WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS.
Arriving two months after its remarkably strong opening episode, ‘The Lost Lords’ continues on from where ‘Iron From Ice’ left off and delivers on another thrilling ride, despite hitting a few speed bumps along the way.
Beginning within Yunkai – one of the sun-bleached cities of Slavers Bay, players get their first taste of the large eastern continent of Essos. Demonstrating an entirely different environment from what’s been shown before, this opening feels nice and fresh due in part to the lands much brighter colour palette and vast contrast to the north of Westeros in particular. Introducing the player into the shoes of Asher Forrester, the first few minutes are slow-paced as the game tries its best to establish his character and situation. Though this short period feels a little uninteresting and disjointed for an introduction, the real meat of the scene soon plays out and Asher (and his partner Beskha) find themselves fighting off countless enemies in the same brutal combat that you’d expect from the TV show. Containing plenty of Quick Time Events that aren’t difficult to miss, it’s an easy and very entertaining fight scene that does well to look nice and fluid with its animations. Setting the tone perfectly for the rest of the episode, this first taste of proper combat foreshadows what is to come throughout the rest of the two hour gameplay.
Where the first episode contained plenty of tense confrontation and a lot of difficult choices for the player to make, episode two trades most of that in for scenes of violence. This switch in style isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it certainly makes the latest episode feel differently from its predecessor. That said however, such scenes are nowhere near as tense or as exciting as the verbal confrontations found in the previous episode. What were easily the best scenes from episode one (the Mira and Cersei scene in particular), it feels a little disjointed to not see as many here, more so ones that harbour tough decisions and deep consequences. As you would expect there are decisions to make within the episode and some great scenes thrown in, but few match the same level of tension of ones that have come before. It’s disappointing that these aren’t there in a higher capacity, but at the same time this change in style really hits home the brutal nature of the source material, and is a decent change.
With the game including such a large main cast, it’s to no surprise that episode two still feels like an introductory chapter. With some characters making their first appearances here, it makes sense that a slower-pace has been taken for such scenarios. Though this decision easily allows the players to engage with the new content, when it’s smattered between more established scenes the pacing feels sloppy, and the experience is dampened somewhat. Much like Asher’s introduction, these intro scenes also contain a lot of exposition in order to weave these new faces and places into the current narrative. Thankfully these new stories fit in just fine, and don’t trip up the narrative or overcomplicate it. In fact the only major issue with the narrative is that in the case of House Forrester, it doesn’t really progress. Though there are a plethora of scenes that involve them, by the end of the episode they aren’t in that different of a position than they were at the beginning. Though you do interact and make decisions within the house, there’s not much substance to their scenes until the closing act. It’s a shame that nothing much is done with this aspect of the narrative here, but with their situation growing ever dire, what is to come next will redeem this.
On the other hand the remaining characters see a lot of progress in their stories, with some really interesting scenarios starting to build up. Gared has now reached The Wall and begins his training as a Crow, and Mira’s story finally gains some substance towards the end of the chapter where she finds herself in a sticky situation. As someone that was easily the weakest member of the cast thus far, it’s relieving to find that Mira finally gains some real purpose in the world, and her character becomes far less ‘ordinary’. With the way that her final chapter ended, her story has gained a lot of potential, and if it continues to grow and match the quality of the others, there’s no reason why her story cannot become one of the most interesting.
As the episode as a whole comes to a close and the final scene is accompanied by a beautiful song, the player is reminded of the pay-off yet to come as a montage of clips play over, demonstrating the consequences of this episode. It’s an ending that while not as shocking as the previous one, is still just as impactful and will leave you excited for what’s to come next. Knowing how bad situations normally play out in the world of Game Of Thrones, things can only get more exciting.
While House Forrester’s story doesn’t really progress anywhere in this episode, the other characters make plenty of ground and lay the foundations for future pay-offs. While Mira’s story was in danger of becoming dull, it soon gained plenty of substance in the last act, giving her plenty of potential to shine and have an impactful story to tell. With plenty of characters now involved and plenty of messy situations for them to get stuck in, this Telltale series feels as close to the books and TV show as possible, and the mighty potential of this game is clear to see. While this episode as a whole isn’t as strong as the first, it’s still a damn fine piece of entertainment that will retain your interest.
- Brutal combat scenes offer a decent change in style.
- New characters, and new places.
- Most stories progress nicely.
- It paves the way for thrilling pay-offs.
- A few difficult choices to make.
- House Forrester’s story doesn’t really progress.
- Pacing is a little sloppy at times.
- Fewer confrontation scenes and difficult choices.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.