‘We are not things.’
The Mad Max line echoed through my head many, many times while I was playing the latest installment to Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones series. The incredibly heated discussions regarding Sansa and the depictions of rape in the television series was fresh in my memory, and the development of female characters and their roles in the game was very conspicuously on the forefront of my mind.
I’m glad to say that none of the characters fall foul of the Sansa effect. While Sansa seems forever fated to hold the ‘shit happens to me’ ball, the ladies in the Telltale Game seem to fare much better. Elaena Glenmore (possible betrothed to Rodrik Forrester) has similar problems as Sansa, but is much less content to sit somewhere and feel sorry for herself, instead deciding to put her fate in her own hands. (Of course, whether that decision results in anything good is still up to fate, as we know very very well in Game of Thrones.) Similarly, Beshka faces her demons in a scene that had me on the edge of my seat.
One thing that gets me though is the inclusion of book/tv characters into the game. I understand that it’s only natural, considering how interconnected Westeros is, but when Margeary or someone else turns up, I have to stop myself from comparing the characters. Would she do this? Would she do that? That, together with the knowledge that since this is (still) in the ‘past’, that some characters naturally have a plot shield around them.
We’re in the fourth episode of the Game of Thrones series, and really all other faults are consistent with all other Telltale games. Namely, that sometimes it feels like nothing you do matters, and that quick time events are little more than distractions from the game. As usual though, if you treat it as an interactive story, everything feels better. And although episodes 2 and 3 felt a little bit phoned in (after the INCREDIBLY TENSE episode 1), the story and development of side characters in episode 4 got me more invested than in earlier episodes. Also, at least no one got Sansa’ed.