Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 14.10.2016

Review for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham on PlayStation 4

The Batman universe is full of some of the best characters not just in comics, but in all of fiction, especially when it comes to its villains. For Telltale's character-based stories, it seemed a perfect fit, a game that could tell some original stories centred around these amazing characters. The first episode was a good enough start; Telltale crafted a universe where Batman is new to his career and introduced some familiar faces, along with some of the lesser used Batman alumni for a promising setup, but can the team now deliver a Dark Knight, or will we end up with a Batman & Robin?

Every Batman story has the same lore. That night in the alley is as big a part of making Batman as Uncle Ben is for Spider-Man. That brutal act that tore a young boy's parents from him helped define him. Each iteration of Batman has had different variations on this event that created The Batman, as does this one. Unlike Tim Burton's story, it wasn't the Joker killing Thomas and Martha this time. Unlike Flashpoint, it was the parents, not the child, who died. Telltale returns to the two-bit gangster Joe Chill being the one to pull the trigger once again, but the reason for the killing is quite different. Mugging gone bad? Not this time. There were bigger factors at play.

In a disappointing decision, this episode sees Bruce once again revisiting that night… Everyone knows the story by now. Everyone. Okay, Telltale had to add their twist to the story, but with such a limited amount of time here (only five episodes in total), they really didn't need to spend so much time on it again. After the shocking revelation that Thomas and Martha were criminals at the conclusion of the previous episode, it has cast a whole new light on Bruce and Batman. Alfred knowing how Thomas was in bed with Falcone made Bruce question his past, his family and just how much he could trust Alfred.

Screenshot for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham on PlayStation 4

It's an interesting take, setting Bruce to re-evaluating his reasons for becoming Batman. Bruce's relationships are the centre point of the episode. His relationship with Alfred has always been a close father/son type relationship, and the betrayal here of Alfred keeping the truth from Bruce could have been a great source of turmoil and dissension between the pair, but regardless of the player's choices, it's not adequately explored. Bruce's other relationships are also highlighted throughout the episode; just how much he should trust Harvey, and the truth between Thomas Wayne and Falcone. The relationship that thrives the most in this in this episode, though, is the blossoming romance between Selina and Bruce, showing early signs of living up to the pair from the comics, including a real highpoint of the episode as the two decide to get a drink together in a downtown Gotham dive bar.

The other highlights are two moments where the signature Telltale branching choices give truly difficult options—one midpoint that will clearly set up a problem in future episodes, and one at the very end of this episode, which justifies having two save files ready for the next episode! Outside of these highlights, though, there are plenty of lowlights. Too much time is spent on political machinations between Bruce, the mayor, Harvey and Falcone. It makes sense in that Telltale is trying to craft a backdrop to their story, but it begins to get dull. The Batman sections feel quite lacklustre, too, with some uninspired QTE fight scenes.

Screenshot for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Whilst this episode is something of a let-down, it at least sets up enough plot points that could deliver quality episodes yet to be released. Oswald and his shadowy partners in the Children of Arkham have their big plan to unveil. The relationship between Bruce and Selina, between Bruce and Alfred, between Bruce and Harvey… everyone knows what's coming there! The next episode will hopefully pay off on many of the threads Telltale is setting up.

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   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Insanoflex, Ofisil

There are 3 members online at the moment.