Game of Thrones: “The Sword in the Darkness” Review
Sheesh…….that was intense!
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes of this TellTale series, Sword in the Darkness is the first time I was on the edge of my seat throughout the play-through. The game is becoming more and more like its TV counterpart, and the quality of the story and gameplay is getting better in the process. The stakes are being raised, the decisions are becoming more crucial, and consequences for your choices are increasing rapidly.
Similar to “The Lost Lords,” you start out playing as Asher Forrester, who’s trying to escape from the Yunkai soldiers that you, Malcolm, and Beskha were dealing with in the previous episode. After finding refuge in a cage, you’re forced to decide who Asher is more loyal to. Even though we’ve only spent a short time with Asher, I like the fact that the relationship between him and Beskha has been established so well that it was hard for me to choose between her and Malcolm.
Gared Tuttle’s storyline has gotten much more interesting as his Uncle Duncan comes and gives you a mission to go search and locate the North Grove that Lord Forrester spoke about before his death. You also have the opportunity to erase any tension between you, Finn, and Cotter. It slightly bothers me that after all the fights and arguments we had we those two, we just kiss and make up 3 minutes into the next episode; it felt rushed. I understand that it was necessary to move the story along, but I wished it would’ve been done more organically.
Another surprising part of the Tuttle storyline is the fact that you get the rare chance for revenge with Gared. I say it’s rare because for those who know how the Game of Thrones world works, you know revenge is something that usually never happens, so I appreciated that.
Once again, Mira stole the show in The Sword in the Darkness. Her scenes are easily the most intense as you feel like you’re walking on eggshells with every choice. When it comes to the decisions I have to make in King’s Landing, I constantly felt as though I chose wrong. Mira’s smarter than she let’s on and depending how you decide to play, you can use that intelligence to manipulate people to benefit you. You’re finally at the part of the game where you have to decide what’s more important to Mira, remaining loyal to Margaery or helping her family against the Whitehills. That choice may sound easy as you’re reading this, but trust me, it’s more difficult than you think.
The one complaint I have with this episode is the scenes involving the Forresters at Ironrath. Lord Whitehill’s son comes to take over the house and Rodrick tries to figure out a way to get him and the other Whitehill men to behave or just leave altogether. The complaint I have with the Ironrath scenes is that the whole “Whitehills suck” plot is getting extremely repetitive. We’ve been dealing with the Whitehills terrorizing the Forresters for a while now and it’s hard for me to care as much as I once did. Even though we’re only halfway through the Game of Thrones season and there’s much more story to go, TellTale would greatly benefit from bringing something new to the Ironrath section of the story. It was established that there’s a traitor among the council, so that’s something.
Earlier I talked about how the game is really starting to mirror its HBO counterpart and that’s what was the most satisfying. While playing, it felt like I was playing a game of chess. I knew that every single choice I made would have an effect on whether I can help my family or not, and that contributed to me feeling more immersed in the game than I ever have before.