Telltales latest instalment promises a bit of everything but does it truly deliver as it strives to match up to its TV adaptation? Here is our review of Episode 3 “Sword in the Darkness”.
Sword in the Darkness was teased with Dragons and you certainly get a quick showing with a opening sequence that is the best in the series so far. Episode 3 marks the half way point in the Telltale 6 part series and sees you continue to piece together four separate journeys in a direction that delivers on the games major plot points. Players will again play as Asher, fight of the whitehalls in IronWrath, lay watch at the wall and harness coin from the capital its an episode where finally everything makes sense.
Episode 3 will be remembered by me as one with a little bit of everything. We have big set pieces from the get go that set a frantic pace to the episode. The result of which makes the player feel like they are playing the game with more puzzles and interactive elements. The interactivity even sees a karaoke style approach in parts. Within this episode I finally found that I was making decisions that were going to have an impact on the next piece of the story.
Mira’s part has been poor and laboured to date but Episode 3 really sees this element of the story spark to life. Hot of the events of the ending in Episode 2 Mira leads players to make quick decisions where morality is questioned. Mira’s parts are also of interest as its based around the wedding of Geoffrey and Margery and show followers will know what’s going to happen here. This is something that Telltale again handle well, much like the Red wedding scenario in Episode 1. Everything in the game teeters around the edges of the TV plot lines whilst focusing on the impact of these huge events on the Forrester family. Show lovers will get this however for players who haven’t watched the show some of these scenes will create a bit of confusion so balancing these will be crucial in order for Telltale not to loose the players understanding or interest.
Players will also get to encounter The wall in this episode as they build on last episodes developments. In this characters development I found the greatest experience in this episode being given more areas to explore and set pieces to gape at. Standing atop of the wall there are some brilliant pieces of camera work deployed that really add to the atmosphere. It’s also here where the issue of the North Grove is raised and again adds yet another interesting sub plot to the series.
The pacing of this episode is certainly the strongest to date. There is very little in the way of slow moments, many of those actually come in the way of dialogue which in parts actually isn’t as enjoyable as earlier episodes but they do cater towards the bigger picture. The best dialogue decisions I found are still in the house of Forrester where players need to make choices which feel immediate and consequential.
At around 2 hours of playtime Sword in the Darkness inst the shortest episode in the Telltales series so far but with much better pacing and strong story telling and purposeful narrative across each of the playable characters this episode actually flys by. With much more players to do in terms of action sequences and areas to explore I’m actually worried that 6 episodes inst enough to really tell each of these characters stories to its best.
Graphically there’s no change from the initial 2 episodes but in parts the game does feel like it runs alot smoother in places. Where this smoothness is perhaps compromised is during the action sequences. On closer inspection of some areas though you will quite clearly see some rough touches.
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