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Game of Thrones Episode 2 Review

Game of Thrones Episode 2 Review

Game of Thrones still shows promise, but an excess of ambition could send the story spiraling out of control. I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the ground that’s been covered, but hopeful for what’s been set up to happen next.


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Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Release Date: February 3, 2015

With the release of the second chapter of Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones episodic adventure, The Lost Lords, the series begins to reveal some thin spots. A story that started strong is beginning to lag and the characters are blurring together so that it’s hard to follow what’s going on without pausing frequently to consult the in-game codex. Telltale will need to tighten up its story to keep players interested.

The Story

The first episode followed three different members of the Forrester clan, giving us perspectives into the family’s home, King’s Landing; and the surrounding wilds. The result was diverse and diverting, but in the second installment there are four plotlines to follow, which is probably why the waters are getting so muddy.

 We’re again playing Mira at King’s Landing, Gared as he journeys across Westeros, and one of the family members who holds down the fort at Ironrath (players will probably be surprised to discover who they’re put in control of this time). But now we also follow the exploits of Asher, the exiled son of Lord Forrester who’s been called back to assist with the conflicts at home. He’s an interesting character whose divided feelings of duty to his family and hurt at their choice to send him away are ripe for exploring, but he isn’t given much to do besides demonstrate his sword skills and dart between a couple of buildings. I was charmed by his female companion, Beskha, a battle-scarred and competent fighter who stands out in a world that gives women little direct agency, but there wasn’t enough of her either. I’m confident that as the season continues Asher will flourish as a favorite, especially if he comes into contact with more characters we’ve already met, but he’ll have to crowd out some of the other storylines to get any of the attention he deserves.

I can’t hold the same optimism for Gared, though. He started as an outsider with a useful perspective, born poor and working his way up into the good graces of nobility, but his story has dead-ended since he got sent to The Wall. Alienated from the outside world, there’s little in the way of drama besides squabbles between Crows-in-Training, which get old fast. The same problem plagues the HBO show; with none of the other Starks to play off of, Jon Snow’s troubles seem less interesting or urgent. I hope that in future installments, Gared’s involvement is scaled back or that he’s given something more compelling to worry about than whether a bunch of polygons arranged to look like Kit Harington approve of him.

The other two storylines are fairly enjoyable, and consistent with the quality of the first episode. Mira’s influence over Margaery still strains credibility, but she’s getting herself into some more interesting hot water that ought to pay off down the line. Ironrath holds plenty of opportunities for diplomacy with divergent results depending on how the player handles other influential figures; but this episode’s conflict with the Whitehills feels like a direct rehash of the previous one. Despite the bright spots, there was plenty of fat that could have been trimmed.


Though the gameplay hasn’t changed from being about making split-second choices, I found myself getting more annoyed with it. Success or failure seemed not to matter. If I was playing as Asher and clumsily failed to grab a chest of money as I was running out the door or flip a table to stop oncoming foes, Beskha would do it for me and the result would be the same. I understand that the developers couldn’t account for every failed action, but I often felt as though I could see the gears turning in the background and it took me out of the experience.

Furthermore, plenty of the gameplay is just plain boring. Gared’s entire training experience feels mundane and rote, and since Mira doesn’t possess the same fighting abilities as her brothers, she has little to do besides wander around and examine her possessions. It’s a tough balance to strike with so many different characters, but it could perhaps be handled a bit more cleverly.


Game of Thrones still shows promise, but an excess of ambition could send the story spiraling out of control. A need to encompass the same geographic scope as the TV show paired with a slavish reliance on repeating character dynamics (it’s difficult to name a Forrester who doesn’t have a Stark corollary) is creating a lumpy result. What the next episode ought to do is focus on just two plotlines and take the time to unravel some character relationships (say, Asher and Beskha?) rather than leaning on cliffhangers and cutaways. It won’t happen of course, but it should.

Overall, I left the second episode feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the ground that had been covered, but hopeful for what’s been set up to happen next. It’s looking like some of the choices the player has made will have bigger consequences in episode three, which should make for a more immersive experience. The Lost Lords is two hours reasonably well-spent, and if it turns out anything like the TV show, a sagging middle is just the price to pay for a thrilling climax down the line.

Grade: B
New character relationships with promise
+ More choices with bigger effects in the next episode (hopefully)
+ Diplomacy
 Too many storylines
– Unnecessarily large scope
– TV show character cameos that feel forced (Ed. Note: I feel some Daenerys coming on…)

System Requirements

OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device
Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics

OS: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
Processor: 2.3 Ghz Intel
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Additional Notes: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics or Mac Minis or early-generation MacBook

Bailey James

Bailey James

Bailey’s lifelong love of adventure games began with the Nancy Drew game Message in a Haunted Mansion, when she learned that you can drop chandeliers on bad people without getting in trouble, and has since expanded to include a panoply of other favorites like the Myst games, the Monkey Island series, any game involving Sherlock Holmes, the Tomb Raider franchise, and the all-time best adventure game ever created, Grim Fandango. She's added more recent releases like Firewatch and Life is Strange to her list but nonetheless loves diving into the old classics. She still spends large amounts of time searching for secret passages in the hope of finding an unsolved mystery lurking out of sight. Bailey graduated from Oberlin College and lived in New York City for three years before returning to her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a business development representative for a trucking software company. In addition to hoarding adventure games, her other interests include film, cooking, running, writing fiction, and eating copiously.

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