Take Your First Look at A Game of Thrones: Genesis

I have to admit, I had no idea they were making a Game of Thrones tie-in PC real-time strategy game. Well they are, and publisher Focus Interactive just released the first two screens.

Here they are, in all their oddly not-very-Game-of-Thrones splendor. I mean check out the shot with the dragon. Granted I've barely penetrated George R.R. Martin's chubby-fantasy epic (I've only poked around the first book's opening chapters), but I keep hearing it's a low-magic, low-non-human-critter tale. What the heck's a dragon doing torching a bunch of Bavarian-style homes?

We'll have to ask Paris-based development studio Cyanide Studios. As far as I know, it's their first second real-time strategy game (the first was Chaos League, a fantasy sports management sim released in 2004). You might know Cyanide for Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition, the recent PC version of Games Workshop's Warhammer-goes-footballing boardgame. If you're European, you may also be up on Cyanide's Pro Cycling Manager sim (or perhaps their lesser known Horse Racing Manager and Pro Rugby Manager).

It sounds like George R.R. Martin's "supervising" the single-player campaign, which "immerses you into [sic] the heart of the battles and intrigue between the Houses that shaped the Kingdom of Westeros." The game apparently takes place over "more than 1,000 years of history," including "Westeros' founding events and largest battles such as Aegon the Conqueror's invasion on the continent or the War of the Usurper."

Channeling the story's political grist, the game's supposed to let you employ economic or political trickery to win alternative to straight-up military clobbering. Sure, a lot of games claim as much and stumble on delivery, but who knows. There's always Sins of a Solar Empire to prove it's doable.

In the meantime, the countdown continues to HBO's new Game of Thrones TV series which debuts on April 17. It looks like the George R.R. Martin franchise engine's definitely spooling up. Who knows, maybe we'll actually see A Dance with Dragons by the time HBO catches up to the last book, A Feast For Crows, released in October 2005.

For more (or less, actually--it hasn't been updated) check out the game's official website

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