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Game of Thrones: Genesis Trailer Underwhelms

| 22 Sep 2011 09:25

The trailer is heavy on blacksmithing action shots but short on intrigue.

I think I've made it quite clear by this point that I like George R. R. Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and the subsequent TV show. I'd be lying if - before it aired - I said I wasn't apprehensive that the show would somehow screw up the nuance of Martin's writing but luckily, as adaptations go, I thought HBO's 10 episode series did as well as it could. A similar worry is now in full swing with Cyanide Game's real-time strategy game Game of Thrones: Genesis. Encapsulating all of the intrigue and lusty drama of the courts of Westeros in a mere war game is a tough nut to crack. The trailer released today reinforces that fear by showing nothing but armies marching, a much diminished Wall, and a blacksmith endlessly hammering. Oh, and a dragon. Ho hum.

How the world map appears is important in communicating the feel of a strategy game and, a brief thrill of seeing Westeros transferred to a RTS map, I think Cyanide missed what makes ASOIAF unique. The landscape shown in the trailer just looks too bright, too busy and too generic. Dorne looks too much like Egypt or Persia, while Harrenhall (I assume that's the big castle about 45 seconds in) looks like it might appear in a Disney cartoon.

Where is the intrigue and backstabbing that Cyanide promises with every press release? I'd much rather see evidence that Genesis is anything other than a run-of-the-mill RTS than a portly blacksmith banging away at a hunk of metal. I mean, swords and crafting aren't even a huge part of ASOIAF, why use the blacksmith motif to tie together a bunch of unrelated shots of wagons roaming across the land.

And when the dragon breathes purple-black (?) flame at the end, I was already underwhelmed enough not to care.

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