Thursday, 29 September 2016

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2: Children of Arkham PS4 Review

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2: Children of Arkham PS4 Review

Developed by Telltale Games
Platform: PS4

The latest chapter of Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2: Children of Arkham digs deeper into the corruption of the Wayne family and with Bruce dealing with their legacy.

While the first was a little slow burn, this one carries that trend a little as it heads towards showdowns and a particularly gruesome final sequence that happens in a live TV debate which would make Hillary and Trump shudder.

There's not heaps of action in this one, but the storyline's deepened by the mystery of what actually is happening as it looks like a puppetmaster is emerging from the shadows and no-one is who they claim to be. Though admittedly a lot of the set up makes this feel a bit like the TV Series of Gotham where the villains aren't there yet - and perhaps some of the suggested jeopardy may make it feel like Telltale is a little constrained from either bringing in shock moves or breaking from mythology (time will tell on that front).

But this episode concentrates more on the relationships (as well as a very Nightwing-esque bar fight) - and sees Bruce given the choice of how to handle his burgeoning cat pal, Selina Kyle as well as Harvey Dent. It's here the meat and bones of the episode's drama rise and fall and in many ways, the meat and bones of Telltale Games' delve into the Bat-world. It's great to play Bruce so much more rather than simply diving into the tech and mask of the Batman (even though this episode's major choice is about whether to visit a corrupt city official as Bruce or Batman).

While the story's an involving element, parts of the gameplay of episode 2 felt a little disjointed.

Trophies for completion of episodes were popping up halfway through a couple of the latter part's sequences rather than waiting till it had finished; there seems to be a lot more loading times in episode 2 as well. And a couple of times, the game's QTE fight sequences still took place without me choosing an option - it's an intriguing development from Telltale - I've yet to be either killed or maimed in this game or have to start again.

All in all, Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2: Children of Arkham is actually an episodic level that feels like the investigations and the mystery add more to the story than any arcane action sequences; here's hoping there are real consequences ahead for the decisions made in episode 2 or it'll feel like Telltale Games is toying with us and running coy from the moral weight that Batman should actually hold.

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