Re-Elect Governor Marley

video games and controls

I've been playing the new Game of Thrones game from Telltale Games. I don't read/watch/otherwise interact with The Walking Dead, so this is my first encounter with their newly-popular brand of gaming/storytelling.

When there's fighting, directions appear on the screen showing you which key you should press to execute the correct offensive or defensive maneuver. This is helpful, since I would be unlikely to make the correct choice otherwise, save by sheer flailing chance. Even with this level of handholding, I don't always hit the correct key in time, and dying is entirely possible. Luckily, every time you die, you just get a quick screen that reads "Valar morghulis," and then you get to go back to shortly before your untimely demise and try again. Sometimes, instead of pressing a key, you have to click on a thing, reaching hastily for the mouse/touchpad.

Even dialogue selection is time-constrained. No awkward pauses are allowed in any of your conversations! (Well, that's not entirely true, as you can select, intentionally or accidentally, to say nothing, but you can't hesitate too long and then select something from the dialogue tree.) A poorly-considered choice or a complete misclick could alter the course of your game, since, as the text in the upper-left-hand corner frequently reminds you, the characters will remember what you have said to them. Although, this being a Game of Thrones game, the character that you have been informed will make a careful note of what you have said to them is entirely liable to die before they can do much or anything about it, and then you've worried about what they'll think about you for nothing.

I feel like there should be a ticky box somewhere that you can click to say, okay, pretend like I've hit all the right buttons in the fight scenes and stop reminding me that all men must die already. I also really dislike WASDing my characters around, although since a lot of the game is closely choreographed you don't have to do it that often. I mean, I know that for people who play other kinds of games, these controls are second nature to them at this point, but I specifically got into adventure-y games for the point and click action, and clicking on where you want your character to go seems like it would be a perfectly acceptable grain of control for this game, too. Oh well.

Interacting with the canon characters is the most fraught, because you know they're not going to die off before what you say to them comes back to haunt you, and also the renderings of their faces can be disturbingly melty, especially from some angles. The voice acting is good, though.

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