Game of Thrones: Episode 5 – A Nest of Vipers Review – High Stress Levels (PS4)
Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode 5 – A Nest of Vipers begins right where Episode 4 left off — with Ramsay Snow. Considering his last encounter with House Forrester back in Episode 1, to say that A Nest of Vipers starts out in the most stressful and most intense way possible would be an understatement. That stress will probably stick with you throughout the entire episode, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing.
Because this is the second to last episode in the season, the action has reached a plateau and things are starting to wrap up. For the first time, I have somewhat of an idea what the end of the season might look like. Each one of the four main characters’ problems are starting to be resolved. Even though each fought bitterly to achieve his or her own goal throughout the entire game, this past episode forced each one of them to make one last, incredible push. For Rodrik, part of that push was having to confront the psychopathic Ramsay Snow. For the rest of them, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. It might be worth mentioning that this episode presented me with one of the most stressful choices I have ever seen in a Telltale game. So, keep that in mind.
I will note that Episode 5 has more QTEs than any of the other episodes (or at least they are much longer than before), so you have some idea of what type of action the four main characters have gotten themselves into. Unlike other video games, the long QTE segments in Episode 5 didn’t make me feel like some random button pusher, but instead made me feel like I was part of the action. I couldn’t tell you exactly how Telltale is able to make their QTE segments feel entertaining and interactive, but they somehow pull it off. The segments work especially well in this episode, mostly due to the natural rise in action.
A Week or a Day?
Something that did not work very well in this episode, however, were some of the character animations. At two different points, I noticed that characters who were supposed to be crying (they were making sobbing, sniffling noises and everything) had completely blank and stoney faces. While normally this wouldn’t bother me all that much, in a story oriented game like GoT, it completely takes away from the emotions the player is supposed to feel, and pushes the player away from the story.
Another issue that I ran into in the this episode is the way it handles the passage of time. A matter of weeks fly by in Episode 5, yet it is presented in the terms of days, or even hours. I suppose past episodes probably did this too, but it felt more pronounced in A Nest of Vipers, making some events a little bit confusing.
However, despite the occasionally poor animations and the poor handling of the passage of time, Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode 5 – A Nest of Vipers presents its players with some stressful, tough choices, and uses QTEs in an fun way. It will be exciting to see where the last episode will take House Forrester, and whether they will meet their downfall or their saving grace.
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