Since the first edition of their The Walking Dead series, Telltale Games has proven time and again that the developer has the ability to utilize recognized source material to provide engaging content in a video game. The first episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones is an example of that pedigree, and fortunately for players, so is Episode 2; the mysteriously titled, ‘The Lost Lords’. This episode picks up right after the shocking ending in Episode 1 and gives us the same corruption and plot twists as the critically acclaimed HBO series.
Also similar to the television series, Telltale’s Game of Thrones: Episode 2 ‘The Lost Lords’, moves to numerous places throughout the continent of Westeros, and also takes players to the continent of Essos for the first time. As fans of the show or George R.R. Martin’s book series might expect, the two locales are sharp contrasts in terms of aesthetics, but in addition to that, the way players handle the characters changes as well. In Essos, players have the opportunity to engage in more of Telltale’s interesting twist on video game combat, which has fit well within their games since 2014’s The Wolf Among Us. However, one of the differences between that series and this one is that mistakes in the combat are significantly less forgiving. Miss the timing of a button press, or grab for your weapon too late, and your character will find the wrong end of the sword. This may feel off-putting to some Telltale fans as dying so abruptly is foreign to the developer’s games, but experienced gamers will not recognize this as an issue.
While Essos serves as a dangerous combat zone, Westeros matches the danger, but much of it comes from the fear of saying the wrong thing or making the right choice, and often times the player is unsure of what hangs in the balance. For the first time since I can remember, there are decisions I made in ‘The Lost Lords’ which I instantly wanted to take back in hopes of a better result for my character, or in some cases, said character’s innocent allies. These challenging decisions keep the game interesting, particularly, when you consider large portions of this episode take place in the same room. Unfortunately, just as in Episode 1, the backdrops and items such as tables, chairs, and other items characters use fail to meet the graphical standards one might expect playing this game on a Playstation 4 or Xbox One. In addition to the graphical issues, ‘The Lost Lords’ brings with it more video stuttering and lag, which unfortunately has become a bit of a trademark for the developer, and is something fans of these games deserve to have fixed.
Despite the graphical issues and lag in the environments, the characters look great, and those who make cameo appearances from the HBO television series are amazing renditions of their real-life counterparts. Additionally, the voice acting from stars of the show exceeds expectations, and their video game versions manage to steal whatever scene they are in as a result. Fortunately for us, the other characters all deserve our attention as well because once again, Telltale makes us care about an ensemble cast. In the developer’s history it has been commonplace that Telltale’s formula includes a huge and engaging first episode which is followed up by a disappointing second episode that pushes the plot forward. The trend is not continued with ‘The Lost Lords’ as I found myself on the edge of my seat in some sections, particularly when I received the opportunity to play as a character that is only mentioned in first episode.
In ‘The Lost Lords’, episode 2 of their Game of Thrones series, Telltale continues to provide great content. This episode is even worth a look from those who might not be a familiar with source material. But for those who are initiated into the backstabbing and manipulating of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy, ‘The Lost Lords’ will not disappoint, and thus far, neither has Telltale’s Game of Thrones series as a whole.
- Exciting new characters
- Great cameo appearances
- Feels like the HBO series
- Graphical issues and slowdown
- Unforgiving combat section