Game of Thrones: Episode Three - The Sword in the Darkness (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 05.04.2015 1

Review for Game of Thrones: Episode Three - The Sword in the Darkness on PlayStation 4

Telltale has done a great job thus far with its Game of Thrones series, staying true to the source material of both the books and the TV show. The previous episode set up so much, all ready for The Sword in the Darkness. Each of the prominent players were on the precipice of significant events and this third episode sees them stepping over the edge. For full details of the previous chapters, be sure to read the reviews for Episode One - Iron from Ice and Episode Two - The Lost Lords.

Episode Two - The Lost Lords took the dear playable characters and proceeded to beat the hell out of them, both figuratively and literally. However, despite the severe punishment, there were no deaths to the protagonists this time and so there are no changes to the cast of four playable characters: Asher, Mira, Gared and Rodrik. With this being the middle-ground of the series, the story has progressed to the point where all of the story threads are beginning to take shape and show just where each of the character's journeys will take them.

To summarise the events of last episode for each character: Gared had to adjust to life at The Wall, not knowing who to trust and trying to find common ground with his new brothers, accepting that his old life was behind him while constant reminders and concerns tried to pull him back to who he was and all the while the lure of "The North Grove" called. Gared's story parallels much of what Jon Snow dealt with throughout the books and show. Rodrick returned from the dead but returned to death and depression - his brother and father dead, his youngest brother captured, and old enemies living inside his family's ancient home. Mira found both potential friends and enemies in King's Landing, although it's impossible to find out which is which. The series has made it very evident that the political Game of Thrones is the most dangerous thing in Westeros, and so far the game has done a great job of keeping the player guessing on just who is on Mira's side and, when an attempt is made on Mira's life, things get even more confusing. Finally, Asher was introduced as a foul mouthed, hard fighting mercenary in Essos. Asher forged his own path and made a whole new life for himself, but now he's called home and has to decide just where his allegiances lie.

Screenshot for Game of Thrones: Episode Three - The Sword in the Darkness on PlayStation 4

The Sword in the Darkness brings back some particularly well done, visceral, and fantastic fight scenes that hearken back to the fights in The Wolf Among Us series, this part of the story also shows some real promise with the player choices and their resulting effects. Fans who usually wait until the season is completed for their second playthrough may find this is the episode that forces them to begin a second playthrough now. There are some points that require seeing from numerous perspectives - sometimes after a beating it's worth staying down and being humble to protect the people… but sometimes it is necessary to stand back up, consequences be damned.

In this chapter, each of the characters finds themselves in seriously precarious situations and each comes very close to death. There are sellsword armies, Dragons, a new Lord Whitehill running Ironwrath, a familiar face at The Wall, and much more. For the two to three hours runtime, there is a massive progression to the story on all fronts. There are also rewards for fans of the source material, nods and winks at major events ongoing at this point in the story, and a special treat in particular for the fans is the chance to attend the wedding of Joffrey and Margery, as Mira. This, of course, will also affect the choices made by the player because they know what happens at the toast… Similarly with Asher trying to recruit the sellsword company, The Second Sons, Readers and Watchers alike will know at this point in the story they are already contracted to another… a certain Blonde Haired lady with a penchant for scary pets.

The writers have done a spectacular job with keeping the original story of the Telltale game running parallel to the main plot and having the major players of the world touch into the lives of House Forrester. The storytelling is by far the strongest aspect of this title and this is demonstrated in this specific episode. There are fantastic twists, compelling character developments, and the signature Telltale moments that really build a player's bond with their characters. Telltale has secured a multi-year deal with Game of Thrones, so it will be interesting to see just how much is wrapped up with this first season and if House Forrester will continue to be the focus of future seasons. With the series now reaching its third episode, all the players are in place for them to start moving towards a unified endgame. Each has a clear goal and it's all coming together, yet this being the Song of Ice and Fire universe, 'Happy Endings' are hardly guaranteed - in fact, quite the opposite is most likely.

Screenshot for Game of Thrones: Episode Three - The Sword in the Darkness on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

The Sword in the Darkness truly lives up to the first episode after the exposition-filled second and goes to show fans of the Song of Ice and Fire universe that this story is truly worth a place alongside the canon of the series. Now exactly halfway through the season, there's a ton of promise and a lot of foreboding for the remainder of the series. So far the Foresters are getting knocked down and kicked harder and harder and harder… which, much like the Starks, will make it all that much sweeter when they finally have their revenge.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I finally got Episode One... You've convinced me! But, I need to find time to play it now Smilie

New season of the show starts soon! Woo!! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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