Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode 5 - A Nest of Vipers Review
Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode 5 - A Nest of Vipers  Box Art
System: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android
Dev: Telltale Games
Pub: Telltale Games
Release: July 21, 2015
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language

The game then asks you to play through it again, making decisions and trying to save your family with all these different characters, but it doesn’t work. The feeling of pointlessness is just too heavy in this episode. I struggled to continue on because I knew my choices weren’t making a difference. The game would constantly show me shadows of success just to take that success away, and while stories of tragic downfall can be compelling, I don’t actually feel like I’m even guiding the house’s downfall. Every episode starts you back at tabula rasa, which makes the decision making feel like a waste of time.

The rest of the episode falls into the trap of making you do busywork in order to progress. Want to see the next chapter in the conflict between the Forresters and Whitehills? Too bad! Play this rabbit hunting mini-game first. Oh, and we are going to very poorly explain the controls so you never realize you can’t fully aim. No, just wait with your bow trained on a spot and wait for rabbits to come through. This is not the epic tale of politics and swordplay I signed up for.

Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode 4 - Sons of Winter Screenshot

The game also has a habit of cutting to different stories at the worst time. Like, usually you’d cut to a new character after a battle, but on more than one occasion Episode 5 cuts away BEFORE a battle. So you are ready to do some sort of quick time event that will save you and your friends from utter destruction and in a blink you are doing something completely different. It wrecks the game’s pacing.

But despite the episode's many many flaws, it does have some great moments. There’s this one point where you get to piece together a speech with Asher as he says it, which gives you this fantastic feeling of triumph. Immediately prior to that you get to have a pit fight with your choice of several different weapons, which is pretty fun. There is also a confrontation with the traitor you have been chasing since the first episode, and that has a lot of payoff.

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Still, this is once again a second-to-last episode that ends up being the weakest episode. No matter how accomplished I feel, I know that I’m not actually doing anything. I know nothing is changing. I know next episode I’m going to feel powerless again, and everything I did in this previous episode will barely be addressed. I have to admit, Game of Thrones has been hard to get through. So much horrible tragedy befell my characters and I was powerless to do anything about it. I wanted to quit. I still want to quit. But there’s one episode left, and coming this far means I absolutely have to ride the story of house Forrester to the end. Just don’t expect this episode to feel rewarding. Look at it as something you have to do for the inevitable finale.

By
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: July 21, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The graphics are beautiful, but they don’t shine through as well this time.
4.0
Control
Simple point and click interface, nothing different here.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Still fantastic voice acting performances, especially from cameos.
2.0
Play Value
I can’t care about any of the plot. Everyone dies and there’s nothing I can do about it, and that feels profoundly disempowering and not fun to play.
2.9
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Voice performances from HBO actors.
  • Four different characters to play.
  • Hand-painted style of visuals.

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