Five Video Games To Fill That ‘Game Of Thrones’ Void In Your Life
Game of Thrones is done. On TV, anyway, as obvs George has those books to finish, assuming he ever does. One thing is certain, right now: Game of Thrones, as we've known it on the box - since Ned had his noggin lopped off, via Robb getting some red on him, through to the here and now and [redacted for spoilers because we're not monsters, you know] - is toast.
So: how to fill this gaping void in your entertainment schedule, in your weekly fix of all things fire-breathing and own-sister-f*cking, in your life? Well, you could always play a video game or two because, before and since Game of Thrones became a thing that more than a select audience of fantasy novel nerds gave two dragon eggs about (no disrespect intended - I read those books too), they've been dabbling in very comparable themes. And subsequently setting fire to them.
Which is to say: if it's fantastical creatures and gratuitous shagging, complicated political scheming and the occasional bit of enormous lizard riding you're after, there are options in the gaming space. And here are just five of them, that may pique your interest.
An Official Game Of Thrones Video Game, As There Are Several
So we have a video on the best (only) official Game of Thrones video games to play, which you can watch on our Facebook page, or via the embedded player below. If we were pushed to pick just one - from a bunch where none of them are exactly perfect - it'd probably be 2018's Reigns: Game of Thrones, a Westeros-themed spin on Nerial's much-celebrated card-based strategy title. The GoT version has been nominated for several awards and is, if binary decisions are your thing, straight fire.
But if you want something a little more action-packed than a Tinder-styled swipe 'em up, there's always 2012's Game of Thrones by Cyanide, a so-so RPG with weird controls and a butt-ugly dog set around the same time as the TV show's first season and sort of weaving around and through the events of it. Another option is Telltale's episodic narrative adventure version of Game of Thrones (A Telltale Games Series), released in 2014, which also touches upon events of the show without directly impacting anything that's canon, and stars some of the TV actors. Since Telltale's collapse, though, it's become harder to get hold of.
To say that this 2007 PlayStation 3 exclusive received a mixed reception is an understatement: in certain critical quarters, Lair was comprehensively savaged. Designed by studio Factor 5 as a showpiece title for the PS3's Sixaxis controller, it was supposed to be played using the pad's motion sensors - but it handled like a lame and blind dog with the squits, which rather compromised the thrill of playing a game all about riding dragons and setting fire to shit. Thankfully, DualShock 3 support was added post-release, along with analogue stick control and extra dragons, making Lair a lot more agreeable to spend some quality fiery time with. (Disclaimer: "more agreeable" should not be taken to mean that we think this is a good game... but it *does* have dragon riding in it.)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
When CD Projekt RED's phenomenal, multi-award-winning role-player came out in 2015, I did that classic critic thing of saying it was like X mixed with Y, in my review coverage - specifically, that the game was Game of Thrones crossed with Red Dead Redemption. Which, still, sounds about as right as any elevator pitch can, so I'll stand by it. While light on dragons - although there is one in 2011's second title, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - The Witcher 3 (and its wider series) features a wealth of other flying beasts to murder, a whole lot of story about warring regions on a fictional medieval continent, and is imbued with the same kind of low-meets-high fantasy tropes that Game of Thrones has always traded in. It's one of the best video games, like, ever. You should probably play it, if you haven't yet. (No probably about it, especially when it's so cheap these days.)
Mount & Blade: Warband
This 2010 standalone expansion pack for 2008's computers-only action-RPG Mount & Blade has a secret: courtesy of a mod, Warband might just be the best Game of Thrones video game out there. Disappointingly for console players, it's only the PC version of Warband (as it finally came out for PS4 and Xbox One in 2016) that can run said mod, 'A World of Fire and Ice'. With the base-game experience all about capturing territories, ruling with iron fists (or not, but where's the fun in that?), and multiplayer combat between factions, it's not a massive surprise that Mount & Blade lends itself to a Game of Thrones theme. No, it's not the best looker on our list here, but are you so shallow as to only enjoy games that look pretty? (Before you burn them, of course.)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Snow? Check. Dragons? Check. Yes, it's been played to death and is available for practically every platform you can plug into an electrical socket (just behind DOOM). But Skyrim is a great Game of Thrones substitute (even without a GoT mod, which are certainly available), with its frosty frollicking, sword-flailing combat fudging, and themes of civil war and prophesied cataclysm. Ah, and you play as the Dragonborn, who, I guess, could be made up to be the Mother of Dragons? Get creative with the character editor and you can definitely stroll about the place as Daenerys Stormborn. As unlikely as it is that you're reading this and haven't played yourself some Skyrim before, if you've not, it'll definitely scratch that Big 'n' Scaly itch you've got after watching that final episode and witnessing [no seriously, this shit is redacted because it's too soon, too soon].
Featured Image Credit: Telltale Games