“The night is dark and full of terrors…”
After the difficult and stressful events of Iron from Ice (episode 1 of Telltale’s Game of Thrones adaptation) Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords feels like everything is steadily slotting into place, the game’s multi-stranded storyline beginning to knit together. Admittedly The Lost Lords has a slower pace than the initial episode. Telltale finds itself in a unique position with Game of Thrones. They know that players want to meet and interact with the characters they recognize from the show, but the game can’t really do much with them, or reveal any big surprises that would impact and contradict the main story of the books or TV show. What that means for the game is that some episodes will, by nature, just be a little slower than others.
While things are hardly sunshine and roses for the Forrester clan, their frighteningly fast descent into ruin plateaus for a bit during this episode. We finally meet Asher Forrester and learn a bit about his backstory as he tries to make his way in the conquered slaver city of Yunkai as a cocky, swashbuckling sellsword. Mira is still in King’s Landing, trying to help her family the best she can by nursing her relationship with Lady Margaery. Gared Tuttle has been sent to the wall, and is intent on using his position there to protect the house. Meanwhile, a surprising new playable character picks up the story at Ironrath, and we see the Forrester family cope with their losses in some well-written scenes of anguish, anger and grief. Though some plot lines move faster than others, Episode 2 will take you less than two hours to finish, even with four strands of the story to follow.
Nothing in the gameplay of The Lost Lords breaks the mold established in episode 1. Instead of sections that test your manual dexterity, you’re left with quick-time events and dull busywork to cover the gaps between the sequences of dialogue – which are honestly the parts that count most. These moments – a desperate attempt to clinch a marriage, a conflict of loyalties, even more scenes between Mira and Tyrion – are expertly handled. So while the actual things you do in the game leave a lot to be desired, the situations you find yourself in and ultimately have to talk yourself out of more than make up for it. Game of Thrones is a prime example of Telltale’s knack for finding interesting characters and putting them in difficult situations. Dialogue choices feel meaningful and seem to produce tangible results, even within the episode. You will certainly find yourself worrying about your choices and whether or not you made the right one.
With even stronger, more diverse narrative and settings than Episode 1, The Lost Lords wins points for strong characters, an authentic feel, and tangible player choices. This makes for a strong second act and the game is well worth a purchase.