What George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy epic Game of Thrones really needs is an RPG video game. Good thing Atlus and Cyanide Studios are making one! It’s coming May 15th, and here’s everything you need to know about it.
Rather than re-hash the events of the books or the TV series, the video game depicts an original story that runs parallel to the main Game of Thrones storyline. But purists need not worry: Martin is supervising the story’s writing to ensure that it stays in canon.
If you’re wondering if the game takes its cues more from the books or the show, the screenshots should be a dead giveaway that the show reigns supreme. Three stars of the show are even lending their likenesses and voices to the game: the actors behind Queen Cersei, Lord Varys, and Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. The game is said to take at least 30 hours to play, and it sounds like a serious RPG for hardcore gamers.
You’ll play as two characters who trade off playability — Mors, a brother of the Night’s Watch, or Alester, a Red Priest returning to Westeros following a long exile — both former soldiers of “Robert’s Rebellion,” the war that ended the rule of the Mad King and saw Robert Baratheon ascend to the throne. Alternating between one character and the other, their parallel stories will eventually converge for a common quest near the game’s end. The game begins around the same time as the first book and the show’s first season. King Baratheon’s Hand, John Aeryn has just died, and these two characters will be thrust into a quest that will take them to numerous parts of Westeros, including the Wall and King’s Landing. Events in the game will occur alongside familiar events from the book/show, occurring over the same amount of time.
Cyanide Studios is putting the emphasis on gamer choice and customization, letting players choose things like their character’s class, fighting style, weapons, equipment, skills, and more. Unlike some modern RPGs like Mass Effect, where fast-paced events play out more or less in real time, Game of Thrones will tip its hand to RPGs of the past by allowing you to slow down time during the heat of battle so you can carefully analyze the situation and choose your next move. Both Mors and Alester have command of unique powers and abilities that will serve you well during battle. RPG lovers will also find other familiar trappings like dialogue trees with NPCs, which can drastically alter the game’s events and outcome. Exploration also gets a lot of attention, with scavenging being a key way that you’ll get your hands on better weapons and equipment.
Game of Thrones: The Game is being crafted using Unreal Engine 3 tech. It will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on May 15th. Check out our full gallery of more than 30 screenshots below.