While I had a few, relatively minor complaints about Telltale Games’ take on George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, my impressions of the game were overwhelmingly positive. With the second episode, “The Lost Lords”, now available, let’s see if Telltale continues to impress.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first, shall we? After all, there aren’t very many of them. My reservations last time around were generally centered on presentation, and that hasn’t changed here. We still get the muddy, pseudo-watercolor backgrounds, low-resolution textures, and bizarre graphical artifacts and pop-ins. That’s kind of a drag, but by no means to deal killer in my book.
Honestly, that’s about all the negatives I can come up with. These games are about character development and storytelling. Cutting-edge graphics are by no means a requirement, although I certainly wouldn’t complain about them.
In “The Lost Lords”, we meet two new playable characters: Asher and Rodrik. We’ll start with Asher, since that’s where to game goes first. Asher was referenced in the first episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones, and we finally get to meet him at the start of episode two. The exiled Forester is in Yunkai, across the narrow sea. Asher is a mercenary who believes he’s just gotten a big score by capturing a slaver to ransom off. Unfortunately, another group of Mercenaries shows up, kills his prisoner, and starts a fight they can’t finish. It’s quite an action-packed start to the episode.
Our other new character, Rodrik, was presumed killed in the first episode after getting stabbed in the leg and having a horse fall on him. He awakens on a corpse wagon, which is quite a character introduction. As the oldest, Rodrik takes his place at the head of the Forester clan, despite his grievous injuries.
We also spend some time with Gared Tuttle and Mira Forster, at the Wall and King’s Landing, respectively. Gared’s arrival at the wall doesn’t move the plot forward much, but offers a lot of cool moments, including some time bonding with everyone’s favorite bastard: Jon Snow. Mira’s story is much more interesting, and filled with palace intrigue and difficult choices.
I don’t want to spoil anything specific here, but here’s a nice sampling of the various plot threads that show up in this episode:
- Preserving an arranged marraige
- An assassination attempt
- A Fist fight
- A backdoor sale of the Forester ironwood
- The Whitehalls seizing what they see as rightfully theirs
Yeah, a lot went on, and very little of it benefited out characters in any way. Things are getting darker and darker for the Forester clan, although there are a few bright lights on the horizon. However, this being part of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, I have to assume that those bright lights in the distance are going to self-destruct at some point, probably causing even more harm to everyone involved.
Once again, Telltale’s Game of Thrones finds a nice balance between developing its own characters and linking to the HBO series by using established characters. This time around, we get Tyrion and Jon Snow, and neither of whom is overused. Our playable characters are all distinct, although I’d like Garred Tuttle and Mira Forester to get a little bit more personality. Secondary characters are well done, with the exception of a couple of the villains who are just a little too over-the-top evil. With them, a bit more subtlety would go a long way.
“The Lost Lords” builds wonderfully on the first part of the series, and leaves me excited to see what comes next. I’m finding myself worried about a few of these characters, and I consider than strong praise indeed.