26th Mar2015

‘Game of Thrones: Episode Three – The Sword in the Darkness’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf


So the Telltale Games version of Game of Thrones has finally arrived at a wedding…we all know what that means.  If you don’t, then don’t worry because I won’t spoil it for you.  Game of Thrones: Episode Three – The Sword in the Darkness has now reaching the mid-season episode, and the game of chess is reaching its critical point, and although I’m sure things will work out in the end, all of my characters are not in good positions at all.

As with the previous episodes The Sword in the Darkness takes place all around Westeros and jumps from character to character to keep the plot moving, if a little slow this time.  At King’s Landing the Purple Wedding is upon us, which is not good when Cersei Lannister has her talons out, and our encounter with her is even before the ceremony has started.  Across the sea Asher has dragons to deal with, while to the north at Ironrath there is further Whitehill drama and Gared now finds himself at odds with only with his new brotherhood with the Crows but his friendship with Jon Snow.

Game of Thrones in book, television or game form are all about politics and who can be the most manipulative and cutthroat when the needs must.  In this episode I decided to take a very Machiavellian stance with my responses, which worked at times, though at others my attempts at manipulations were seen straight through it.  When push comes to shove though I am that invested in the characters that many times I cannot let them lose face, even if this leads to dire consequences.

As this is the mid-season point of the game things do tend to be at the lowers point for the characters, which will of course lead to the inevitable rise to glory (but remember this is Game of Thrones…we can’t trust that to happen).  I couldn’t help but feel this episode was a little drawn out, but there was a lot of plot points that needed to be set in motion that will flourish as we lead up to the finale so we can forgive the third episode for doing this.  All the characters are in place to manipulate the situation to save Ironrath, now things just have to work out in their favour, if Telltale allow this to happen.

Playing through The Sword in the Darkness there is one thing that is obvious now, and that is that the player is just playing through a fairly linear story and won’t really have much impact on how the final story will play out.  We may see “[character name] will remember this” but in the long run really this has little meaning on what is to come as the story will be pushed in one inevitable direction.  This isn’t a bad thing in the end when the story is so strong and in truth we have to remember we are playing through a Game of Thrones game that is actually good and manages to reach the quality of the television show, so there can’t be too many complaints really.

With the latest Tales from the Borderlands episode coming out just last week it is easy to compare the two games, and I have to admit that I am enjoying Borderlands more.  This isn’t to say Game of Thrones: Episode Three – The Sword in the Darkness is not a good episode, but there is just something a little more spectacular about the Borderlands output right now.  Even with this being the case though, Game of Thrones: Episode Three – The Sword in the Darkness does its job of setting up the second half of the season well, and could easily steal the glory from Tales from the Borderlands with ease.  Even if this does not happen though we as gamers are very lucky at the moment to have two Telltale Games that are truly engrossing and have us at the edge of our seats in anticipation as to what comes next.

**** 4/5

Game of Thrones: Episode Three – The Sword in the Darkness is out now on PC.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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