Archives by Day

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: Dec. 2, 2014

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


PC Review - 'Game of Thrones: Episode 2 - The Lost Lords'

by Brian Dumlao on Feb. 5, 2015 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series is an episodic story where political and sexual intrigue abound as seven noble families fight for control of the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms.

The first episode of Telltale Games' Game of Thrones left the members of House Forrester in shambles. Mira is still in good standing with Margaery but is deemed suspicious and untrusting by Cersei. The squire Gared Tuttle has the family secret but is off to The Wall to keep both it safe. Ethan, the son who was thrust into the duty of being a lord, was quickly relieved of such duty thanks to Ramsey's dagger while his uncle goes in search of the family's second son. All is bleak so far, and things don't exactly change with the second episode, The Lost Lords.

The episode starts in Yunkai with Asher, the exiled son of the Forrester house. He and his companion Beshka are sellswords who hunt down former slave lords and turn them in for bounties. He's soon found by a mercenary army with whom he had bad run-ins with. After the deal goes sour and the mercenary leader dies, Asher and Beshka try to escape with the aid of the uncle who's been sent to find and bring him back home. Before that happens, however, they have a plan that involves bringing an army back to Ironwood with them.

Much like Gared's scenes in the first episode, Asher has the most action scenes. His fights are more prop-heavy than Gared's, but they're still very exciting to watch, especially when you factor in the banter that bookends them and the brutality of the battle. There's humor, which was missing from the first episode, and it makes for much lighter fare. It would be fair to say that you sort of wish he had more parts in this episode to balance out the grim series, and the hope is that this comes true as the title progress.

After the opening sequence, you return to Ironwood with Rodrik, the first-born son who was thought to be dead after the events of the Red Wedding. Though badly wounded and initially diagnosed with the inability to walk, you try to put the family at ease and take your rightful place as Lord of Ironwood. You also try to prepare for a way to rid yourself of the House Bolton menace, a task that's harder than it looks since you don't have many allies, a small army, and the fact that they're holding your brother hostage.

Playing through Rodrik's episode portions feels much like playing through Ethan's from the first episode. There's the initial struggle of displaying your authority, and there's a scene where you have to stop your council from bickering. There's a bit of political maneuvering that has to be done with House Bolton and another allied house. The choices end up being the more important ones in the game, as they have more immediate consequences. Even though this is laid out with a funeral looming for both father and brother, it feels too familiar.

The Lost Lords returns to King's Landing with Mira continuing her life as a handmaiden under the future queen, Margaery Tyrell. She's unable to pull in some favors with Margaery, so Mira has to find other ways to lend support to her family. Meanwhile, there seems to be someone with a personal interest in her, though it looks suspicious at best.

The prior episode saw Mira dabbling in a little bit of behind-the-scenes politics, and the trend continues here. The small interaction you have with Margaery gives you an opportunity to pick your allegiances, but it is your later interaction with Tyrion that brings about some unease, albeit not at the same level as that of Cersei's part in Episode 1. There's also another plot she gets entangled in that throws more action her way but complicates matters greatly. These elements make her the busiest character in the game, and players may feel the most invested in her at this juncture due to the things she's juggling. It'll be interesting to see how her plots come to a head.

Of the four characters you control in this episode, Gared's feels the most uneventful. You start with his arrival at The Wall, and aside from a cameo by Jon Snow, the events play out predictably. The man in charge of new recruits is a hard case who predicts everyone's death at every turn. You've got a bully who constantly harasses you, and another shady person wants to befriend you. The training sessions are a nice diversion, and the ascent up The Wall provides some nice conversation between Snow and Tuttle, but that's about it. Gared's episode feels like it barely made any progress, but there are four episodes left before we can see how valuable he is to the overall game arc.

Form a gameplay perspective, there's a shift here since there's a focus on combat instead of meaningful dialogue choices. The choices are still here, but when compared to the first episode, fewer options have future ramifications. Asher's appearance guarantees more action, as does Gared's training sequences, and there are more opportunities for the game to abruptly end due to death. There's still no item gathering at this point, so if you don't like puzzles in adventure games, there's no need to worry about them here.

Game of Thrones: Episode 2 - The Lost Lords is like the first episode in that it feels like a prologue to something bigger. Asher's appearance is more of an introduction to an upcoming bigger quest, and Rodrik's portion acts as a reboot of Ethan's story. Gared's tale features the least amount of progress. Only Mira's plot feels like it progresses, but the tension is kept at such a high level that the game remains intriguing and pushes things along nicely to the next episode.

Score: 7.5/10

More articles about Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series
blog comments powered by Disqus