Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Batman Telltale Games: Episode 3: New World Order: PS4 Review

Batman Telltale Games: Episode 3: New World Order: PS4 Review

Platform: PS4
Developed by Telltale Games

The Telltale Batman game episodic series has been fairly compelling playing in its first 2 episodes.

But it's fair to say the third episode of the show blows everything out of the water in terms of story and propulsion of the narrative - and delivers one hell of a (spoiler) sucker punch at the end.

Sadly though, the third episode, The New World Order, is also the one that suffers from the most from technical issues, with at least 3 freezes forcing the restart of the game.

That aside, this is still all about Bruce Wayne, and follows Telltale's ethos that this is where the focus has been lacking in the past. Interactions with established characters, sinister machinations and at least one out of the blue moment ( as well as one slightly seductive moment) combine to make episode 3 the most turbulent yet.

With a heady mix of action and consequence starting to play out, and an established character heading down a path that has been long expected, Wayne's problems with his family legacy, his suspicion of others and his uncertain allegiances add up to one powderkeg of choice. Packing in narrative, some action and some detective work ensures all the elements are in place for an unpredictable ride that plays out before you.

As ever, the voice work is strong and both Troy Baker and Travis Willingham add a real emotional depth to the Wayne / Dent dynamic. There's real pathos at work here and the investment over the past few episodes is actually beginning to pay off (for reasons that again are too spoiler to go into further).

Ultimately, technical issues aside, New World Order is a real propulsion into the final two chapters of the story - with strong story-telling and real stakes being laid out, it's actually proving to be more worthwhile to play as Bruce than Batman. If anything, the Batman sections of the game slow things down and follow a degree of predictability whereas the human edges give the story nuances and reality.

Telltale Games has said episode four is a real game-changer and given the way three ends, it's going to be one hell of a wait to get into that penultimate episode.

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