By Marty Mulrooney
Game of Thrones: Episode 2 – The Lost Lords is the second episode of a six-part episodic adventure game series from Telltale Games, creators of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. Based on the award-winning HBO television series of the same name, The Lost Lords picks up directly after the brutally shocking ending of the opening instalment, with House Forrester fighting for survival against seemingly insurmountable odds.
As with the first episode, in The Lost Lords players take control of certain key members of House Forrester – two returning playable characters, and two new ones. As the game begins we join one of the latter in Yunkai, three days after its liberation by Daenerys Targaryen. Asher Forrester, previously exiled across the Narrow Sea by his house, is now a mercenary for hire who works with and fights alongside a woman sellsword by the name of Beskha.
Drinking together in an abandoned tavern, they soon have company in the form of several Lost Legion soldiers. The fight that ensues makes a strong argument for Quick Time Events being a truly valid form of gameplay – the prompts feel intuitive and the combat is a close match for the bloody battles shown in the television show. Truth be told Asher doesn’t get much to do in Episode 2 in the grand scheme of things, but his introduction is a strong one that promises further epic battles to come in future episodes – and hopefully some difficult decisions too.
Elsewhere, Gared Tuttle finally reaches The Wall and joins The Night’s Watch. It’s fun to see him interacting with Ned Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow (voiced authentically by Kit Harington) and training to become a fellow brother, but it does all feel like the setup for something much bigger. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly a feeling that pervades throughout the entire episode – there is a lot of build-up here that will rely on successful payoff further down the line.
AMO won’t spoil the appearance of a new playable Forrester, but suffice to say this character’s scenes are by far the strongest. Very nearly crippled and fighting to regain both physical and mental strength, it’s here the decisions hit hardest and will make players genuinely pause for thought (but not for too long). A close second in terms of plot development and enjoyment is the return of Mira Forrester, handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell in King’s Landing. She may not wield a sword, but she is given many opportunities to covertly help her family and tough decisions seem to fall in her lap with alarming regularity. King’s Landing is in many ways just as dangerous a place as an abandoned tavern, The Wall or an enemy-occupied house – if not more so.
Game of Thrones: Episode 2 – The Lost Lords is a strong second episode that will no doubt become better appreciated in time when (if) later episodes pick up the pace. The voice acting is brilliant across the board for both returning and newly introduced characters and the storytelling remains engaging throughout. A few audio glitches (lines repeating twice as the engine chugs) can be forgiven. It perhaps won’t be remembered as one of the best episodes Telltale Games has produced to date, but it’s still on a par with a decent episode of the show upon which it’s based – and much like the show, it can safely be assumed that things are only going to get better… by getting much, much worse for House Forrester.
7.5 OUT OF 10