Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness PC Review
When Telltale Games created their videogame adaption of The Walking Dead, they wisely chose to spin off from the original source material to do what they wanted with their original cast. The one exception to this was the first episode, where familiar faces like Glenn and Hershel popped in to give an awkward hello to the fanbase before thankfully disappearing for the rest of the series.
The Game of Thrones adaptation continues to feel affected by this collection of cameos; while the primary focus revolves around the previously-unseen Forrester family and those associated with them, the narrative still requires them to have dealings with established GoT characters like Tyrion, Cersei and Jon Snow. This would not necessarily be a problem in itself were it not also for the fact that the game attempts to set up new relations and plot devices with said characters; anyone familiar with the show or the original books would already know that such plot threads would immediately be severed, as the game also happens to take place during the next biggest event following R.W. The specter of continuity looms virtually everywhere, including a QTE action sequence that pits one of the original game characters against a recognizable individual from the series; again, if you already followed the series, you already know the outcome.
Beyond that, the rest of the game faithfully follows author George R. R. Martin’s plot development and pacing…including the parts that really drag. Things continue to trot along with further details being added to the existing plot, but with no signs that the ultimate payoff will be coming anytime soon. Furthermore, the story also mirrors the original in how certain character-focused chapters move farther ahead in the story, treading new and interesting ground, while the other characters are still a few laps behind and have yet to accomplish anything significant. In series terms, these would be the Bran chapters.
The final hour of episode 3 is its strongest, where the players are able to shape the character development in some really interesting ways that lead to either a satisfying catharsis or heartbreaking submission. It sets the stage for episode 4, which looks to mercifully speed things along to a point of no return, though it also promises the appearance of yet another veteran from the original series. The overall story is still interesting enough to leave us anticipating, but much like how fans wish those damn dragons would cross the sea already, it would be in this game’s best interest to hurry things along.