Developer: Telltale (2015)
Reviewed by Jay
Last episode was a rather disappointing affair, save for the final few moments with Mira and her attacker. Elsewhere, we were introduced to Asher in Essos, Rodrick convalesces at House Forrester, and Gared joined the Night’s Watch.
Episode 3 “The Sword in the Darkness”
• Asher resolves to find House Forrester an army.
• Mira’s dealings with Tyrion put her at odds with Margaery
• Lord Whitehill’s son Gryff belittles and sets up camp House Forrester.
• Gared intends to find & protect the North Grove, and finds out his family’s murderer is also a Crow.
Same problems as last time, but since the story is much better, the artifacting/edge muddling isn’t really noticeable.
• Opening the episode with a Dr-a-a-a-agon! It was awesome; just a quick taste, but a flurry of action and more Dragon than we’ve gotten in the TV show in 4 seasons!
• Great intertwine with GOT TV show/books; seeing Joffrey’s wedding event from a different perspective, and have the events lead to a sequence in the game – great stuff!
• Cool seeing the Night’s Watch vows, even if ‘press A to say your vow’ is a bit unneccessary.
• Heels are caricatures of evil; complete assholes, so you can feel you’re doing is the right thing if you murder them. For example, soliders re-enacting young Ethan’s death and laugh in the face to the brother. Seems a bit ham-fisted, likely due to the short timespan (i.e. many scenes in a 2 hour episode), but also poor writing. Gared’s family’s killer has a great quick aside (“I did my duty to my lord, and got sent to the wall for it”), showing an interesting depth to a heel, but instantly reverts to out-and-out bad guy straight afterwards. Gared’s bully/fellow Crow and his changing outlook is quite obnoxious. “I hate you…you’re my best mate!”
• 3 episodes in, I don’t find the playable characters as endearing as protagonists from either The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us. My favourite moments are still the short time you spend with characters from the TV show. Baddies are extremely confrontational, and arguments are generally ended by leverage and implied threats (eg “I’ll tell the Queen to find you another job”), which’d be a staple of the show, but used extensively here.
• I did enjoy most of this episode, but it feels like we’re being force-fed to care about your characters not by their own words/actions, but because they’ve been continually beaten down and tormented by many characters – Roose Bolton, The Whitehill dad, the Whitehill son, his soldiers… Does anyone *not* pick on them? The ‘kiss my ring’ segment from episode 1 is repeated here.
• Despite those problems, on the positive side, Mira’s story is quite strong; how her actions helping her family’s plight are affecting her relationship with Marjorie and frantically having to sort out problems. Retrieving a document the day of Joffrey’s wedding was a great protracted sequence.
• The Whitehills giving out that their men have been “dulled on wine” is suprisingly insightful (it was your intention)…likely just wanting the same emotional reaction as if you’d chosen to “starve them out”.
Overall, a large step up from episode 2, Asher & Mira’s stories were a lot of fun, Gared held his own, whilst Rodrick’s was a chore, rethreading the beat down angle. I’m a bit worried as Rodrick’s story is the main one and it’s the least enjoyable; everyone else is doing great.
• Saved Malcolm or Beskha? I saved Beskha. (I both like her better and she was taking on a dragon.)
• I obeyed Margaery rather than talked with Tyrion. (She *just* gave out to me about Tyrion and I gotta stay on her good side.)
• I killed Britt (solider who murdered your father/sister). (He enjoyed murdering them, he gets no sympy!)
• I submitted to Gryff Whitehill. (Seems like the right choice, both politically and physically)
• I kept/didn’t burn the Ironwood Decree. (Hey! I worked hard for that and Tyrion willfully signed it.)