Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 12.12.2016

Review for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham on PlayStation 4

This latest series from Telltale, focusing on DC Comics' Batman, adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play. However, thus far, that tailoring has been limited to the stitching. Telltale has told a whole new origin and Year One story for the Caped Crusader, and while it has been full of strong characters and had its share of compelling moments, its overall quality has been somewhat lacking. With such a short series, containing just five episodes, Telltale has a lot left to cover in this penultimate episode, Guardian of Gotham.

The finale of the previous episode, New World Order, revealed the mastermind behind the Children of Arkham as being Vicki Vale. No, really. Turns out Vicki Vale was once Vicki Arkham, daughter of the old Arkham family who Thomas Wayne drove insane. She revealed herself by poisoning Bruce, setting him to attack reporters, and beating his dear old friend Oswald Cobblepot to a bloody pulp on live TV. After Bruce had also hooked up with the Mayor's girlfriend in the episode, and had been voted out of Wayne Enterprises by his Board, he had little help after the event. The public were against him and the Mayor abused his power to have him committed to Arkham Asylum. There begins this next chapter, and there Bruce Wayne meets the Joker.

Yes, the Joker makes his Telltale debut. It's quite different to the other incarnations seen so far. Introduced as John Doe, this long-time inmate at Arkham Asylum is quite cordial and friendly, it seems, not to mention somehow knowing Vicki Vale's secret, amongst plenty of other things. This version of the Joker is sadly not voiced by the phenomenal Mark Hamill, but instead there is a performance by "Anthony Ingruber," a little-known actor who was at one point a hopeful for the young Han Solo part in the upcoming Star Wars standalone movie. It's a brief look at the Clown Prince of Crime and one that does little to stand apart from some of the great performances that came before, but it sets up something for the future, at least, especially if Telltale gets more than one season.

Screenshot for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham on PlayStation 4

While Joker is just a teaser, the real villains really take centre stage here, with Dent letting the little voice in his left ear push him into acts more and more extreme. Institutionalising Bruce; setting up a system of martial law with his own private army; making those who disagree with him disappear… and all the while keeping a nice persona up for the cameras. The threat of Penguin is even closer to home, though, and being in Bruce's old position, physically in his office, has allowed Cobblepot to get inside Wayne-tech devices, giving access to the police's communication units to Batman's toys. Who could imagine what would happen if he got into the Bat-computer?

When it comes to the meat of Guardian of Gotham, once again there are some great Quick-Time Event (QTE) combat moments, including one that is particularly cathartic. The difficult choices that made Telltale games so enjoyable return here, too. This is heavily emphasised when the episode ends and the game shows how your choices compare to other players out there. These are usually heavily weighted on most choices, but here it's pretty much a 50/50 split for every major choice. These choices are all capped off with Telltale delivering another signature branching choice at the end of this penultimate episode, and it is again a considerably difficult choice to make. One option may destroy Bruce Wayne, while the other may destroy Batman. Hopefully, the impact of this choice will have considerable repercussions in the finale.

Screenshot for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While the problems of previous episodes in regards to the slow story and the lack of influence on it based on the choices made remain, Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham is considerably more enjoyable. As is often the case with Batman, the villains end up stealing the spotlight here, and seeing both Cobblepot and Two-Face truly come into their own is superb. Then the finale delivers a decent cliff-hanger, and a branching option to set up the final episode. Maybe Telltale can pull this back after all!

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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