Episode 3 of Telltale’s Game of Thrones ‘The Sword in The Darkness’ may be the weakest episode yet of the run, delivering very few interesting or compelling developments in not only the overarching plot but also the smaller more confined ones as well. It also seems that the cracks may be starting to show in the way in which the game jumps from character to character (story to story) as now some are becoming much more interesting to follow while others are becoming slightly dull to play through. With Episode 3 being the middle of the road things for this season, things seem to linger rather than expand on what has so far been a great achievement in making you feel like a part of the Game of Thrones series.
Like the previous two episodes, episode 3 begins in a tense action sequence, what this one does differently though is that it introduces an element that we haven’t had the opportunity of experiencing before, Minor Spoiler… Coming face to face with a dragon and trying to best it in combat. This was an unexpected move for the game to take and it certainly was an exciting opening to the game, sadly this moment wasn’t capitalised on further and just like the entirety of Asher’s story line so far became a distant memory and little more than cool moment to show off in the trailers. So yes Asher’s story line has continued to offer nothing of much intrigue or development to things so far and I’m now just waiting for anything of worth to come from that part of the game/world.
Back in Westeros things are certainly moving forward but in this episode they don’t move very far and a lot of the moments in this episode felt slow and predictable. One story line that felt silly to me was Gared’s, which went from saying your vows and befriending the guys who you’d just finished quarrelling with to then an Indiana Jones style hunt for a hidden location beyond the wall and finally culminating in the arrival of an old enemy who you unsurprisingly end up fighting with in a forced action sequence I would have preferred to have been able to avoid. Gared is a character I like but I’m just not sure if his story line is one I’m continuing to like, time will tell I suppose.
The weakest story line in Westeros for me is definitely Mira’s. I’m finding this character and her struggle to try and save the family less and less productive and apart from the characters from the TV show (Cersei, Tyrion and Margaery) the people around her are even less interesting to follow or interact with, in particular Margaery Tyrell’s other handmaiden Sera, who is just a deeply uninteresting character to have to interact with. Also this story line indirectly inserts itself into the ‘Purple wedding’ but does so in a way that I’m not sure if I liked, while it was a bold choice to have you just outside the second wildest wedding in Westeros, I’m not sure it was done for the right or most satisfying reasons in terms of the player experience.
Sadly I was even disappointed with the development of the character that interests me the most, Rodrik. While some minor advancements did occur for this character/story line they are ones that won’t see any great pay off until much later which means that this episode felt more like a waiting period and less like the immersive and productive episodes that precede it.
The main problem with episode 3 is that it felt like a place holder, I didn’t feel like I was making as big or important of strides as I did in the previous two episodes, so much of it felt like a wait and see later, rather than a there and then wow moment. I was in the end underwhelmed and a little removed from this episode of Game of Thrones and would say that this is definitely my least favourite of the episodes so far, I very much hope that things pick up in the next one.