PC Review: A Game of Thrones: Genesis

Much can be said about George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series; G-Rated is not one of those things. On the other hand, if you thought murder, treachery, deceit, gratuitous sex, bloody battles, and an epic storyline are what you expect, then you are on the right track; This is what makes the series so intriguing.

I have to admit, I was a bit scared when I heard they were making into a TV show. Luckily, my fears were quickly put to rest right as the first episode started playing. But if the idea of a TV show made me weary, the idea of a video game would have been horrifying.

Cyanide Studios took a huge risk in taking one of the most renowned series of our time and turning it into a video game. Had they screwed it up, it could have completely blown up in their faces. I’m glad that I get the privilege and opportunity to report that not only did Cyanide NOT screw up the game, they put together a top notch prequel completely worthy of the Game of Thrones title.

Let me just start by saying that this game is definitely not for someone who wants an easy ride. In fact, GoT:G is probably one of the hardest games I’ve ever played. Maybe it’s because I’m not incredibly adept to RTS type games, but I had a hard time making it through this game. I lost…a lot. At first it was a bit annoying but then, when I did manage to pull off a win, the level of satisfaction that I felt was astounding. I wanted to keep playing just to prove to myself that I could beat the next mission and move forward with the story.

The main concept, while it does involve many, many epic battles, is more of spying, trickery, and deceit. One of your main goals –which gains you map awareness– is to infiltrate neutral cities and get them to join your side. Or, if that doesn’t work, you can make a secret pact with said cities in order for them to help you, while tricking your enemies into thinking that they’re helping them. This was probably my favorite part of the game.

You can also send a spy into your enemy’s main city and have them pay off someone to work for you. I loved being able to have my enemy build a unit that was actually on my side. How awesome is having your own personal double agent? I could actually trick my opponent into hiring an envoy to go out and make deals with cities which would give me an advantage. I have never seen this concept before in any game that I’ve played. It is truly unique.

The main reason that I wanted to be able to do this review in the first place was kind of selfish of me. I’m a huge fan of the world of Westeros that George R. R. Martin created. The details and complexity of the story arc are phenomenal. He is not afraid to write characters that you hate and he is not afraid to kill off anyone, and I mean ANYONE. Since I’m so intrigued by the main lore that is already out there in the books and TV series, I could not pass up the chance to learn more about the backstory, and that’s what this game does best.

A Game of Thrones: Genesis is not about anything you may have read in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Instead, it gives you a chance to play through, and see first hand, how the land of Westeros was shaped over the few hundred years before the fiction in the books took place. In this aspect, Cyanide Studios —with some help from Martin himself– has delivered beautifully. Anyone who is a fan of the series needs to play this game and experience it for themselves.

Even though I’m a fan, I have to be honest; A Game of Thrones: Genesis is not for everyone. I wish I could say it was, but the biggest setback is that the game is hard..really hard. There were a few campaigns that took me more than a couple of tries to get through. To me, the struggle was worth it. I love hard games, especially ones that make me feel like I’ve accomplished something when I finish it. The battles can definitely be described as epic, especially as you get into the late game. For those that want more of the “easy street” approach to games, this one is not for you.

With that said, though, I do highly recommend this game. If you’re a fan of either the Game of Thrones television show that was on HBO or the groundbreaking A Song of Ice and Fire series, you will love the storytelling of this game. It’s a great supplement while waiting on the next book…and who knows how long that will take to get out? Also, if you’re a fan of RTS games and don’t mind a challenge, the game delivers astonishingly well in this area as well.

A Game of Thrones: Genesis does an excellent job of taking all of the aspects that the series embodies and playing them out on your computer monitor. If that sounds like something you can get into, them by all means go out and buy this game. There is so much more I want to say about everyting, but they all seem like spoilers. It is really something that you have to experience for yourself to really get the full feel of it all. There is also definitely some good replay value, as you can play the game with or against other players as well adding a whole new element of the game into the mix that I didn’t even get a chance to hit on. And I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to betray their best friend and pillage his land or team up and take over the Seven Kingdoms for themselves? The opportunities are endless.

Pros:

–Great Story

–Epic Battles

–Fun Gameplay with some new twists

–Great Replayability

–Did I mention the story?

Cons:

–Very Challenging

–Slow Start and may take a bit to get into if you’re not there for the Story at first

Overall Score: 4/5

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Author: Jeremy Goodson View all posts by
Jeremy is the Managing Editor for Vagary.TV. He has been gaming since the days of the NES and has no desire to stop anytime soon. He's also a veteran Blogger and Podcaster. When he's not writing, recording, or playing games, he loves spending time with his wife and son, reading, and watching a good movie or TV show.