Games of Thrones: Episode 5 – A Nest of Vipers Review (PS4)

As with most Telltale episodic games, this episode basically came out of nowhere. These episodes have been some of the most sporadic I’ve ever seen and the quality of the work that goes into them is lacking because of it. Anyway, here’s what I thought about the second to last episode of this seasons Game of Thrones.

If you can remember what happened the last episode, this episode picks up right where it left off with Rodrik. It just so happens that while Rodrik thinks he has the upper hand, he really doesn’t and Ramsey Snow is here to show him exactly how much power he has. While this episode really doesn’t concentrate on Rodrik all that much, there is some progression in the Rodrik/Elena storyline that might or might not influence you on what’s going to happen by the end of the episode. During your time in Ironwrath you’ll also learn who the traitor is. You’ve been hearing about someone being a traitor since a couple of episodes back and now you’ll finally learn who it was. I have to say that the reveal took me by surprise and it totally wasn’t who I thought it was.

Seriously…? During your short time in Ironwrath, there are events that take place which make Elena sad and upset, and then the next thing you know she’s in bed with Rodrik, that is if Rodrik plays his cards right. I found this scene to be unfitting at best. I mean this is a woman who was extremely stricken with grief in one scene and then has her legs spread open in the next. Maybe it’s just me but I thought that this scene was unfitting. I think that Telltale could have found a better way to solidify the relationship between Rodrik and Elena instead of the way they did.

Onto Garred who is still on the search for the North Grove making me think that we’ll never see the mysterious North Grove this season or even at all. Surprisingly not much time is spent with Garred this episode either. He’ll get a few scenes here and there as he tries to convince his companions that the North Grove is still worth looking for while taking on some White Walkers.

Not much time was spent with Mira this episode either, but the time that was spent with her was pretty damn interesting. After the events of last episode, Sera is basically done with Mira and with Tyrion locked up after the death of Joffery, her allies in Kings Landing are on the decline. All of Mira’s scheming has gotten the attention of Cersi though who decides that she’s going to use Mira for her own personal gain. She’s given a simple task of interrogating Tyrion to see who he is going to call as a witness in the trial, but this is Game of Thrones so nothing is ever simple.

Now onto Asher, the big star of this episode. He’s pretty damn proud of himself and of Beshka after successfully taking over Meereen for Daenerys and is expecting his reward of sell swords to take back to Ironwrath. Well as it turns out, Daenerys isn’t going to be giving you these sell swords because she just isn’t, she will keep Asher’s Uncle though who is all but happy to jump on the Mother of Dragons bandwagon. Asher will find his merry band of fighters though in the fighting pits of Meereen and it’s off to Ironwrath. Asher finally makes it home in this episode for a not so happy ending that will make the kill Kenny / not kill Kenny decision from The Walking Dead Season 2 seem like the easiest decision you’ve ever made with Telltale games.

Boo! Just Boo! As a watcher of Game of Thrones, Daenerys is one of my favorite characters. She’s unlike any of the other characters in the show and it makes her refreshing and someone that you want to root for even though you know that sometime during the next season there is always the possibility that she might die horribly. In the game it’s a complete 180 on her character as a whole. What the hell!? The Daenerys in the show is not the same Daenerys in the game. Not to mention that the voice acting is off which just ruins things even more. Daenerys is known for being fair yet in the game she’s more then happy to make false promises. To me this is just a total fail.

While the episode started out a little slow and seemed like it was going to just drag on forever, things slowly pick up towards the middle and leave you with an ending that is true to Game of Thrones since no one is truly ever happy. Your previous decisions can come back to bite you in the ass this time around and that’s what really makes this an interactive decision based game.

The playability is typical for this series as a whole and of course there were loading problems and a few minor freezing problems that seemed to carry on from the previous episode. Then there was the unexpected breaking up of pixels during a couple of scenes in the game where the image kind of went in and out. There was also a problem during the first scene of the game where there was some woman screaming but there was no screaming woman in the scene. Weird and sloppy.

I think I have finally come to the realization of why I am just absolutely hating on these graphics so much. It’s the texture! The texture is supposed to be painting like, I’m guessing, and it’s making the whole texture of the game just seem like sloppy graphic work. I’ve seen this type of graphics done in other games where it just worked, but in this game it’s a total failure.

Another 8 trophies come along with this episode and all you have to do to earn them is play the episode. Just one more episode to go and you’ll have the platinum trophy for this game as a whole.

As always this game is lacking in the multiplayer department and I for one am not complaining.

Overall I give this episode a 3 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Great way to get things set into place before the final episode.
+ Decisions that really matter!
+ That ending.

What’s Not So Great:
Loading time problems, freezing problems, and now pixilation problems. What’s next?
Unnecessary scenes that are meant to progress the story but are done the wrong way.
Uncharacteristic portrayal of well known characters.

While I did enjoy playing this episode and seeing how the story progressed based on my decisions, there are a lot of things that I’m not enjoying making playing this series in a way counter productive. I will say that the final scene in the episode was done extremely well and portrayed the type of emotion that you get from playing Telltale games and making decisions throughout the game. The end, although heart breaking, was one of the best scenes in this game as a whole.

SPOILERS! Below are the choices that I made for the fifth episode.

Game of Thrones