Telltale’s Game of Thrones is back and it’s not without some anticipation as we catch up with the unfolding melodrama of House Forrester. The last episode somewhat fizzled into an unavoidable anti-climax, and I was eager to see if and how I’d be able make some kind of difference in this world. Maybe I won’t be able to, but that’s George R.R. Martin’s brutal medieval world for you.

Breaking from convention is something Telltale isn’t shy about doing in GoT but, it begs the question, is something essential lost when you strip players of their power to change things? Telltale seems to be messing with their own formula; their games are all about your decisions. My first reaction to episode one’s unavoidable outcome was like a kid getting his ice cream cone taken away. But, forcing players to take their medicine may be just what we need to better experience digital stories.

We rejoin the Forresters in the fallout of Ethan’s death and the occupation of Ironrath by Whitehill soldiers. Things look very, very bad. Meanwhile Asher Forrester, an exiled lord turned sell-sword, is thousands of miles away in Yunkai. Episode two begins with him and the dashing, brutally violent young Forrester makes quite the first impression.

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I like your style, Asher.

Bringing in a strong, forceful protagonist was exactly the right way to bridge episodes one and two. If episode one was about just how out of control things could get, episode two is about righting the ship through sheer force of will. In true GoT fashion, you can see the scaffolding of character and plot going up around a story that will eventually explode. Who doesn’t love fireworks?

We check in with three other characters, Mira in King’s Landing, Gared at The Wall, and Roderick Forrester, who miraculously survives the Red Wedding and is hauled home on a corpse cart. A new lord of the house fills the vacuum left by Ethan and having someone back in the driver’s seat is a relief. There are big decisions to be made and more reasons to list why a lord’s life ain’t easy.

The game does a good job of crisscrossing your actions in player episodes, showing that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Telltale is in true form here getting you hooked on seeing how it all will play out. The game is tightly scripted so you won’t be soaking up as much R.R. Martin lore as you might in a more traditional adventure game.

Strict dramatic guidelines keep you from wandering from the path laid out by the writers. This is something of a necessity to keep things urgent but in such a beautiful world you’d think they’d want to show it off a little more. Fans of the show will recognize all the iconic locales but won’t get to explore them in any depth. This may simply be Telltale’s intention, but the GoT fanboy in me is itching to get beyond just the courtyard of Castle Black.

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“Oh wow, Castle Black! Can’t wait to check this place out! Oh, I can’t? Okay…”

None of you will remember this but there was an adventure game based on Blade Runner. It was phenomenal. Not only were the frames you wandered around in absolutely gorgeous but the world was populated with people you could talk to and learn from. It was totally optional, you could stick to the task at hand if you liked, but getting to hear a whole chorus of voices and travel between locations added that much more depth. In GoT it’s the same rooms, hallways, courtyards, and gardens with no direction to go in but forward.

At the risk of being redundant I must repeat some points from my episode one review. There’s still no swordplay and it doesn’t look like there will be. The frames still have this weird blur over everything, like someone loaded up a fire hose with doughnut glaze and blasted away. There are even more audio bugs this time around with music and dialog skipping and occasionally cutting out all together.

The game again suffers from chronic sideline syndrome. This is one of those illnesses you just have to learn to live with. Since the game is shackled to the events and characters of the show, the Forrester clan will never really take center stage. None of them are really a player in the Game of Thrones. It’s like if they made a game about Star Wars: A New Hope but instead of playing as Han, Luke, Leia etc. you play a cast of characters loosely associated with them and embroiled in action existing on the periphery of the main events.

For its flaws and shortcomings, GoT is still solid and a good tribute to a fantastic book and TV show. Episode two does what good drama should: sink the pillars in our hearts that form lasting connections with the characters. The drama is gearing up and the eventual reveal is something we should all be looking forward to.

Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords Review
Game of Thrones Episode Two is another solid entry but lacks depth in the world and the way you experience it. Some audio bugs are nettlesome. All in all though if you're a fan of the show you should be playing this game.
Pros
  • It's Game of Thrones
  • Great acting/writing
  • The plot thickens...
Cons
  • Can't explore
  • Still no swordfighting and there isn't going to be
  • Sideline syndrome
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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Alex is from New York, is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and once played a Call of Duty Deathmatch against himself.