Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 2 Review


Developer: Telltale Games

Publisher: Telltale Games

Platforms: PC (Version Reviewed), Mac, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, Android

Release Dates: February 3rd, 2014 (PC, Mac, PS4, PS3); February 4th, 2014 (Xbox 360 & Xbox One); February 5th, 2014 (iOS, Android)

(This Game of Thrones Episode 2 review will try to remain spoiler-free of this game’s important content, however it can make passing references to books 1-3 of the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, seasons 1-3 of the HBO television series Game of Thrones, or the previous episode of the game series.)

Episode 2 of Telltale’s Game of Thrones is entitled “The Lost Lords,” and continues the story of the Forrester family and friends scattered across Westeros and beyond. This chapter includes four playable characters whom you guide through events and choices in Ironwrath, the Wall, King’s Landing, and the eastern cities. Old characters return, new ones manifest themselves, and our favorite faces from the TV show and books poke their heads in here and there to visit. Telltale once again doesn’t disappoint–episode 2 is quite a ride.

Stop, look, and listen

In a recent GameSided Roundtable, we talked about our preferences for good gameplay or good story. My biggest disappointment with this series so far has been that it’s low on the gameplay, even though the story it is telling is fascinating and engaging.

I’ve complained about this in The Walking Dead Season 2 and in the first episode of this series, but it still drives me crazy that exploration seems to serve no useful function. There are about three or four instances where you can walk around, pick things up, or talk to people, and literally nothing you do that involves such activity seems to matter, even from a player interest perspective. Examining a jar or an axe usually results in a comment along the lines of “Look, an axe” and we’re done.

More from Reviews

Telltale pulled off exploration really well in The Walking Dead Season 1 and, so I hear, in The Wolf Among Us, so I’m not sure why they seem to have cut this gameplay function so much. Add that to some insanely clunky walking controls and how the game doesn’t tell you you’re meant to be walking around or exploring, and it makes free movement times the worst parts of the game.

The action sequences are great, though! They make good use of WASD, the mouse, Q and E. I feel very in control of what’s going on, and they’re fast-paced and interesting. My only qualm is how easy they can be–I died once, and was immediately put back to a few moments before the missed movement that killed me. There’s no penalty for failing, really, though since the game is centered on furthering the story I understand why that would be.

The choice making is still mostly up to Telltale standard, though there were some points where I felt they were only giving me choices so I remembered I was still playing the game. Most of these were at the beginning though and may have been thrown in to remind me that I was on a timer, so it didn’t bother me too much. Since we’re only on episode 2, it’s still really hard to tell how much of an effect my choices, big and small, will have on the game, but around this time I began to see more immediate effects, especially once I played the episode a second time with different choices. Because there are multiple characters who all affect one another, too, it’s delightfully difficult to discern when a choice made by one will change the fate of another. Though ultimately the verdict on whether this system worked for this game or not will be determined by the ending of the game, for now, I’m satisfied with that element of gameplay.

Dark wings, dark words

Some awkward gameplay aside, the plot is still really great. Coming in, I was worried they would try too hard to surprise me and resort to murdering everyone or something equally heavy-handed, but the twists and turns the game threw at me were always a surprise. Often, events seemed to come out of left-field, but the way the game handled them I know I’ll be hearing more about motives later. The pacing is great–the switches between the characters are all on solid beats and I never felt disoriented or forgot what was going on anywhere. Rather, I was keenly aware of how what I did might affect the others.

Telltale has interwoven the characters we know and love from Game of Thrones in perfectly with the story

I grew a bit frustrated toward the end, as it seems no matter how good a decision you appear to be making, some other character shows up every time to do something stupid and ruin your plans. For once, I wanted to see something I chose go off without a hitch. Most of the time, I caught myself making choices not because they were the thing I felt was the best in the moment, but because they would lead me to the safest final solution. It’s difficult to tell if this is awkward storytelling, or really great. House Forrester is small, and insignificant, and we all know ahead of time that they have little to no effect on the conflict in Westeros on a grand scale. Perhaps the railroaded moments of their struggles are simply the nature of the beast but, again, only the ending will tell.

Telltale has interwoven the characters we know and love from Game of Thrones in perfectly with the story. Tyrion and Margaery reappear, we see Jon Snow, and whispers of Daenerys make me wonder if she’ll be making a future appearance. The minor characters are well-written too, such as Sera the lady-in-waiting, the men of the Night’s Watch, the mysterious servant boy, and Damien the King’s Guard. They fit into the story as if they were made for it.

Sing me a story

Technically, The Lost Lords is everything you’d expect. The soundtrack is subtle, and doesn’t distract from the story, but to be honest I didn’t notice it at all for the most part except at the end. Graphically, it’s still very high-quality with lovely artwork, though the walking animations can get a bit awkward, especially when you’re the one controlling them, and I still saw a few weird moments of legs going through tunics or hair where it shouldn’t be. But again, I didn’t feel it distracted from the story or made the game hard to play.The voice acting is excellent as ever–Mira Forrester’s especially.

At the end of the episode, one of the characters sings a song. I wouldn’t normally draw attention to something so specific, but the writing and the acting (her voice was fine, it was the way the character handled it) felt really awkward and heavy-handed. It was like they were trying to invoke the emotion they did with the credits songs in The Walking Dead Season 2, but this just fell flat and made the ending feel strange and contrived.


Overall, the story is what makes this good and worth playing. The pacing was great, the twists are intriguing and unexpected, and the game strikes a great balance of making the player feel that they can still salvage things, and that things are going to fall to pieces any second. I have a lot of questions right now, about the characters and story and everything. How Telltale handles this in the coming episodes will be the key in determining whether this is a super amazing setup or really ineffective storytelling. For now, I remain quite positive!

(A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.)

More from GameSided

For more gaming news and reviews, follow us on twitter @GameSidedDotCom. To get the latest in gaming wherever you go, download the official Fansided App on the App Store or Google Play Market today!

Looking to write about video games? Join us at GameSided! Contact the editor to apply or if you have any inquiries/tips: