Game of Thrones, the new fantasy series starting this week on Sky Atlantic, is going to be getting a real time strategy adaptation. French developers, Cyanide, are holding the reins and although little has been said about the actual game, aside from the title and a couple of screens, we’ve had a chance to preview the first couple of episodes of the TV show.
Let’s go back to the beginning. A Game of Thrones is the first book in an epic fantasy series by George R. R. Martin. That series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is widely regarded as one of the greatest pieces of fantasy fiction. Martin collaborates on the television show too, so its authenticity and loyalty to the books should be fairly well assured.
The books are held in high regard and much is expected of the ten part series. What kind of setting does it offer for a video game, then?
Well, the setting of Westeros is an interesting and diverse one. A frozen north with a wall, guarded by the Knights Watch – a brotherhood of intensely loyal warriors, to hold back the mythical evil beyond. Seven kingdoms and a recently usurped central throne (the Iron throne). Vengeful former royalty scheming from a bordering land. More subterfuge, tense loyalties and incest than a season of Sopranos.
It’s a complex and tremendously well realised world with plenty of factions, all with rich backstories and shifting loyalties. The supernatural threat which is introduced very early in the TV show could be used to good effect and the various driving forces and characteristics of the introduced factions could make for a great setting for a strategy game.
The first two episodes of the TV show focus on the Stark family in the North, the usurping King Robert and his wife’s devious family, the House Lannister. It also shows the plotting of Viserys Targaryen who sells his thirteen year old sister to a barbarian chief in the hope of securing hordes for a war on King Robert, who claimed his father’s throne. It’s already complex and there are still many major factions to still be introduced.
Purported to be a kind of real time strategy game with elements of role play, A Game of Thrones has certainly got an extremely rich universe to inhabit. The move from books to television and video games (there have also been card and table top games) seems to be a natural one. Certainly, the multi-threaded plot and lengthy arc would be difficult to cram into a movie but with serialised TV it could work well and if Cyanide do a good job translating the political tension and subterfuge as well as the combat then the game is certianly going to be worth looking out for.
Game of Thrones starts on HBO this weekend and on Sky Atlantic in the UK on Monday 17th at 9pm. For more information about the TV show, read the review on our sister site – ScreenDemon.