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Game of Thrones Ascent

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Llewen, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    In case you've been stored in cryogenic deep freeze for the past forty years by some demented cold war scientist and just now thawed out when she ran out of government funding for her massive refrigeration units - the Harry Potter series and A Song of Ice and Fire are the two biggest fantasy titles, and the most original, with the best writing (someone is sure to start arguing with me now), since The Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings. They are also the most financially successful fantasy series in the history of the planet, with spin-offs, movies, toys and games. So I guess it's inevitable that someone would make a social media game using the Game of Thrones title - the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire, dontcha know. And if you've been frozen that long, well "social media", that's huge right now as well.

    Game of Thrones Ascent is that social media game that you play in your browser, available on Facebook, Kongregate, and straight from Disruptor Beam itself if you aren't into either of those portals. It bills itself as "a free online strategy RPG". And apparently it is still in beta, or was the last I checked. But the "beta" tag... Well... They are taking your money already, and not via crowd sourcing, so while I will cut them some slack... I've been playing it fairly religiously for the past few months, and from my perspective it's a bit of a combination of a real time strategy game, and those original text based RPG's that came out in the early years of computing, and if you've been in cryogenic deep freeze for the past forty years, you might just have played a game like that what feels like yesterday. There's some decent art to go with it as well though, so it's got at least one step up on those early RPG's and MUD's (feel free to google "RPG" and "MUD" as related to computer gaming if I've lost you already).

    First the bad news, and there is a lot of that. It's buggy in ways that you wouldn't think would take months to fix, even for a small gaming studio with their product still in beta. It's laggy. It's a resource pig. It freezes up a fair bit, or displays inescapable black screens that force you to reload the page. You can play it without reading any of the stories if you want to, and it probably won't have any effect on the outcome - whether you win or lose doesn't seem to matter much either, either for the individual "quests" and "adventures" or for the overall game itself. The "boss quests" are a pointless click fest, and the "pvp" is a joke. The game is actually, in spite of what I said in the previous paragraph, a crafting and collecting game where the developers try to get you addicted badly enough so that you will actually care enough to spend some real money buying "stuff" to equip your minions ("sworn swords"), or your main character. So far the strategy hasn't worked on me.

    Having said that, it actually is a game, and it does involve some strategy. So while I may be raging against it, I continue to play it. It also does serve as a nice companion to the books and the HBO series, if only to remind you how happy you are that the writing in both of those is so much better that it is in the sorry excuse for prose found in this game. And even though the social interfaces in the game are as buggy and minimalistic as just about everything else in the game, you do meet some interesting like minded gaming junkies, and for some reason, heaven knows why, I am enjoying myself, and I am in the top 1000 in "power" in the GoTA universe. I don't think that is something I should be proud of.

    2 stars out of 5
     
    #1 Llewen, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
    Kylie Kinslayer and Taylor like this.
  2. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Being a huge fan of the book series for the last 7 years I could not wait to try Ascent when I first started reading about it hitting. Sadly it did not live up to my expectations. All of the Facebook type games get on my nerves with the "annoy your friends into giving you X" type stuff. I was hoping GoT was going to be different. I could only take it for a week or so before I threw in the towel.

    I do agree with you on the 2 out of 5, and will sit back and wait on the inevitable argument once the Salvatore fans hit the thread and flame ya for not mentioning their beloved Drizzt rascal.
     
  3. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    *puts on flame retardant suit* ;)
     
  4. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Just to add to this. I'm still playing this game, and I AM having fun. That's the only reason this game doesn't rate a 0 out of 5. So the developers have done some things right with this game, BUT, and you knew that was coming, this has to be one of the most poorly thought out and designed games, from a game mechanics perspective, that I have ever played. The only thing it does well, is suck you into spending money. Are all browser based social network games this bad?