, and have the consequences play out later on. Furthermore unlike every game but this and the two Witcher titles your choices don’t fall into simple “paragon and renegade” decisions, and the consequences are never obvious. For example, spare the life of a seemingly innocent girl and she might warn the dozen guards outside the room, but kill her and you lose a life-saving hostage later. While these choices never quite reach the level of Witcher 2 in scope they do add a lot to your involvement with the story. Frankly I applaud any developer that attempts to follow CD Projekt’s polished footsteps, and it’s nice to have another Witcher-like game out there. 

Source: Blues News

Friday - June 01, 2012

Game of Thrones - Review @ RPS

by Dhruin, 23:22

Alec Meer from Rock, Paper, Shotgun has penned a Game of Thrones Wot I Think based on that rare of rare items, the PC version. Alec has a number of criticisms but finds the script is "faithful in an intrinsic way" and the tactical combat builds nicely after a very slow opening. A great read, if you've been thinking about this game:

It’s made from two key ingredients: a fleshed-out and surprising narrative that weaves in and out of the events of the first Song of Ice & Fire book/season of the TV show without either disrupting them or being undermined by them, and combat that blossoms from stilted beginnings into highly tactical crowd control. Also, stealth missions starring a psychic dog. It’s grand and sprawling and silly and brutal and will make about as much sense as a sheep wearing a tie to anyone not reasonably au fait with the books or TV show, and it’s a hard sell for sure. It might also be the most fascinating mainstream game I’ve played this year.

Thursday - May 31, 2012

Game of Thrones - Reviews @ Eurogamer, Baltimore Sun

by Dhruin, 22:42

Here are a couple of reviews for Game of Thrones as the international release approaches next week. 

First, Eurogamer has plenty of criticism but they acknowledge some positives on the way to a score of 6/10. Given they think the "turn-based" combat has "dated charm", fans of RTwP might have cause to get mildly excited:

Like the storytelling, gameplay is a slow burn. While it's almost criminal that the game wasn't designed from the start as an action role-player with graphic combat more akin to The Witcher 2 or Dark Souls, the turn-based battles carry a certain dated charm that grows on you. Selecting commands from your ability wheel slows time, adding a bit of strategic flavour when you choose how you want to strike. Unlocking new skill tree abilities helps, and given that you can control many of the partners that come and go from your party as the story dictates, it can be quite fun figuring out how to best use your party's skills later in the game, when larger, more chaotic melees become more common.

Outside of combat, BioWare-style choices affect how the story develops with some impact. An early example occurs when Alester, faced with famine and a crumbling economy in Riverspring, can either quell a civilian mob through violence or charity; choosing the latter earns popular support when you later face an invading army. This works with people's perceptions of you, too. But many choices are ambiguous, and there were more than a few cases when I thought I was picking the best answer for the situation only to have it blow up in my face.

...and from the Baltimore Sun, with more of this "turn-based" combat:

Combat is turn-based action, similar to the “Knights of the Old Republic” series. However, the pacing isn't quite right, and the player is often more of a bystander than a participant in melees. The game features an interesting slowdown feature to perform special moves in combat, but the effect is lost in the clunkiness of the combat and general interface.

Saturday - May 26, 2012

Game of Thrones - Paradoxes of Adaptation @ Joystiq

by Dhruin, 03:23

Joystiq's regular RPG column with Rowan Kaiser takes a look at Cyanide's Game of Thrones and the difficulties in making an adaptation of a book property:

The authenticity of the story and world, as well as the game's ability to function as a playable product can all come into conflict, creating the paradox of the perfect adaptation. In story terms, many of the better adaptations don't directly follow the famous stories of their original media. The Third Age may include many of the heroes of the films, but you play a different set of characters, running through the world in parallel to the main characters.

This is also the case with Game Of Thrones, although it goes much further – only a handful of characters from the novels/show make appearances. Instead, it tries to tell a similar story to the source material, using the world and tone of the novels and show –succeeding at the former, just missing on the latter. In an interview with Joystiq, A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin explained this was the only direction he was willing to take with the story in Cyanide's RPG. In contrast: Betrayal At Krondor built, with its author's blessing, a story that took place in the years between two of its source's novels, ten years after the first series of novels and ten before the next book.

Wednesday - May 23, 2012

Game of Thrones - Review @ Slant Magazine

by Dhruin, 22:02

Game of Thrones continues to get weak reviews in the North American press with Slant Magazine awarding a score of 2.5/5:

The absence of every major character from books (except Jeor Mormont, Cersei, Chataya, and Lord Varys) isn't a hefty distress, bearing in mind the well-crafted tale and fleshed-out focal characters. Unfortunately, trudging through Game of Thrones requires the same amount of fortitude as waiting for the latest entry in Martin's much-delayed series of novels. Throughout your Westeros adventure, you are beset on all sides by muddy, last-generation textures, characters that phase through doors, marionette facial animations, elongated loading times, archaic RPG menus, and a slapdash battle system. 

The latter aspect is particularly egregious. The real-time melee system is a less refined version of the one from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Combat is as swift as a Dothraki warrior, but the constant need to pause and input bleeding, stunning, and takedown attacks into a three-slot radial menu makes for a shuddering experience. Once you've earned enough experience to level up, you can apportion points to your heroes' skills, fighting stances, attributes, and strengths and weaknesses. There are three stances for Alester and Mors and you unlock three more at level seven. 

Saturday - May 19, 2012

Game of Thrones - Review Roundup

by Dhruin, 23:29

Time to catch up on some Game of Thrones reviews - as before, it's a mixed bag.

Kotaku says "don't play", describing the game as a "unpolished, joyless slog":

If the best thing Game of Thrones does is its split narrative, its combat has got to be the worst. Throughout the game, you'll come up against guards, wildlings, and bandits, and each engagement is just… flatly uninteresting. The combat system is something of a melding of real-time and turn-based combat in which you cue up attacks to, for example, knock your enemy off balance and then hit him with a crippling blow.

Or I should say, "hit" him. The combat looks like an old-school MMO—the combatants don't really seem to ever touch one another while fighting, they simply wave swords through each other as numbers fly off and hit points deplete. It's all rather dispiriting, particularly when you're losing—rather than feeling tense and exciting, a nail-biter finish involves watching your health bar deplete and hoping that your enemy's bottoms out faster.

On the other hand, GameSpot says 7/10 and again the story is praised:

Story makes up the vast majority of this adventure. This is a good thing because the elements surrounding the plot can't reach the lofty heights of the story. Combat thrusts so many ideas at you early on that it's initially overwhelming. Attributes and percentages flood the screen, and though a tutorial spells out what everything means, there are so many things to keep track of that you fear you're missing something important. Which sword should you use against heavy armor? What does it mean when an enemy starts bleeding? These answers become second nature in time, and it's when everything clicks that it becomes apparent just how simple the combat system really is.

"Poor man's Dragon Age", according to Games Radar (5/10):

Especially in the early going, Game of Thrones often feels like a poor man's Dragon Age, from interacting with dialogue wheels to slowing down combat in order to queue up different attack actions. But while the most basic framework is available and functional, you might find some aspects of Game of Thrones lacking, but especially if you’ve invested dozens of hours into Bioware’s blockbuster. Comparisons solely to Dragon Age aside, many textures and character models are ugly. The world doesn’t feel so open and alive (and lacks an abundance of side quests and activities). Combat can become repetitive. The events are more linear. The mini-map is nearly useless.

GameInformer joins others in calling the combat "boring" (6/10):

The situation doesn’t improve on the battlefield. Combat plays similarly to the console version of Dragon Age: Origins, but with less polish (and remember Origins on consoles was already sloppy). You set up actions in a three-slot queue, then watch your commands get carried out in sequence. Apart from your basic attack, no abilities are mapped to any face buttons, so you frequently need to pause (though the action doesn’t stop entirely) and pull up an ability wheel to issue new orders. Your powers are cool, especially those involving Mors’ dog and Alester’s affinity for fire, but the stop-and-go feeling keeps fights from gaining momentum.

Even when you win, you won’t get any tactical satisfaction. Every enemy in the game is just a dude in some armor (with a single late-game exception), and they aren’t military geniuses. Archers often attack at point-blank range, stupidly trying to fire arrows while flanked by swordsmen. Guards stand oblivious while their comrades are slaughtered in huge battles only feet away. You can usually cruise through fights against these idiots without a problem, but the difficulty can spike unexpectedly, overwhelming you and leaving you with no way to grind out a few extra levels. In these instances, it helps to adjust the difficulty on the fly to survive the poorly balanced fights.

OXM Online - 7/10:

But hang on: there’s good reason to play anyway. Whether you’re sniffing out traitors or talking your way out of combat, running errands often feels like so much ineffectual scrambling on the periphery of world events. Yet, as the hours pass, and the haunting (or heartening) consequences of past deeds become apparent, you’ll start to feel like a bona fide citizen. If you can bring yourself to endure early chapters defined by spoon-fed exposition and awkward voice-overs, Game of Thrones will reward you with intriguing new information about Westeros’ history, some shocking Mature-rated moments of operatic high drama, and a truly unforgettable gut-wrenching conclusion. Even those who wouldn’t know a Lannister from a Targaryen will appreciate the disturbing theatrics.

All of these were on the X360, for it's worth.

Wednesday - May 16, 2012

Game of Thrones - Early Reviews

by Dhruin, 23:11

A small collection of reviews are out for Game of Thrones, though it's hard to get a bead on the underlying quality of the gameplay. All agree the title lacks polish, however.

IGN was first out as discussed on our forums with a very low 4/10, though many of the complaints are cosmetic and the combat is "surprisingly robust" :

While Game of Thrones boasts some expertly crafted story beats, complete with moments that will enthrall and shock you, the monotone delivery from poorly voiced characters, constant bugs you’ll wrestle against, and muddy textures that plague the majority of the game will make most not continue through to the end. Realistically, you’ll more likely stop after the fifteenth loading screen appears only to trigger another dryly executed piece of this messy 30 hour long RPG. That’s a shame as the tale told about Mors Westford and Alester Sarwyck has twists and turns that would utterly entertain and surprise were it not surrounded by such mediocrity on all sides.

Joystiq says "broken, bowed, bent", with a score of 2.5/5:

Unlike the strategy title A Game of Thrones: Genesis, the RPG Game of Thrones feels like it was cobbled together by people who have genuine affection for the series. But Cyanide's ideas themselves seem more grand than the company is capable of delivering, showing stitches of the small studio's limitations throughout. It's the intention of the HBO series – with the budget of a SyFy original movie.

ComplexGaming goes against the trend with a score of 9/10. I don't know the site but here is a snip:

Watching the two protagonists get sucked down in an ever more dangerous whirlwind of intrigue, lies and betrayal is easily the game's most compelling aspect. I even found myself returning to previous saves in desperate bids to alter the course of events, like turning back the pages of the books and having things turn out differently.

Unfortunately, besides the five-flavored ending, altering the course of the game's events is about as easy as altering what's in the novels. It makes for a great plot, though ultimately you might feel that your choices are meaningless. Of course, given the source material, that may be the point.

Tuesday - May 15, 2012

Game of Thrones - Available in NA

by Dhruin, 22:07

Game of Thrones has been released in NA - the rest of us have to wait two weeks or so, which is a good way to dilute your launch marketing. From the press release:

ATLUS, a brand of Index Digital Media, Inc., today announced that "Game of Thrones™," the RPG based on the internationally bestselling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin and the critically acclaimed HBO® television series, Game of Thrones®, is now available in stores across North America for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and PC via download. 

Replete with the authentic political intrigue and complex narrative the acclaimed fantasy series is known for, this captivating interactive adventure gives fans a new and exciting way to lose themselves in the world of Westeros. With an original story written under the watchful eye of George R. R. Martin, who recently stated, "I've sampled the work Cyanide has done, and I'm largely happy with it. I think many of my fans will share that feeling," the "Game of Thrones" RPG is filled with characters and locations straight from the pages of the beloved fantasy novels. Moreover, the game includes the likenesses of fan favorite characters from the television adaptation. "Game of Thrones" promises to deliver the ultimate interactive roleplaying experience for fans of the series and its gritty, sophisticated medieval drama.

Source: Blues News

Saturday - May 12, 2012

Game of Thrones - Behind the Wall Dev Video, Preview

by Dhruin, 06:52

The Game of Thrones site is offering a new dev video titled Behind the Wall:

Commented by Project Director Thomas Veauclin and Lead game designer Sylvain Sechi from Cyanide Studio, “Behind the Wall” explains how the project for a role-playing game taking place in the famous universe of A Song of Ice and Fire was born. It is told how it was working with author George R.R. Martin to produce a game faithful to the universe he imagined, and how the TV series produced by HBO influenced their work.
They explain the reason why it was chosen to tell an original story, in parallel of that told by the first book of the saga, involving 2 original characters: Mors of the Night's Watch, and Alester the Red Priest. They detail the specificities of these two characters that players will embody throughout the game, following a style of narration similar to that employed by George R.R. Martin in the novels. We invite you to discover all this and many more fascinating details, through this video “Behind the Wall”!

...and let's take a preview from the Guardian:

Game of Thrones has a conversation system which shows your character's thoughts, rather than what he will actually say.

"Each option creates a branch which takes you in a certain direction, and you can't go back, so it's not about trying all the options until you get the right one," Sechi says.

He talks up the importance of the choices you make – both in conversation and your actions: "Some choices influence how each chapter plays out – there's one point of entry to each chapter, but several ways to get to the end, though. And you might find that a choice you make has an impact seven chapters later – for example, people you freed might join you late in the game when you're assembling a fighting force."

The game's combat engine appeared to veer towards rewarding a strategic approach, by maximising magical abilities and enhancements, rather than dexterity. One reservation we harbour after the demo is that there seems to be a preponderance of story-setting cut-scenes, although that could have been a by-product of Sechi choosing to show the initial stages of the game.

Tuesday - May 08, 2012

Game of Thrones - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

by Dhruin, 22:05

RPS has an excellent interview with Sylvain Sechi and Thomas Veauclin of Cyanide, talking about Game of Thrones. Apparently the game has been through (console) certification so they can't change it now, so the team has moved on to DLC. They also discuss the long pre-production phase where they experimented with a number of different approaches:

RPS: How much does what you’ve got now resemble what you started sketching out three years ago?

Sylvain Sechi: At the very beginning we were going into a bit more open game, a bit less linear, but since we wanted a very very strong story, and also we went into engine limitation, we are using Unreal technology for the game, which is really a game made for linear game, a bit less for Sandbox, which actually was not Sandbox was just a bit more open. So we used a bit the openbox, sandbox aspect to focus more on the story, and I think it was a very good choice because that’s really what the game is about; very very strong story content. It was very close to what we had expected first.

Thomas Veauclin: We tried a lot of things at the beginning in the story in the script, and the game is depending on what we would like to tell and to write, we tried a story with only one character, we tried a story with lots of characters, lots of heroes. Each time it had an impact directly on what we have to make, what we have to realise, and we tried, we tried, we tried, we tried. One thing we tried was to put a lot of things of the books in the game, a lot of characters, a lot of places. At the time ‘What are we talking about? What is the story? What is the relation with the player?’

One thing that was very important to us was to create a new story, we didn’t want to tell a story with high level problem of the king, of the queen, and you’re a nobody. You were the hero, so there are lots of things in the world and you will be totally pushed by the world and by the story of the novels and history in the game. The player is the centre of his adventure, of course, and of the game. So we put a lot of time to write, write, write again, write again, to the background of the character and of the heroes, of your heroes and of all the other characters who could impact on your heroes directly. So, we tried a lot of things.

Sylvain Sechi: From a writing perspective Thomas is talking about, writing the story, we tried a lot of things. We dropped at least ten different scenarios we did not think at the end were good enough; we re-wrote, re-wrote, re-wrote it. Eventually, each time we would get closer to what we wanted to achieve. Kind of like creating a child on top of dead bodies, and then you get higher and higher and then you get really  … not perfect, but at least really what we wanted to do.

Friday - May 04, 2012

Game of Thrones - German Gameplay Video

by Dhruin, 23:10

Most of what we've seen of Game of Thrones has been from rather ordinary trailers. VG247 has a German gameplay video (via GameStar) that offers a good look at the gameplay if you can ignore (or understand) the language.

Thursday - May 03, 2012

Game of Thrones - Preview @ RPS

by Dhruin, 00:08

Alec Meer has penned a preview of Game of Thrones at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, presumably from the recent press events. Alec notes he'd need to play the game for himself to form a real opinion but the tone certainly seems positive:

The other major foundation of Martin’s books and the resultant show (sexy funtimes aside) is, of course, wanton violence. GOT:TG seemed to have all the hallmarks of a hacky-slashy meathead marathon, so I was a little surprised to discover that it’s actually built around tactical pause-time combat in the vein of Knights of the Old Republic or Dragon Age. To an even greater degree than those are, I think. You pause, up pops some ability menus with the fight going on in super-super-slow motion behind it, you chain together up to 3 attacks, moves, spells, potions and whatnot, including switching foes mid-fight if you wish, you resume and then it all plays out in real-time.

It’s also surprisingly statty. In a somewhat MMOish way perhaps, with messages like ‘bleeding’, ‘miss’ and precise HP loss popping, but in many cases this is there as a prompt to employ particular abilities. Mors, for instance, has special attacks which will cause double damage to bleeding enemies. Hammering your way through apparently won’t get you very far, so in theory it’s a game of thrones, observation, tactical thinking and even memorisation.

Tuesday - May 01, 2012

Game of Thrones - Preview, Interview

by Dhruin, 00:08

Eurogamer has a preview of Game of Thrones that, surprisingly for such an article, offers some genuine insight into the game. The author notes the production values are not on par with the likes of The Witcher 2 or Skyrim and the linear nature will be disappointing to some, though the combat looks solid:

Such linearity will likely come as a disappointment to those who wanted to explore Westeros, but at least its backbone, the RPG combat, looks dependable enough, and comes with pleasantly aged elements. Alester and Mors are the two stock characters, though both can be set on different ability paths at the outset. You can pick classes - the defensive Landed Knight or the more aggressive Hedge Knight for Mors, for example - as well as assign a selection of passive and active skills.

And in a somewhat charming nod to role-playing games that are acted out via paper and pencil rather than a controller, it's possible to select character traits. You can choose whether to be a born leader or a master of poisons, but each strength must be balanced out with a weakness - being witless, perhaps, or being afflicted with greyscale, the imagined affliction that can slowly turn skin to stone.

Combat itself is slightly more modern, though it still bears a staunchly traditional heart. Commands can be stacked up in an Active Pause menu, while targets can be selected on the fly with the d-pad - so while the action plays out in real-time you're free to step back and tinker with the grander strategy. It's a system that's worked well enough before in BioWare's hands, and there's nothing to suggest it won't be as satisfying once embedded in Cyanide's own fantasy world.

Over at XBox360Achievements is an interview with Lead Designer, Sylvain Sechi and Project Manager and Art Director, Thomas Veauclin:

Was there anything that you had to invent specifically for the game or was everything you needed in George RR Martin's fiction?

SS: On a couple of very specific occasions – I don't want to spoil it – we were doing some very special stuff with magic, but how to approach these kinds of characters that are very basically described in the books, we'd ask a lot of questions to make sure they were right. So, we'd talk about these kind of things with Martin, discuss it at length and then make certain decisions to flesh out these characters. What's good is that I think he also now sees that as definitive, so he will add it to the future books to ensure that the universe remains coherent between the books and the game. There are no big things, but I'd say the red priests were the biggest thing, because there aren't loads of details on the red priests until book five, which at the time he hadn't even written yet. He gave us loads of details about them.

Saturday - April 28, 2012

Game of Thrones - Previews @ X360Achievements,IGN

by Dhruin, 01:37

Here are two of Game of Thrones previews from a couple of days back I'm only just getting to. First, from X360Achievements:

There's a reason that the novels take precedence over the hit TV series, as developer Cyanide started building Game of Thrones three years ago with the literature as the sole inspiration for the game, before the HBO show aired. As soon as the show hit though, the developer was quick to negotiate a deal with HBO, acquiring the music, look and feel in the process, as well as a few of the characters and some of the most iconic pieces of imagery associated with the show, like the house sigils, the Iron Throne and so on. With the success of the TV series comes additional pressure to do right by the legion of fans, so an authentic adaptation is the order of the day for Cyanide who not only reveal the lengths the team has gone to in creating an in-depth RPG with a sweeping narrative, but also the attention to detail that's being put into the game.

From IGN, and I'm glad Cyanide recognise the limitations in BioWare's dialogue wheel:

Choices made both in dialogue and action will be far-reaching - Sechi confirms that conversations will move to a natural close with appropriate consequences, rather than continuing until all of the dialogue options have been exhausted. Despite this, Cyanide has deliberately avoided providing clues to how your words or actions will be received, insisting that there should be no sliding scale of morality or visual representation of your alignment.

"Mass Effect is a good reference here, because I love that game but think that the red and blue dialogue options give too much away," says Sechi. "By highlighting the 'good' and 'bad' choices it's possible for players to adopt the stance of playing as a 'good Shepard' or 'badass Shepard' and that can mean that players aren't reading the dialogue options, they're just picking a response based on colour to fit the way they've decided to play Shepard."

Game of Thrones project manager, Thomas Veauclin, agrees. "As a designer, by allowing the player to see that there is a predetermined gameplay outcome tied directly to the choice that they make you are actually directing the answer that they choose and giving them less freedom, not more; we didn't want that." 

Thursday - April 26, 2012

Game of Thrones - Preview @ Pocket Lint, Screens

by Dhruin, 00:28

A site called Pocket Lint has a new preview of Game of Thrones, though the article only served to confuse me. They quote lead designer Sylvain Sechi as saying "We think of it like Mass Effect without the planets exploration" but then go on to compare the game variously with The Witcher 2 and Baldur's Gate:

Combat itself, of course, is going to be key to the whole affair. What it resembles most closely is a non-button thrashing version of the Witcher 2 and its redesign for Xbox. Talents, abilities and menus are presented in a very similar circular style that pop up during the action in the middle of the screen when you hold down the relevant button. Again, like the Witcher, calling them up doesn’t quite pause the action altogether but just puts it in a very slow motion. Take too long over your decisions and you will start to receive some hefty blows.

It’s at this point in the combat, though, where the similarities with CD Projekt Red's top title end. Game of Thrones takes a much more “pen and paper approach”, according to Sechi, and its command-based (as opposed to button thrashing) style is more akin to the kind of strategic manner you’d find in games such as Baldurs Gate. Choose and stack the abilities and actions which you would like your characters to invoke - and which targets you would like to invoke them upon - unpause the action and hope it works out okay.

While we're on Game of Thrones, five new screens have been released at the official site.

Wednesday - April 25, 2012

Game of Thrones - Steam Preorders Open

by Dhruin, 00:58

Steam has opened preorders for Game of Thrones, though the price of $49.99 might be pushing the boundary for the game's limited profile. You do get a free Prima game guide with your preorder, though. I remain confused about the release date, which shows as June 2nd for me, though we had been told that was only for England and Ireland and other territories remained May 15th - we'll find out soon, obviously.

Thursday - April 12, 2012

Game of Thrones - Release Date Changed?

by Dhruin, 00:22

According to Eurogamer, Koch Media has told them Game of Thrones will launch "early June", which is a couple of weeks later than the previously announced May 15th. The official site hasn't been updated, so we'll clarify when we hear more:

Game of Thrones, the action RPG based on the popular telly series, will be released "early June" on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, distributor Koch Media has announced.

Wednesday - April 11, 2012

Game of Thrones - King's Landing

by Dhruin, 01:09

The Game of Thrones site has a brief blurb and some screens for the city of King's Landing:

In this huge city ruled by King Robert Baratheon, you will walk inside Red Keep, and its Throne Room immortalized by the famous TV show from HBO©. There, you will meet some of the most popular figures from the books such as Queen Cersei Lannister, or the mysterious Lord Varys. You will also discover the city itself, from it wealthy merchant streets to its most miserable districts, not to forget its dark undergrounds and prisons!

Wednesday - April 04, 2012

Game of Thrones - Preview, Interview

by Dhruin, 00:35

VGI has a preview of the combat in Game of Thrones, with the article heavily built around screens of the classes. It looks like this piece was based off the recently released combat video but if you haven't watched that, this might be worth a read:

Sellsword
This is the assassin class, mixing medium armour with swords (single handed), hammers and daggers.

Water Dancer

This class features the style of Braavosi sword fighting (Arya's 'dancing teacher') and will dance around their opponents in light armour while using swords, blunt projectiles and daggers.

Over at Joystiq are comments from George R. R. Martin on translating a book into a game:

"The entire game was written by Cyanide, including the plot and character dialogue. But I did have creative input at many points during the process," Martin told Joystiq. When he met with members of Cyanide to review the game's design document, he made sure that the experience wouldn't break canon. "What they're doing is a parallel story to some of the early events in Ice and Fire, so my primary concern was that nothing in the game altered the events in the books."

This is meant to be as much of a benefit to the player as it is to the writer. In order to be canonical, gamers would be forced onto a narrative rail so as not to break anything Martin has built in the longstanding series. "That would certainly make a game less fun," Martin admits. "Players need to feel like their decisions matter." The similar can be said for writers, whose creativity can stem from the ability to remain independent of the actions of others. "Games can be a really fun way to interact with a literary world, but I can't imagine any writer wants to then be shackled to events or decisions made in the game."

Sunday - April 01, 2012

Game of Thrones - Westeros Deserves Better @ Kotaku

by Dhruin, 00:50

Kotaku expresses disappointment at the way the rights to A Game of Ice and Fire seem to have been handled. Here's a sample from Westeros Deserves Better From The Game of Thrones Video Games:

Aside from The Wall and King's Landing, you'll be spending most of your time in places either never or barely mentioned in the books, and aside from a few characters like Jeor Mormont and Varys, you'll be spending most of your time talking to people created solely for the game. You're also given a choice of two characters you get to play, and that's it. You're a Red Priest or a member of the Night's Watch.

You can't be a Hedge Knight, you can't be a bandit, you can't be a Bravoosi. You can't even choose your gender. Even by action RPG standards, and not true RPG standards, that's pretty damn limiting.

To me, that's like licensing a Star Wars game and then having the player manage the moisture farm next to Luke's on Tatooine. After Luke's already left. It's got almost nothing to do with the reasons I would want to play a game based on that property.

Thursday - March 29, 2012

Game of Thrones - Story Trailer

by Dhruin, 00:09

VG247 has a new Game of Thrones trailer about the story.

Wednesday - March 14, 2012

Game of Thrones - Combat Walkthrough Video

by Dhruin, 22:34

Head to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for a Game of Thrones combat walkthrough video. This is worth a look if you are following this game, as it shows the active-pause real-time combat system in reasonable detail.

Sunday - March 04, 2012

Game of Thrones - Castlewood Trailer

by Dhruin, 00:20

Following up on the Castlewood screens from Games of Thrones the other day is a trailer for the same location. Watch it courtesy of Blue's.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Game of Thrones - Castlewood Screens

by Dhruin, 22:36

Focus sent us a press release announcing six Game of Thrones screens showing "Castlewood", which is apparently the player's home. Check out the screens at Blue's and here is the accompanying blurb:

Game Of Thrones RPG: Discover Castlewood With New Images!


Game of Thrones RPG today unveiled a new series of 6 exclusive screenshots! The role-playing game for PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC is based on the epic series by George R.R. Martin and the popular HBO® TV series, today revealed Castlewood, an original location in the Game of Thrones saga that players will get to explore first-hand.

Today’s screenshots turn their focus to the enigmatic place that’s home to the House Harlton. Fifteen years ago, the Lord of Castlewood chose to support the House Targaryen during the victorious rebellion of Robert Baratheon, and was sentenced to die for this treason. His brother Arwood Harlton, loyal to King Robert, finally inherited Castlewood. Arwood is also known to be a great friend of House Sarwyck, and as the heir of Sarwyck family, you, Alester, will use Castlewood as a safe place to retreat if your quest turns too dangerous…

Castlewood is an original location, playing a key role in the video game while fitting into the existing “A Song Of Ice And Fire” saga. The township of Castlewood will be one of the many places the two heroes of the game – Mors, sworn brother of the Night's Watch, and Alester, the Red Priest – will explore and fight through. From King’s Landing and Red Keep to the Wall, an Epic quest awaits our heroes, guided by revenge, loyalty, honor, and family, along a twisting plot filled with betrayal and vicious hardships.

Live the saga in May 2012 with Game of Thrones on PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC!

Monday - February 27, 2012

Game of Thrones - Art Book with NA Preorders

by Dhruin, 20:54

According to Joystiq, NA preorders for The Game of Thrones will receive a hard-bound art book:

As any citizen of Winterfell will tell you, there's nothing better to pass the time on a cold winter's night than to curl up with a good book. It should come as no surprise, then, that those who pre-order the upcoming Game of Thrones RPG will also receive a hardbound art book. Entitled Game of Thrones: Visuals from the RPG, the book doles out "sixty-four full color pages of sketches, renders, photos, and screenshots from the game accompanied by compelling text and commentary from the game's developers."

Sunday - February 05, 2012

Game of Thrones - Delayed to May

by Dhruin, 09:28

According to GameSpot, Game of Thrones has been delayed to a little past the original "first quarter" to May 15th:

Gamers eager to get their hands on Game of Thrones for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC are going to have to wait longer than expected. Publisher Atlus has announced that the role-playing game adaptation of George R.R. Martin's fantasy franchise has been delayed to May 15.

Thursday - February 02, 2012

Game of Thrones - Riverspring Trailer

by Dhruin, 20:24

Focus has released a new trailer for Game of Thrones, which you can watch via RPS. There are also accompanying screens but they'll have to wait until I upload them. Here's the press release they sent over:

 

GAME OF THRONES PRESENTS RIVERSPRING IN VIDEO AND SCREENSHOTS!


Game of Thrones today unveiled a new video trailer and 8 exclusive screenshots!
The RPG for PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC based on the epic series by George R.R. Martin, which was recently adapted into a TV series by HBO®, presents today in details one of the many places the players will get to explore: Riverspring.

Today’s video and screenshots turn their focus to the troubled waterside town of Riverspring and Sarwyck Keep, the home of its ruling family. A vacant lordship and civil unrest greet Alester Sarwyck, one of the game's two main characters, as he returns home after a fifteen-year self-imposed exile. He arrives as the town mourns the passing of his father, the elder Lord Sarwyck, forcing Alester to consider reclaiming rule of Riverspring and restoring order to his lordship.

The township of Riverspring will be one of the many places the 2 heroes of the game – Mors, sworn brother of the Night's Watch, and Alester, the Red Priest – will have to explore but also to fight through. From King’s Landing and Red Keep to the Wall, an Epic quest awaits our heroes, guided by revenge, loyalty, honor, and family, along a twisting plot filled with betrayal and violence.

Discover all of this in May 2012 with Game of Thrones on PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC!

 

Tuesday - January 24, 2012

Game of Thrones - Screens @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:18

IGN has some hopefully new screens for Game of Thrones, with seven images on offer.

Wednesday - January 11, 2012

Game of Thrones - New Screens

by Dhruin, 00:06

Cyanide sent over new screens for Games of Thrones. Until I upload them, here's the accompanying press release and check out the screens at Worthplaying:

Discover today six new exclusive images from Game of Thrones, the RPG for PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC based on the epic series by George R.R. Martin, which was recently adapted into a TV series by HBO®.

Through these six exclusive images, follow the two playable characters in their quests leading them to the heart of mythical locations from Westeros. The fate of Mors, sworn brother of the Night's Watch, will lead him from the Wall to King’s Landing, through the hostile lands of the Gift. Alester, the red priest, will face troubles during his journey from Riverspring in Lannister territory, to Red Keep in the capital. Their epic quest will be guided by revenge, loyalty, honor, and family, along a twisting plot filled with betrayal and violence.

Like the novels, the stories of our two heroes are told in alternation, each character getting the main role in his chapter to deliver an exciting and original story ... until their paths first cross at the corner of a common quest.

Discover all of this in the second quarter of 2012 with Game of Thrones on PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC.

Thursday - December 22, 2011

Game of Thrones - New Website, Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:05

With the trailer release for Game of Thrones yesterday, we missed that a new official site had been launched, complete with a trailer for the Wall (and a decent facsimile of actor James Cosmo as Lord Commander) - worth a look.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - December 21, 2011

Game of Thrones - Trailer, Unreal Powered

by Dhruin, 23:17

Cyanide and Focus have released the first trailer for A Game of Thrones, offering a collage with around two minutes of gameplay. They have also revealed the game is built using Unreal Engine 3. From Eurogamer:

You play as Mors, sworn brother of the Night's Watch, and Alester, a Red Priest in search of redemption. The pair adventure in familiar parts of Westeros, such as the Wall and King's Landing. You get to meet Queen Cersei, Varys the Spider and Jeor Mormont, the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Expect 30 hours of gameplay.

At the beginning of the game you choose the class of your characters and determine their fighting style. As with all good RPGs there's equipment to loot, weapons to find and experience to gain. You can slow down time during combat. 

Thanks, Frozen Fireball!

Monday - December 05, 2011

Game of Thrones - Screens, 30 Hours Gameplay

by Dhruin, 20:34

Focus sent us the following press release on Game of Thrones to accompany the release of four screens. You can find the shots in our gallery and here's the press release, which announces an expected 30 hours of gameplay:

 

Focus Home Interactive will publish in Europe " Game of Thrones ", the RPG based on the bestseller series of novels by George R.R. Martin, which has recently been adapted into a TV series by HBO®.


Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studio are pleased to announce, with fresh images, the publishing agreement for the role-playing game "Game of Thrones" in Europe, on PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360® and PC.

"Game of Thrones" is a big role playing game based on the famous series of novels by George R.R. Martin, which has already sold over 15 million units around the world, and which HBO has recently adapted into a critically-praised TV series. This is the most ambitious project of Cyanide Studio. Developed on Unreal Engine 3 and written under the supervision of George R.R. Martin, "Game of Thrones" will allow fans of the series, and more generally adepts of role-playing games, to live an exceptional adventure in one of the most finely-worked universe from the medieval fantasy literature.

"Cyanide realized a truly admirable work on Game of Thrones. The game is faithful to the unique ambiance found in George R.R. Martin's novels" declares Cédric Lagarrigue, CEO of Focus Home Interactive. "The narration, the artistic direction, the pace of the game and its realization make it one of the most exciting role-playing games to come in 2012."

Along the 30 hours of gameplay offered by "Game of Thrones", play as Mors, sworn brother of the Night's Watch, and Alester, a Red Priest in search of redemption who is back to Westeros after a long exile. The Hand of King Robert Baratheon has just passed away, and these two charismatic heroes will find themselves dragged in a grand quest that will lead them through familiar and gorgeous places of Westeros, such like the Wall and its region, or the famous King’s Landing. In this grand adventure, they will meet famous faces: Queen Cersei, Varys the Spider or Jeor Mormont, the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch faithfully reproduced from the TV series.

In "Game of Thrones", you will choose the class of your characters, find your fighting style, reach a good balance between your strengths and weaknesses, and get ready for epic battles! Find, buy or loot new equipment and weapons to fit your approach of the fights, and gain experience to improve your skills or learn new ones. Slow the time down during battle to analyze the situation and choose your next moves. In game of thrones, political skills can be as lethal as a sharpen sword, so never underestimate the power of a silver tongue to solve a critical situation!

While the game will soon be unveiled more to media and the public through video trailers, in-depth presentations and numerous screenshots, discover today 4 exclusive images of the game, unveiling a bit more the heroes and the ambiance of this exceptional role-playing game, planned for release early 2012 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

 

Wednesday - November 09, 2011

A Game of Thrones - Atlus to Publish in "Early 2012"

by Dhruin, 21:53

Atlus has announced they will publish Cyanide's Game of Thrones RPG, which seems to be titled simply "A Game of Thrones". According to the press release (thanks Blue's), the game is due "early 2012", which is an interesting contrast against the information a few months back at GameBanshee where project manager Thomas Veauclin said the game was in "early development". The press release:

In this 30-plus hour action RPG, players will enter the gritty and medieval fantasy world of Westeros. As one of two original characters with disparate motivations, both former soldiers of Robert's Rebellion, players will forge alliances and wage battles as they play a pivotal role in the ongoing war for power of the Seven Kingdoms. Their journey will span numerous quests, during which they will interact with many characters and make key decisions that impact the realm.

Standing before the majesty and bitter isolation of the Wall or walking through the streets and alleys of King's Landing, players will not simply pass by locations and characters integral to the series; they will explore and interact with them, meeting and learning about the people and history that defines them and their importance. Key decisions and major events will have meaningful impact on Westeros, allowing the player to witness how the game world evolves over time based on their actions or inactions. Moreover, "Game of Thrones" introduces an innovative "active slowdown tactical combat engine" in which 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.

"The Game of Thrones television series and the A Song of Ice and Fire book series it is based on represent some of the most captivating, original medieval fantasy and drama ever created," commented Shinichi Suzuki, President and CEO of Index Digital Media, Inc. "Its amalgam of bitterly antagonistic rival houses, deeply nuanced characters, intricate political machinations, and breathtaking fantasy--all set within a richly storied world--offers unparalleled realism and raw emotion. We are honored to work with HBO, Cyanide Studios, and the great George R. R. Martin in bringing an exciting action RPG set in this beloved fantasy universe to fans and gamers in early 2012."

"This is a wonderful way for fans to engage with the brand in an exciting and interactive way," stated James Costos, VP of HBO Global Licensing. "ATLUS and Cyanide are leaders in developing world class games with broad accessibility so the partnership was an ideal fit for us."

"Game of Thrones" is currently scheduled to release in early 2012 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. For more information, visit http://gameofthrones-thegame.com. Expect frequent news updates, content additions, and more between now and the game's release!

The site is currently just a teaser image and although you can preorder, there are no screens or media I can see.

Frozen Fireball points out this article at Eurogamer that reveals that a social game and a Bigpoint (browser?) MMO are also in development.

Source: Blues News

Friday - April 15, 2011

A Game of Thrones - Interview @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 00:27

GameBanshee has scored the first ever interview on A Game of Thrones, discussing the game with project manager Thomas Veauclin from Cyanide. The game is still early in development so the revelations are limited but he does unveil two main protagonist characters that the gamer alternates playing, a "tactical" approach to combat with active-pause and a linear structure:

GB: We know it’s early, but what can you tell us about the game's character creation and advancement system? Will you be taking a numbers-heavy approach with attributes, skill checks, combat rolls, and such, or will the game be more of an action RPG? Also, will there be a fixed protagonist or is the game going to allow for character customization right from the start?

Thomas: We are working on a linear storyline in which our two main characters are "delimited". This must not be equated with constrained; it just means that a coherent story requires that the dramatis personae be coherent. The two of them thus have a well-defined background and a given mindset, which impact on their relationship. Of course, the player will be able to customise the equipment and attributes of his characters and this will allow them to evolve in a direction chosen by the player.

The same goes for the storyline. It would be impossible to offer an epic adventure if the game was played in an open world. Depth can only be provided if we keep the player to a linear path. Again, the player will be able to make vital choices at key moments, so he is not a captive of the game scenario.

As for gameplay, we are very much tactical RPG-orientated. That's why, in combat, we use an active pause system which allows skills to be stacked while the game is switched into slow motion.

Information about

Game of Thrones

Developer: Cyanide Studios

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2012-05-15
· Publisher: Focus Interactive

World
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2012-05-15
· Publisher: Focus Interactive

World
· Platform: PS3
· Released at 2012-05-15
· Publisher: Focus Interactive