The end of Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode One was intense, to say the very least. With an ending like that, I was hoping that Episode Two – The Lost Lords would be fast-paced, shocking, and incredibly tense. Unfortunately for me, the second episode was none of those things.
So Many Characters, So Little Time
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the second episode. Like Episode One, The Lost Lords focused on House Forrester and their political struggles, putting the player into the shoes of four different characters connected with that house. Gared, Mira, and even Asher are all playable in this episode, as well as a somewhat surprising fourth character, who I don’t want to give away. The player moves between these character, traversing numerous lands to do so.
However, while it is fun to help House Forrester through each character, as each one has different political allies and different political tactics, the transitions are more confusing than they were in the first episode. In The Lost Lords, the character transitions appear to be more frequent, and the characters themselves are much more spread out. Asher, for example, is stuck in Essos, which is quite far away from Ironrath. It was hard for me to see how the choices I made as Asher connected back to Ironrath’s fate, considering the huge distance Asher is away from the place. Gared especially, who is at The Wall, is hard to connect back to Ironrath, considering the decisions you must make as him don’t even reference House Forrester, but instead only concern the people actually stationed at The Wall.
Due to all of the characters, as well as how they are all spread it, the story becomes somewhat jumbled. At times, I had to look at the Telltale Game of Thrones Wiki page to accurately keep track of what was happening, so I wouldn’t make a decision based off of incorrect or jumbled facts. After I did make a decision, though, I often felt disappointed. Because of the characters’ distances, none of the decisions really felt like they would have an impact on the game, or at least on House Forrester. In Telltale’s The Walking Dead, I always had an idea of what my decision would result in. In the second episode of Game of Thrones, I had almost no idea.
Enter the Political Arena
This could have to do with the subtlety of the game, however. Unlike The Walking Dead, the world of Game of Thrones is filled with sneaky politics and hidden motives. In Episode One, we got a taste of that when making decisions as Ethan. In The Lost Lords, there are far more political choices that players must make. Alliances must be made, certain trading decisions have to be considered, and other intense political decisions have to be mulled over. For hardcore Game of Thrones fans, this could be one of the best parts of the game, for it gives fans a chance to really apply their political knowledge of the world.
Casual Game of Thrones fans, or fans of action video games, may be happy to find that although there are a lot of political choices to be made, The Lost Lords also has a lot more interactive scenes in it. There is a lot more fighting, and a whole lot of QTEs that players will have to deal with. At one point, Gared has to do some crossbow training at The Wall, and the player takes control of the crossbow as if this was a FPS game. This type of action, although sometimes tedious, helps break up the huge amount of dialogue in the episode, giving the players a chance to relax their brains.
Overall, The Lost Lords is a bit of an improvement over the first Game of Thrones episode. Although the character transitions are a bit confusing and making decisions doesn’t seem as impactful as it should, Episode Two is by far more political and more interactive, giving players a chance to both think critically and have some QTE fun. As with the end of the first episode, I left this one wishing I could jump into the next episode right away, but unfortunately, players will have to wait another month or so for that to happen.
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