Game of Thrones: Episode 2 – The Lost Lords Review
Game of Thrones by Telltale games is back with the latest episode – Episode 2: The Lost Lords. The Lost Lords picks up where the first episode ended up and essentially fills its 3 hour running time by introducing a new character or two and playing out the ramifications of that chapters closing act.
If the first episode went about proving to series fans that Game of Thrones the game, would perfectly reflect the TV series and books in terms of violence, bloodshed and swearing (although the rampant sex and nudity are noticeably absent), the second episode reinforces that position. The Lost Lords continues to expand the story and its roster of playable characters, introducing new areas and allowing players to experience the land of Essos, as well as The Wall for the first time whilst also revisiting Ironrath and King’s Landing for good measure.
Players start off in control of Asher, a new character (and one mentioned previously) who is plying his trade as a mercenary across the Narrow Sea. Along with his kick-ass mercenary side-kick and a companion from Ironrath he sets off to find an army to help the Forresters back home. Of course, the majority of the characters established in the first episode make a return with Gared now stationed at Castle Black, Mira still politicking around in King’s Landing and one other making a comeback (no spoilers here).
As with the first chapter, the second almost feels like it is going in slow motion. The story constantly switches between the playable characters and because of this, it feels like the narrative is going nowhere fast as nobody really has enough on-screen time to have stuff happen. Whilst this is not a deal breaker and you can begin to see some story threads appearing between the characters, it is still remarkably slow.
The game remains essentially unchanged from the first episode – the dialogue heavy gameplay accounts for a good 80% of the on-screen action, with the occasional foray into exploration of some very heavily restricted areas and of course ye olde battle scene or two requiring the use of on-screen button prompts to continue. Cameos of characters from the television show including Margery Tyrell, Tryion Lannister and Jon Snow intended to tie the two stories together are helped by the actors lending their appearances and voices to proceedings.
Unfortunately, the same issues have also carried over from first chapter, with the visuals’ oil painting style filter unfortunately creating a great deal of funny looking texture issues around the edges of characters and objects that makes them feel out of place. The animation issues still persist and the dialogue fluctuates between great and fairly mundane. It’s unfortunate, but despite the best efforts to create a great story in this engine, I suspect these issues will continue to persist throughout the rest of the series.
Overall, The Lost Lords felt almost exactly the same as episode 1 – there’s a fight scene or two, some important decisions to be made, lots and lots of world building, narrative setup work and a cliff-hanger at the end that leaves you chomping at the bit for episode 3. Despite the majority of the episode feeling like filler, it was enjoyable nonetheless. Here’s hoping the story starts picking up the pace in Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness.
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