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Game of Thrones: Episode Two - The Lost Lords

By Bobfish11-02-2015
Game of Thrones: Episode Two - The Lost Lords

The Defence

Telltale Games
Telltale Games
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.3 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 8800
AMD equivalent
4 GB
3 GB

The Case

It’s Game of Thrones, and it’s Telltale. So, really, the only question to ask, is how many people will die this time?

The Trial

On a serious note, much as episode 1 before it, this is not Telltale’s best work. In my (not so) humble opinion, this is largely caused by length. Having now gone back to experience the critically acclaimed The Walking Dead season 1, I found much of the same problem in evidence there. Whilst their writing staff is universally, and rightly, recognised as being amongst the most narratively skilled in the industry. Their style suffers a great deal when it comes to pacing. Basically, they work better when they have less time to tell a story.

In true Thrones fashion, you don’t have long to wait for some death.

In true Thrones fashion, you don’t have long to wait for some death.

Several occasions both here, and in the first episode, there was what felt like a superb, gutpunch of a dramatic climax, which was immediately followed up by another scene that, almost universally, was completely different in both tone and pace. Thus leaving the overall product feeling somewhat clunky and scattershot in its approach. Something which is felt all the more keenly here. Where Iron From Ice was dealing primarily with setup, with each ‘chapter’ building the tension and offering only temporary respite at its outset. There are a number of times in The Lost Lords where the pace is not only dulled, but flat out stalled and even reversed.

Having said that, this is by no means a bad episode either. In fact, for all its flaws, it is markedly better than the first. With some of those self-same shifts in pace working perfectly to highlight the increasing tenuous nature of House Forrester’s plight, by giving us a moment to catch our breath and really take in the events preceding. Something I, personally, felt was achieved most efficiently with a scene towards the end, where we switched back to Gared Tuttle, who we had previously only spent time with right at the beginning. It was one of those well calculated “hey, remember this guy?” moments that also served to make many a fangirl blush as he had some bromance going on with Jon Snow.

Basically, what we seem to have here is more of a continuation of the first episode, rather than a new chapter in its own right. Though there are certainly far more developments that actually, you know, develop the narrative and setting, we are still primarily in the grounds of plot set-up which, when judged on its own, leaves the final product being primarily underwhelming. But we needs must remind ourselves. This is not a final product. This is only the second half or the first act, there is still a lot, a hell of a lot more to come, and what The Lost Lords contents alludes to is far more intriguing.

Mash ‘Q’ to not shit your pants.

Mash ‘Q’ to not shit your pants.

So when viewed in that respect, basically...this is a Telltale game. And one thing we should all be poignantly aware of, by this point, is that Telltale do not disappoint with the payoff. No sir they do not. So with the third episode hinting at, if not outright stating, Asher Forrester will have a confrontation with a frikkin’ dragon! Take just a moment to look at the larger picture and you will see that those pacing problems are suddenly much less pronounced. It is only when we take each episode as a self-contained work, which it can be argued they are, but they are clearly not, that we see any real problems.

In every other respect, the game, the series as a whole no doubt, is and will remain superb. The acting is as strong as ever, with some new characters, playable and otherwise (particularly the second new playable character whom I will leave unnamed) immediately cementing themselves as breakout performances. Despite some of them, especially Asher, being given a criminally tiny amount of screen time. But again, four more episodes to come, so chillax bro.

The visual style remains difficult to pin down. Personally, I remain wowed by the living Bob Ross-esque painting aesthetic. Though it is hard to deny it makes the characters feel a little out of place against the more brushstroke backdrops, it also works to reinforce a sense of them intruding on a world they do not have any true control over. As though they are merely muscling their way through a landscape that cares nothing for them one way or another. Remaining starkly indifferent to their petty, human hardships. A feeling that is most firmly exemplified when we see the harsh cold of The Wall, which looms as a permanent reminder of the fierce creatures that live beyond the Northern border.

Let’s hold hands.

Let’s hold hands.

There is also an issue some, myself included, have found with anti-aliasing, which causes certain background features to become more blurred, rather than less. Most notable around straight lines and right angles, such as door frames, it makes one feel like one has ingested a significant quantity of, shall we say, exotic fungus. And that stepping through the looming portal will open a path into the very depths of Hell itself. Or worse, Peewee’s Fun House. So maybe leaving it switched off is a better idea...though there were no other significant complaints so far beyond an occasional teleporting NPC. But hey, magic and stuff.

The Verdict

It’s another Telltale game, so you really should know what you’re getting into by this point. There are some niggles which will almost certainly vanish as the story unfolds, and the series is looked back on as a complete work, but overall it remains an enthralling, heart-breaking story with some serious Neo “whoa!” moments already hitting us upside the head with a four foot longsword. There also hasn’t been any sex yet. They’re actually focusing on the story! Dramatic music.

Case Review

  • Bromance: Gared x Jon Snow sitting in a tr...uhh, on the wall. Well, standing but...you know what I mean!
  • Length: As much as I liked them, it’s hard to deny earlier Telltale episodes were a tad on the short side. These, not so much.
  • Plot Twist!: A certain playable character’s introduction...yeah, that was an amazing scene.
  • Redheads: Seriously, like, every single woman is Scottish or something.
  • Art Style: I think it’s gorgeous, but some people find it a bit wishy-washy.
  • Pacing: For all their skill, Telltale’s writing staff just can’t quite get the hang of longer narrative.
Score: 4.5/5
At least redheads aren’t going extinct in Game of Thrones.


Not much need be said about this at this point. It’s a Telltale adventure game, and it’s Game of Thrones. If either of these appeal to you then this is a solid buy.

Picking up where the last episode left off you’ll be introduced to the Game of Thrones staples of action bits, betrayals, drama, bad guys being unbelievable tools, etc. The characters from the TV show who appeared in episode 1 will return along with the inclusion of Jon Snow. The voice acting is done very well which is essential for this style of narrative driven experience.

The episode is short but it’s sweet, always engaging and moves at a steadier pace than episode 1. If you’re a fan of Telltale or GoT then you’re likely already playing this. If you don’t like either of those things, this isn’t going to change your mind. One nitpick though. Dear Telltale, whoever created the depth of field effect you’re using for this game need never implement that effect again. It looks terrible producing some immersion ruining artefacts, shimmering and halos. Please fix this.

Score: 4.5/5


Not to ruin the suspense for all you fine folks, but in a single sentence, the 2nd episode is weaker than the first, and one of the weakest episodes that Telltale has ever put out. There are still choices to be made, Forresters to save, and Game of Thrones characters to chat up, but all in smaller amounts than the first episode.

I won't spoil the choices here, but what I will say is that they aren't the life and death choices that were in the first episode, and save with one exception, there was never a point where I struggled to make a decision. Apparently most people share in that opinion too since two of the choices had 92% and 95% of players agreeing on the best option. The easy choices are the largest issue, but the oil painted aesthetic has also started to show its weakness. Now instead of looking original or distant like they did in episode one, things just look blurry. But it's not like episode two is without charms. The audio is amazing, I'd go so far to say that the audio is the best of any Telltale episode to date, and that goes double for the song at the end of the episode. That, and the overall design for both Easteros and The Wall is a good change of pace for a game that's otherwise set in fancy rooms filled with lords and nobles.

Episode two isn't bad necessarily, this is still Telltale after all, but it's the weaker of the two chapters out right now, and probably one of the weaker chapters that Telltale has put out since it really doesn't add much and is more of a set-up chapter than something to itself. Props to the sound director, props to the musicians, designers, and writers as always, but to whoever decided on these choices, you need to step up your game next time.

Score: 3.5/5
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