And so our watch begins: Next year, "Game of Thrones" heads to consoles by way of "The Walking Dead."
Telltale Games, the studio behind the award-winning "Walking Dead" video games, have announced an upcoming adaptation of "Game of Thrones," based on the HBO fantasy series of the same name. The game, announced at Spike's 2013 VGX Awards over the weekend, will arrive at an unknown point in 2014.
It's TRUE! We're working with @HBO to create an all-new episodic game series based on GAME OF THRONES in 2014! #VGX pic.twitter.com/d5GkhS2MOw— Telltale Games (@telltalegames) December 8, 2013
According to Telltale, "Game of Thrones" will be similar in format to the company's previous offerings — in other words, expect story-driven game-play, with a whole lot of freedom to make very good and very bad decisions. Still, given the warmongering nature of "Thrones," Telltale promises that there will be battle scenes aplenty. "You'll be swinging a sword now and then," the company said, according to Kotaku.
Beyond that, what else needs to be said? Winter is coming, and it's going to be a can't-miss event, if Telltale's rèsumé is any indication. Still, even as snow falls all across the U.S., the Westerosi winter isn't exactly imminent; with no specific release date announced, the wait for Telltale's "Game of Thrones" could be a long one.
With that in mind, perhaps there's still time to send a few words of advice in Telltale's direction — not that they need it.
Tip #1: Explore The Seven Kingdoms: The obvious instinct is to set "Game of Thrones" in familiar territories, like King's Landing or Winterfell and The Wall. Not to say exploring those iconic locations as rendered by Telltale wouldn't be cool, but the game has an opportunity to bring players to different corners of Westeros. How about a noir-ish adventure set in The Citadel of Oldtown, for example? Or a deadly power-struggle set during the Kingsmoot of the Iron Islands? A bit obscure, sure, but obscurity can work, especially in Telltale's hands.
Tip #2: Mind The Time: Westeros has a whole lot of history, as George R.R. Martin's recently released short story "The Princess and the Queen" makes abundantly clear. Indeed, the entirety of "Thrones" is built on the notion of ancient and insurmountable bad blood between houses. With so much rich history at their fingertips, Telltale can set their "Thrones" story at any time they want, without any obligation to further the show's "modern-day" events. Set the game during Robert's Rebellion, or go as far back as Aegon's Landing — seven Hells, go back even further if you'd like. We'll be along for the ride, no matter what time period it takes place in.
Tip #3: Embrace The Gray: Above all else, Telltale, don't forget what made "The Walking Dead" such a critical darling: the opportunity to make decisions, good and bad. Moral ambiguity is the name of the game when it comes to Telltale's zombie-apocalypse adventure, and it's the name of the game when it comes to "Game of Thrones." Telltale needs to provide the player with a character they can mold in any direction they want, whether that's walking a Starkian path of honor, or leaning Lannister with self-serving, Machiavellian tactics. Establishing a flexible moral code is as important as anything in creating a worthwhile "Game of Thrones" gaming experience.
Are you looking forward to Telltale's "Game of Thrones" video game? Let us know in the comments section below!