What a Disappointment
George R.R Martin's epic series and one of the few watchable HBO original programs in years seems like a Godsend for video gaming. A tale of betrayal, violence, and more than a wee bit of boning could easily be another Mass Effect level game. And there were hopes that not-well-known developer Cyanide Games could produce a game that matches the scope of the novels.
They failed. Miserably.
On the positive side, the writing is pretty good. The story is interesting on paper. And if the game was also played on paper, this would be grand. But the writing is brought down by pretty much every other aspect of the game being unmitigated crap.
Visually, the game is ugly. Remember when I said the Dragon Age titles weren't gorgeous games? If I compared it to this, they'd be stunning. Everything is muddy. The character models don't look modern by any stretch. Clipping is constant with doors passing through you on routine basis. It's odd that a series with such obvious hooks for impressive visual design is stuck in a bland, uninspired bit of sub-par "fantasy-by-numbers" design of the environments.
The voice acting is nearly criminal. Playing the game on mute is a vast improvement. The music and ambient sounds are mediocre, but the community college theater group who apparently supplied the voices need to realize that acting is not going to be their life's calling. They can take any dialogue and make you doze off while listening to them drone on and on about it.
This could be forgiven more easily if the game, itself, was fun. It's not. I gave up after a few hours because the game is one of the most tedious slogs I've ever experienced. Nothing involving the game is fun. Controlling your dog? As much fun as it sounds. Traversing through dull dungeons? Not any better. Combat? Snooze. It's not that the combat is "strategic" --- it's just boring. None of the attacks feel like they have any power.
There is virtually nothing I can say nice about this game. It took an enjoyable book series and made it a horrendously terrible game. I am willing to slog through almost any game out there and the fact that I couldn't drag myself across the finish line --- in fact, making myself even reach the halfway route was beyond my grasp --- is enough to make one realize that this game is bad beyond most others.