Game Of Thrones Episode 6 Review: The Ice Dragon

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You Win…Or You Die

The story at Ironrath with either Asher or Rodrik is by far the best, no matter which brother you are following, although it still suffers from the same excellent build-up and terrible follow-through that Gared and Mira’s tales did. Moreso than them, Rodrik and Asher are defined and supported by those they have befriended throughout the series, with distinct conversations and events depending on choices you’ve made before. There’s some solid voice acting and writing from both characters, each one delivering a different, motivating pre-battle speech that amps up the tension and excitement considerably.

Instead of meaningful, tear-jerking moments, I felt more that I was rolling the dice with each decision, constantly asking, “Who’s getting screwed over next?”

Furthermore, each character faces a distinct choice early on in the episode that defines how the rest of the episode will play out, and is even given the option to go back on that decision a bit later for a third distinct outcome. Make these choices carefully, as each one dramatically affects who you’ll see standing at the end, and it’s rarely clear what end each path will lead to.

While Rodrik/Asher’s battle at Ironrath is the most satisfying part of the episode, it still results in the same frustrating ending, albeit with a few characters alive, dead, or unknown depending on how you play out this episode. Without giving away too much, just imagine a typical Game of Thrones wedding. It goes just about as well as you could expect, and never in favor of the people you’re cheering for.

After six episodes, multiple barely-different endings, and more ups and downs that I can count, I can’t believe there’s just no way to “win” or at least come out even. The hopelessness of the entire storyline is akin to The Walking Dead, but the difference is that these characters don’t inspire the same emotional connection. Instead of meaningful, tear-jerking moments, I felt more that I was rolling the dice with each decision, constantly asking, “Who’s getting screwed over next?” The work I had put in episode after episode was utterly worthless. This is literally the opposite of what the trailers promised.

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Plus, the game ended on a cliffhanger more appropriate to the end of a middle episode, not the end of a series. With too many questions left in the air, they’ll have to continue. While making a new season is the right decision based on the story they told, it’s hard to argue after the disappointment of the first season that a second one is desirable at all. And the statement that my choices in this season will carry over into the next isn’t a comforting one at all. What, they’ll kill off the people I saved? I’ll get a cameo and a few extra lines of dialogue? That’s all it’s amounted to this season, anyway.

Finally, this is the buggiest episode so far. Voices were missing from dialogue, loading times were longer than ever, characters clipped weirdly both visually and vocally, and the game froze during the credits. It’s worth mentioning too that the combat sequences were about as engaging as they’ve been in every other episode (moderate to good) with nothing new to add, but the level of exploration or optional conversations rests sadly at 0.


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Since the first episode, it was easy to give Telltale the benefit of the doubt that your choices might influence the game later on. And maybe some will be okay with the only marginally different endings and the railroaded story. But the fact remains that with no other compelling gameplay beyond making those choices, Telltale’s left with little more than an interesting (if tragic), buggy, point-and-click adventure. The story’s good, really good, but it can just as easily be watched in a Let’s Play or read about to gain the story without the agony of futility. Though the promised second season is a necessity to the plot, it’s not one I look forward to.

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.