Telltale seems to have slotted into a nice little groove with regards to its episodic release schedule of late. Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness marks its second outing of the month – a paltry one week later than the most recent instalment of Tales from the Borderlands. If this pace can be maintained, then we may find that we can avoid the awkwardly long gaps that the developer is subject to at times.
The quick turnaround is made all the sweeter by the fact that Episode 3 continues to send this particular series on an upward trajectory. Three straight episodes of increasing quality is a heck of a thing to pull off, but it's made even more exciting by the fact that we're only at the halfway point. Not that the improving quality means that House Forrester is any safer, of course. On the contrary, things feel just as dire – but there actually may be a bright spot on the horizon.
We're starting to catch up to where the show has currently progressed to as well, as the Purple Wedding is one of the events to occur alongside the game's plot developments. This is a great example of how Telltale is interweaving its project with the show. Indeed, while it may be telling a wholly different story, it's dipping in and out of the programme's timeline in such a way that it feels just as important as the many subplots that the series has to offer.
Some more faces from the show pop up just like in previous episodes, too, and some of the previously introduced characters get far more screen time than they were afforded through the first two entries. This is by no means a bad thing either, as bouncing between the different members of the cast happens more frequently here than in the previous episodes. This is a welcome improvement, because spending too long with any one character in a story structured this way can start to grate.
All of the cast members are interesting, too, with Roderick's circumstances as hopeless as ever. Meanwhile, Asher's appearances in the title offer the best glimmers of hope, not to mention far and away the greatest fight choreography in a Telltale title thus far. Mira, who felt like an uninteresting clone of Sansa from the show, is starting to come into her own as well, while Garred's plotline has maintained its level of intrigue.
The direction that the story's taking is also a great one, as things that had only been mentioned in passing or merely talked about in the early goings are starting to take shape, and while the stakes have never been higher, the only place for our attention and interest to go is up.
Now that we've made it to the halfway point of Telltale's Game of Thrones series, it's really looking like it's going to continue improving as the season wears on. Through three episodes, the developer has shown that it's more than up to the task of delivering a story worth residing in George R.R. Martin's world, and this latest episode is a shining example of where things could be heading moving forwards.