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Game of Thrones "Sons of Winter" review for Xbox One, PS4, PC


Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

As we enter the second half of Telltale’s Game of Throne series with an episode entitled “Sons of Winter”, it’s nice to finally see a couple “House Forrester, f*** yeah!” moments sprinkled about. Of course, these moments will probably lead to some more remarkably tragic events for the Northern ironwood keepers, but I still think you’ll find it hard to exit this episode without a smile on your face.

There’s a decent amount of plot progression across just about every viewpoint this episode. Asher and company come face to face with the Queen of Dragons, which goes not quite as well as I’d imagine Asher and Beshka would have hoped. Rodrik gets some much needed support from a previously introduced ally, and two satisfying moments with some legitimately tough dialogue choices that will challenge your self-control.

game of thrones ep 4 002Gared’s storyline on the Wall leads to an interesting expedition, with some serious ramifications based on his actions at the end of the last episode. And then there’s Mira, who up to this point has seemed like a fish out of water, but really comes into her own with her attempts to uncover the person working with the Whitehills against her family in King’s Landing. Mira, in my opinion, is sort of the MVP of this episode, getting down and dirty with the political elements of King’s Landing in a way that we haven’t seen up to this point.

Obviously, I need to be somewhat vague in reviewing the episodic Telltale stuff, but hopefully this is enough information to give you some indication this is an episode worth picking up. The basic mechanics of this episode are no different than the last three, you’ll have a few moments of action with QTE style events added in, and a number of various dialogue options on a timer to propel the story along. The Telltale formula is pretty well understood at this point, and I doubt you need any sort of grandiose explanation on how the game works.

game of thrones ep 4 003If you’re concerned about the technical aspects, I’ve continued my playthrough of this series on Xbox One, and there’s not much in the way of technical hiccups for this round. I did get a bit of stuttering during the “previously on” sequence at the beginning of this episode, which gave me cause for concern. But that cleared up when it came time for the game to begin, and never flared up again throughout the episode. That said, I still really wish this particular issue could be ironed out completely, it’s not the first time this has happened with this series on this platform.

Video stuttering aside, this is still a pretty great episode. We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to cheer the Forrester gang on, but this episode certainly gives you a number of moments to do just that. I’m sure this will all end in heartbreak and sadness, like any proper Game of Thrones spawned tale, but Episode 4 delivered just the right amount of hope that House Forrester might yet outmaneuver the Whitehills, Boltons, and Lannisters…oh hell, what am saying? They’re all gonna die.

Grade: A

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