Batman: Telltale Games: Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham: PS4 Review
The fourth installment of Telltale Games' Batman comes racing out of the block, firing on all cylinders after its previous shocking denouement.
With Bruce Wayne confined to Arkham Asylum after beating Cobblepot in public and at Harvey Dent's behest, things are looking bad for Gotham with the Children of Arkham's chaos finally materialising on the streets.
From paranoia to military guards in a police state, this latest episode is two parts tease, one part resolution in many ways.
The large tease comes from the introduction of a certain grinning "John Doe" who resides at Arkham and continues Telltale Games' trend of slightly subverting the expected character arcs of some of the more infamous members of the Gotham world.
But thanks to the story level depth and the way the narrative plays out, the dealing with the devil is actually cleverly integrated into the game. As Doe becomes Wayne's guide inside and offers help at a cost (of course), the game deliciously teases what will become one of the comic world's greatest symbitoic relationships and yet simultaneously plays on your expectations for it.
Elsewhere, the story gathers apace as the finale looms - and the one stand out sequence inside the game, sees you scouring a crime scene as Batman complete with one young victim of an horrific crime scene. It's these interactions which will define how you play and which have really become key to Telltale Games' MO for the series; this is a game that delights in the little moments and finds the humanity among the cruelty and horrific by-products of the evil men do.
The game's main choice seems to hinge on a be both places at once style choice, meaning a replay to take the alternative route is on the cards - and for once, there feels like there's a real scope for either decision to have you hanging on a knife's edge as it plays out (though personally, the real Two Face has yet to manifest in any of the choices made).
If there's to be a criticism of Batman: Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham, it's perhaps that the flow between chapters of the story doesn't quite gel as much as in prior outings; each ending jars rather than pulls you into the next portion of the story, and technical issues meant the game completely froze in the final showdown, necessitating an entire system reboot which was a surprise.