I am not a trusted scholar and saucebox of all things A Song of Ice and Fire. Sure, I love the books immensely, am a big fan of HBO’s take on blood and dragons and heraldy and fine-ass beards, and am a dude that’s attempting to draw just about every character ever named by George R.R. Martin–but I don’t know everything. However, I do know that there’s no place called Riverspring in Westeros. Except, thanks to the forthcoming Game of Thrones: The Game (ugh, what a name), now there is. Here’s how the developers describe it:
Bordering the Riverlands, the interests of this town and surrounding countryside are held in the name of Sarwyck as bannermen to the Lannisters. From their family keep, they have presided over their people for generations, but now unrest begins to grow in wake of the death of the reigning Lord Raynard Sarwyck.
All right. That’s believable enough, given just how many houses, big and small, there are, and the Lannisters do have a lot of support. And Sarwyck is a fine, Martin-esque name, but I got problems with Riverspring. Here’s why. In Fallout: New Vegas, upon emerging from a premature shallow grave, you discover the town of Goodsprings. In Rage, the first true city you come to call home is Wellspring. EverQuest fans might remember a halfling city called Rivervale. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, after stepping out of a cave, so long as you follow the path, the first settlement you unearth is called Riverwood. And in…y’know, I’m just going to list all of these forgettable names in bullet format to really drive home the point:
The videogames market is currently inundated with spring places, and yes, pun freakin’ intended. Also, don’t forget about Riverrun, the ancestral stronghold of House Tully. The place that actually matters. But yeah, I get that the devs wanted to A) create a new location to do with whatever they wanted and B) keep it in line with Martin’s naming schematics, but seven hells, they picked the most generic thing ever. I think if I ever make a robust RPG set in a typical fantasy land, the first town I name will be called Good Riverwater Springs. You heard it here first, people.
Okay, fine. I have problems with Riverspring and just how little it adds to a world brimming with detail and construction. Moving on, thanks to Greg Noe, a new trailer has hit the Interwebz:
Wow. Look, no one–and I do mean no one–is playing Game of Thrones: The Game for its story. You just can’t outdo or even come close to the story-telling power of GRRM, so don’t bother trying. Instead, give us the goods on the videogaming side. Make it fun to play, fun to swing a sword or dabble in seedy politics or create some kind of unique dialogue tree system, but don’t pretend to be all high and mighty. This trailer tries to sound exciting, but even the narrator sounds bored–and rightly so. I’d rather see how the game will play, whether it will be more like Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age II, as that difference is vital. Certainly it won’t be anything original, but if it is closer to DA:O then I’m in. If it’s DAII…well, I’m probably still in as I am a huge fanboy of the source material, but man, it’s just going to be one letdown after the other. Granted, there still seems to be a second storyline to follow based around the Wall and the Night’s Watch. Maybe that tale will be more inspiring.
A release date of May 2012 is being tossed around. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more details before I take the black. Ugh. Between this, that RTS flop from Cyanide Studio, and an upcoming MMORPG, it just doesn’t seem like A Song of Ice and Fire can get the videogame treatment it truly deserves. At this point, I’d be down for something like this.