When you play the "Game of Thrones" RPG, you win or you die. Literally. But somewhere along the way our definition of "winning" seems to have deviated from the one used by the folks over at Cyanide Studio.
The game's got everything hardcore "A Song of Ice and Fire" fans would want. There's political intrigue, deception at every turn, heartbreaking deaths and genuinely surprising plot twists. Okay, so maybe those are just the things we're used to from the "Thrones" TV series on HBO, or from the horrors that author George R.R. Martin force feeds us in his ongoing book series, but at least the folks behind the game stayed true to those "Game of Thrones" traits.
MTV News got a chance to play the RPG and decided that it's something that anyone who considers themselves a fan of "Game of Thrones" -- be it the book series, the TV show or both -- should try out. Check out our five reasons you should be intrigued after the jump.
You Can Visit Familiar Faces
While the plot of the "Game of Thrones" RPG is conveniently crafted so that you avoid being in the same place at the same time as many of the characters we've come to love from the "Game of Thrones" novel and TV series (as in you won't see Jon Snow at the Wall or Ned Stark at King's Landing), there are a few familiar characters you'll cross paths with. Cersei Lannister, Jeor Mormont and Lord Varys all pop up at one point or another, and are not to be trifled with. The folks behind the game even got the actors in the HBO series to lend their likenesses and voices to their characters (with the exception of Cersei, who's voiced by a sound-alike). And keep an eye out for Maester Martin, a certain gentleman who has been working on the sixth installment of his history of the Seven Kingdoms, a tome that is allegedly due out next year (though he apparently says this every year).
You'll Learn More About The Lore
There's no guarantee that the story being told in the "Game of Thrones" RPG will ever impact the main plot in "A Song of Ice and Fire," but at least it does give us some better insight into what happened in the saga's history. Both of the game's main characters, Mors and Alester, were involved in Robert Baratheon's rebellion and both had their lives directly impacted by refusing Tywin Lannister's order to kill Rhaegar Targaryen's wife, Elia, and two children, Rhaenys and Aegon. Though there's nothing in here that we don't already know, it is interesting to meet characters that were directly involved in an important event that we've only heard tales about.
It's A Game Made For Book Fans
As such, this is a game made for fans of George R.R. Martin's books. Sure, newcomers or people who have only watched the HBO series will find plenty to enjoy, but many of the best moments in the game will only make sense to those who have read "A Song of Ice and Fire." Book fans will geek out over seeing Alester use R'hlorr's Last Kiss, warging into Mors' hound, meeting a Brotherhood conspiring to put a Targaryen back on the throne and having your two main characters actually finally really team up instead of almost crossing paths for five freaking books (damn you, GRRM).
You Participate In The Story
Okay, so you might not actually be able to change the tides of "A Song of Ice and Fire" in the "Game of Thrones" RPG, but at least you'll be able to participate in it. After years of reading and now watching, it's nice to at least pretend that you can prevent terrible, awful things from happening to your favorite characters. You can't, of course, but at least there's the pretense that you can. The RPG's battle system stays true to the fighting style in the book (don't expect to be able to use any magical abilities until around the time Daenerys Targaryen's dragons are born), and it's just challenging enough to keep avid gamers interested.
It Was Made With Love
Cyanide is a small studio, and if they hadn't been petitioning Martin to make this game for years, the "Game of Thrones" RPG would have probably have been made by a bigger one. The game's hardcore western RPG style might alienate some, but it's clear that the folks at Cyanide are diehard "Game of Thrones" fans and that they wanted to make the best game possible that would do justice to Martin's story. And they succeeded. The "Game of Thrones" RPG doesn't do anything groundbreaking or introduce anything new to gaming, but it is a great way for fans to delve into the world of the Seven Kingdoms and feel like they're more a part of it. The "Game of Thrones" RPG is true to the series in every way a game could possibly be, and because of that it was a joy to play.
Are you planning on checking out the "Game of Thrones" RPG? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!