Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham (PC) Review

By Ofisil 30.09.2016

Review for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham on PC

Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 1: Realm of Shadows was far from perfect, and certainly didn't do much to make the already simplistic and flawed Telltale formula any better, but it was a good, pleasant intro into the Dark Knight's new adventure. While Episode 2: Children of Arkham remains pretty much the same game, it seems to make some bolder moves here and there… but will these moves do the trick?

The first episode had more Bruce than Batdude, and this one continues the tradition. In fact, there are scenes where Mr. Wayne actually kicks thug-behinds better than his caped alter ego… with a little help from a sexy pickpocket, of course. Furthermore, this remains a strong political thriller with a little bit of superhero action thrown in, instead of the other way around. Therefore, those expecting Arkham-like POWs!!! and BIFs!!! better leave this Batcave at once, because it doesn't seem that things will change any time soon.

Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but the way this episode is handled is a tad disappointing. The previous one ended on a pretty good cliff-hanger: "Are the Waynes the biggest crooks in Gotham? Tune in next week to find out. Same Bat time, same Bat channel!" It's a nice concept; it starts pretty well… but it doesn't leave the expected impact. Batman is torn between fighting the new villains that have appeared and dealing with the awful truths about his family… and that's all there is to it.

This one certainly feels more like a comic book than the previous instalment… or, to be more precise, starts feeling like a comic book near the end, because, for the most part, this is, once again about Bruce talking with people. Thankfully, the writing is of great quality, and some dialogue sequences are quite good, but there's nothing here that will excite dear Dark Knight fans more than any random issue of Batman.

Screenshot for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham on PC

On the gameplay front, as well as the audio-visual one, nothing has changed. Battles are nothing more than simplistic QTEs, which don't feel any different or harder than the ones before, everything looks and sounds good despite nothing really standing out, and decision making is still typical Telltale, which means that most crossroads just offer an illusion of choice: Bruce will respond with answer 'A,' which will make someone use phrase 'B,' but, in the end, nothing will really matter when it comes to how things will come about.

Another thing that, unfortunately, makes its return is the "detective mode" sections, where Bruce/Batman will have to link together clues (basically an unchallenging chore), and the "plan of attack" bits, where Batman will get to choose how to attack a group of bad guys… which, once again, is just a boring speed-bump. In conclusion: is this better or worse? Well, it's more of the same. It's an enjoyable bite of Bat-action (and Bruce-talk), but nothing spectacular.

Having said that, though, it does pull off two "new" moves worthy of mention: first, there's a part where it's possible to meet a character either as Bruce or Batman, which is a great idea, and should better happen again in future chapters; secondly, and without spoiling anything, this ends with a truly big decision… but it remains to be seen if it really is one in Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 3: New World Order.

Screenshot for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham has two flaws. Firstly, everything, from the talking to the punching, is done in pretty much the same way as before, which results in a good game, but not a substantially different experience. Secondly, Telltale still plays it safe with the storytelling, with choices that don't really matter in the long run. The finale of this episode, however, hints at a potential change of strategy for the upcoming chapters… a change that will surely stir things up a bit.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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