Back to Ironrath we go.
TO ICE WE ALL RETURN
Following the events of Episode 1, we see the House Forrester in despair. Ethan is dead, Ryon has been taken captive by the much-hated Whitehills. Oh and Whitehill soldiers are all over Ironrath. Things are not going well, to say the least.
Episode 2 starts out in the least interesting of the subplots – Asher Forrester’s. In Yunkai, Asher shares a drink with mercenary Beskha. Having just caught a man named Bezzaq, whose bounty is said to be worth 800 Dragons, the two discuss what they can do with their upcoming reward. A Lost Legion soldier enters with a few reinforcements, offering half of the original reward. A fight breaks out. I can’t remember a time in another Telltale Game that I failed the same prompt 2-3 times. The Quick Time Events feature controls that are sloppy and when time is more limited than it should be, they get sloppier. I lost any hopes of early immersion in the story thanks to this. As story telling is the primary focus, any aspect that pulls the gamer away is unacceptable.
Switching gears, you next control Rodrik Forrester. Having been badly beaten in battle, you are in the back of a wagon with a bunch of corpses. After a series of minor events, you end up waking up to little sister Talia (whom Ethan dies to protect in Episode 1). She explains of the events that occurred with Ethan’s death. A choice I had to make following this sequence was seemingly minute, but more based on pride. Since I can’t walk very well, do I take Talia’s help to get me where I need to go? I’ll likely face mockery from Whitehill soldiers and it can’t be good for the Forrester image. If not that, do I try to fumble and stumble myself, likely just to get spat on and mocked still? I chose to have help. This of course had very little effect on the actual story. One large decision from Episode 1 held no meaning in Episode 2, which was a little frustrating. The end of the episode wraps up in an emotional matter, featuring what is a memorable, deep closing.
In terms of the imaginary morality meter in this series, my focus has shifted towards acting cold when given the opportunity. In The Walking Dead, I found that I was compassionate when possible. In nearly every game I’ve played in which there was an option to choose a light or a dark path, I focused on being the hero. In Game of Thrones, I have found that I have been back-stabbed too many times already (prime example being Ethan). My decisions are ruthless when they need to be, but never completely mellow unless I am dealing with family. I often lead towards neutrality. In most interactions, I use a quid-pro-quo approach. What am I going to get out of this? After all, the Game of Thrones is all about undercutting the rival and doing whatever it takes to get to the top, even if that means screwing someone over.
There are two other subplots of importance. The first is Gared Tuttle’s. Gared is likable, but nothing of consequence happens here. Journeying to The Wall, the duration of your time spent there is very similar to what you witness during HBO’s segments when Jon Snow makes the transition there. By the way, Snow’s appearance in the Episode just doesn’t add anything special and feels wasted. As Gared, you can learn to fight through sword play and gain accuracy through training with a bow. The controls work tightly here, but they don’t improve the episode in any way.
The second subplot is Mira Forrester, which is the clear highlight of the episode. There are several decisions that I sat and pondered over. There’s even an action sequence that caught me off guard and was well executed. One decision immediately affects your time as another character in the episode. Tyrion Lannister and Margaery Tyrell are integral to Mira’s plot and it is this portion of the episode that has me anticipating the follow up.
The Telltale formula seems to have dips during its even numbered episodes. Though likely coincidental, this sets up Game of Thrones for a nice comeback when Episode 3 drops in the coming weeks.
+ Mira plot is a big hook and is highly interesting. It seems to be the non-House Forrester center piece of the story moving forward.
+ Decisions from Mira’s plot seem to hold a lot of weight.
– Certain decisions from Episode 1 don’t matter.
– Graphics suffer at times with framerate drop. Characters generally look good, but sometimes look robotic like last-gen.
Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords was reviewed on an Xbox One. It is also available on Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, and iOS.
Check out Geekiverse’s reviews of other Telltale games: