While it’s still an engaging two-hour romp through the awesome “Game of Thrones” realm, the shoddy ending of Telltale Game’s latest addition to their Game of Thrones series, “Sons of Winter,” makes it an episode that you can really bypass if you have to. Although some of the storyline development is adequate in the beginning, this episode will more likely be remembered as one that builds towards something special, rather than being special all by itself.
It doesn’t start off poorly though. “Sons of Winter,” from the start, lets you know that things are going to change, forever. All five gameplay points of view face their own challenges, from Gared’s journey into the unknown and Roderick’s fight to not only save his family, but his marriage as well. Add in Mira Forrester and Asher’s adventures that involve everything from Dragons to double-crossing and “Sons of Winter” has the potential to be another awesome addition to Telltale’s Game of Thrones series. There just isn’t any pay-off at the end. The climax is just so sudden that you’ll feel cheated, ready to say, “That’s it?”
That doesn’t necessarily mean “Sons of Winter” is a bad episode. On its own merits, it’s got plenty of locations and constant reminders of its vastness. You’ll never forget what’s at stake in your journey and you’ll always wonder what’s going on somewhere else. Because of that, veterans of the series will still feel right at home.
The gameplay hasn’t changed all that much from episode one, but the added prompts during fight scenes (Seeing Roderick learning how to defend himself again is one of the coolest moments of this episode) and more options during your the free-roaming sections (Mira Forrester’s hunt for information feels like something out of “Assassin’s Creed”) add more flavor to the story-based game. Speaking of story, you’d be crazy not to feel the tension in nearly every scene. Unlike the first few episodes where you’re feeling people out, at this point, you understand the characters and are invested.
That is until you realize that there isn’t going to be that “shock” this time around. That no one interesting is going to perish and that there will be little to no resolutions from the continuing story. Because of that, “Sons of Winter” is a letdown.
It’s sad too in the end because “Sons of Winter” starts out so goddamn strong. While all of the episodes of this series have a smooth flow, the beginning scene of “Sons of Winter” feels ripped out of the actual TV series. It flows that well. But as the episode rolls on, there are a few flimsily-written scenes, a rarity for this series. One in particular has Mira Forrester get to a man’s dark secret far too quickly. While the exchange feels similar to a scene from the show, it’s almost too easy.
With little, to no new story developments, “Sons of Winter” in spite of continually solid visuals and some cool new bells and whistles is simply just entertaining- and not the awesome and fresh experience you’ve come to expect from Telltale and this series.
New Prompts: This time around, the fighting is a bit more intricate and there’s plenty of different ways to kill people. From crossbows to unique strike-based counters, combat is definitely spicier this time around.
No Advances in the Story: Aside from meeting one cool new character, “Sons of Winter” doesn’t throw anything extra juicy your way in terms of story.
While it’s still a fun adventure, it’s nowhere near as entertaining as the previous games in the series. At the same time, a weaker Telltale game is still a good one, but this time around, “Sons of Winter” will be most enjoyed by those who are in love with the series and not anyone looking for something different.