Forgot password?


Password reset

Please enter your e-mail address and new password.

Game of Thrones: Episode Five - A Nest of Vipers

By Bobfish30-07-2015

The Defence

Telltale Games
Telltale Games
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.3 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 8800
AMD equivalent
4 GB
3 GB

The Case

Well this is interesting. For any other Telltale game, this would be the end of the story. But for Game of Thrones¸ there’s still one more to go. That leaves us with only one question. How does A Nest of Vipers hold up to the rest of the series?

The Trial

In short, superbly. Whilst it might not be entirely accurate to call this the best episode of the series, it is a very close call. Picking up directly, immediately where episode 4 left off, with Rodrick confronting Ramsay Snow in the Forrester house hall. A particularly odious display from the latter as he makes overt comments regarding taking Talia, a fourteen year old girl, as his wife. I mean, that might be legal in the Game of Thrones world, but it’s just not bloody cricket!

My bunny sense is tingling.

My bunny sense is tingling.

The rest of the episode moves along at a brisk pace, clocking in at barely ninety minutes of total playtime. Which is frustrating, but not because it’s too short. In fact, it feels perfect. But it does serve to further highlight how wonky the pacing was in the first two episodes. With the first quite obviously being better suited to ending about two-thirds of the way through, with Ramsay murdering young Ethan.

Adding the last third to the beginning of episode 2 which would have, in turn, benefited from ending about half way through and so. Which would have the knock on effect of adding about ten minutes on the beginning of this episode, and making the pacing of the entire series pretty much perfect. But really, that’s the only complaint to be had here. Which should say something, when your biggest beef is that the episodes released half a year before it were a bit clunky.

Everything from a technical perspective is exactly what you would expect from a Telltale game. Still no bloody custom key-binding (grr!), but it looks and plays great. With the odd fuzziness of the anti-aliasing solution finally ironed out so that it actually works. There were a couple of very minor model glitches, like a hand or arm being possessed by the spirit of the Riverdance, but nothing of any particular concern.

Have you ever considered the benefits of double glazing?

Have you ever considered the benefits of double glazing?

The real stand-out aspect of this latest episode is the illusion of choice. But not in the metaphysical, greater universe sense of a game being only a finite number of possible outcomes. In A Nest of Vipers we really begin to see just how fucked the Forrester family really is. Almost every “decision” you make is completely meaningless. Affecting not one iota of the world around you, whilst driving home the point that nothing you did before now has really counted for a squirt of piss either.

From a company that has been widely and wildly praised for the gravitas with which they employed choice in earlier titles, this was a bold move. But one which, I am confident, will ultimately pay off for them. As players, belatedly, realise that that was the whole point. When you play the game of thrones, you either win, or you die. Or in the case of a minor house, you bend over and take up the jacksie from everyone and everything. Which is precisely what House Forrester has been doing up until this point.

The difference is, unlike the player, they still haven’t realised that. Which leaves one with an oddly exciting sinking feeling for how the final episode will play out. Something which promises to be extremely different from one person to the next, as the climax of this episode has you finally having one decision which you know has real weight behind it. If you’re not a fan of spoilers, I strongly advise you refrain from reading the next paragraph and skip straight to the verdict.

Hater's gonna' haaaaaate.

Hater's gonna' haaaaaate.

In the final moments of the Nest of Vipers, you find yourself ambushed by House Whitehill. Your forces trapped on one side of a locked portcullis, and yourself on the other with all of the Whitehill soldiers. And there, just when you think things are finally starting to look up, you have to decide which one out of two of the player characters will die.

The Verdict

This is a great episode basically. Though it may not first seem so to many, there is a lot of thematic experimentation going on, toying as much with the player as with House Forrester. All designed to drive home precisely how desperate the situation has become, and leaving little hope that there will be any kind of satisfactory outcome at the end. So, pretty much exactly what you’d expect from Game of Thrones. The characters you like are always the ones that get screwed over the most after all.

Case Review

  • Brevity: Being the shortest episode so far, we are once again reminded Telltale are at their best when delivered in condensed doses.
  • Dat Climax Tho!: My girlfriend paused the game and refused to finish because she was so emotionally invested in what was happening.
  • Visuals: The most colourful and technically solid of the series so far.
  • Choice: Son, you don’t have none. You’re screwed either way.
  • Keybindings: Still no custom option. Come on guys!
Score: 4.5/5
When you play the game of thrones, you either wi…yeah, no, you just get screwed.


Telltale's adventure into Game of Throneshas never been best Telltale game, not by a long shot, but the latest episode really ensures that it won't be remembered as a good series either. Telltale's speciality is in their writing and their ability to make you feel like your choices matter, and while the writing is par for the course, Telltale has never made choices feel so blatantly meaningless as they did in this episode.

Two minutes into the game Ramsay Snow is creeping on your sister, threatening your house, and is being a total Bolton bastard. At this point, you're given your first choice: keep your sword or leave your sword. Up to this point, I've done everything in Rodrik's power to give the Boltons what Jamie Lannister gave the Mad King, but Telltale said no. Strike one. A few minutes later, we're walking down an empty road alone, without guards any guards, with Ramsey's back turned to me, and I can't do anything. Strike Two. Even when you have the knife to a character's throat, Telltale tell you no. You're out.

I understand that Telltale has as much hold on the direction Game of Thrones goes as Harry Potter fan-fiction writers have on Harry Potter, but it's frustrating to be presented with major decisions only for Telltale to ignore them a second later. The only saving grace of this episode is one critical decision made right at the end that should result in vastly different episode 6's depending on what you chose (though we'll see what happens.) Episode 5 is definitely one of Telltale's weaker episodes, and if it wasn't for that decision and the Game of Thrones cameos, I'd call this episode a waste.

Score: 3/5


A Nest of Vipers is the best episode in the Telltale Game of Thrones series. We are at episode 5, and the series as a whole has been a bit slow. The characters weren’t nearly as interesting as the ones from that other Telltale game, The Walking Dead. This particular episode has changed that impression though.

Each episode has improved from the last when it comes to pacing. There was a lot more action in A Nest of Vipers and the story progressed much better than the first few episodes. The best action scene, other for the ending was the scene where you get to fight the wrights or the white walkers. We also get to spend a lot of quality time with the two Forrester brothers, Asher and Rodrik. Enjoy your happy moments with these brothers, because it isn’t going to last very long.

Without spoiling too much. The climax of this episode was very difficult to get through, emotionally. It would’ve been better to spend time with some adorable anthropomorphic animal friends. At least a village in Animal Crossing isn’t as cruel as the world of Game of Thrones. This game will slap you on the face, in a good way. This series has finally found it’s footing in A Nest of Vipers. When a game can get you emotional, with the exception of rage quitting, it has done its job right.

Score: 5/5
Comments (0)
You must be to post a comment.
No comments!