Up until this episode TellTale’s attempt at telling their own story within the world of Game of Thrones has fit in neatly alongside the show. Whilst Nest of Vipers does provide excellent set up for the finale of the Forrester story, it leans far too heavily of established characters from the show.
However when TellTale branch off with their own creations, Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers hits the nail on the head and ramps up the story to a fittingly dramatic cliffhanger. As ever there is little to no traditional game-play, so that will not be covered in this review. (See Episode 1: Iron From Ice review for the assessment of the limited mechanics)
Being the penultimate episode means we get a lot mystery being unraveled in order to set up the final confrontation of Forrester and Whitehill, at some points in its eagerness to speed the plot along the game does feel like it is ignoring your previous choices somewhat, despite this the core strength of this game, the emotional connection you make with these characters, shines in this episode with Asher and Rodrick especially.
During your time as Asher you get to explore one of the most interesting areas the game has covered and we see Asher thrive in what has to be one of the most enjoyable scenes the game has presented, and also blends his story into the rest of the narrative, contrasting with the previous episodes where the Essos storyline felt like a sideplot rather than a facet of the main plot. The last scene of this episode is nothing short of utterly harrowing, requiring you to make a choice which is arguably the most difficult ever to feature in a TellTale game, there is certainly no right answer, its satisfying and heart wrenching but if it’s not handled properly in the finale then it could be a huge disappointment.
As previously stated, Game of Thrones – Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers features some very prominent characters from the TV show, whilst it’s nice to see the oil brushed versions of these TV stars, they do detriment the plot significantly. Numerous times throughout the episode you are asked to make choices based around these characters, which sucks all impact from your decision because their fate is already known to anyone who has seen the show or read the books.
Besides this major issue it does help up the ante for the end of the season, as the relevant characters are meeting and rivaling characters we know are masters of their craft from the show, it’s a very telling method of showing each character’s development, which is a truly satisfying experience.
Another major gripe of this episode is the BIG reveal about two-thirds of the way in, like many big story events in TellTale games, at the moment of playing you are drawn in with the drama, however in hindsight the reveal makes very little sense, even if your choices do fit entirely with the narrative, it’s disappointing to see what could have been a fantastic plot-point so poorly fumbled.
Game of Thrones – Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers isn’t quite a missed step, it feels like it’s misdirected more than anything else, and the big problems with TellTale’s format are pushed to the forefront. It does its job of setting up the finale, and has fantastic moments but ultimately is not as strong as any of the previous episodes.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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