Batman: The Telltale Series, Episode 2: The Children of Arkham is the second part of Telltale’s new series giving equal time to Batman and Bruce Wayne. Does this new chapter deliver on the expectations set in episode 1, and is Bruce Wayne still a great part of the experience? Glide into the rest of the review to find out. There will be minor spoilers, so read at your own risk.
After the revelation at the end of episode 1, Bruce Wayne is shaken to his core. The story begins with Bruce Wayne trying to pick up the pieces of his broken memories and find out the truth.
That truth is more nuanced (read: mostly lies) than he originally believed, so he begins to track down the people responsible for the death of his parents to get answers and make them pay. What else would a vigilante billionaire do?
This episode also shows more of Selina Kyle, and her interactions with Bruce Wayne. This version of Selina is fantastic and although still very different, it is the closest I have seen to Michelle Pfeiffer’s portrayal in Batman Returns. She does not seem to have any of the “poor me” syndrome that plagued Anne Hathaway’s interpretation.
She is tough, smart, and able to throw bad guys across a room if needed. One of my favorite scenes from this episode is when Selina and Bruce are forced to fight off a gang as Selina and Bruce, instead of their alter egos.
I really dig the political plotline with Harvey Dent, and Bruce Wayne’s story continues to be enjoyable in this second episode. There is a choice in the game that allows you to pay someone a visit as Bruce Wayne or Batman with different potential outcomes. I chose to go as Bruce Wayne, and I did not feel that I missed out on a better experience.
I also do not see the game relying on the “burden of being two people” problem that so many superhero stories use to create artificial tension. (I am looking at you, Tobey Maguire Spiderman.) Both Batman and Bruce have their place in the world with problems that only each of them can solve.
Just like the real world, any problems can be solved with the right dialogue choice or plenty of punching. Compared to episode 1, there is almost no crime scene investigation and not as much choice in determining how you take down multiple enemies in a room. This episode did allow many other great choices for me to make, so I was not disappointed.
Cobblepot’s grand criminal scheme only starts to become unveiled in this episode. He and Batman both want a better city, but he has no problems with collateral damage to build that better city. After a certain point in the game he became a much more sympathetic villain. One you could understand why he felt he was driven to commit such terrible acts. I really look forward to seeing more of him in future episodes.
Unfortunately, the game still had the occasional technical problem. In at least two spots, the background cut into the foreground and partially obscured the scene. This did not happen at critical spots, but it was still annoying. The juddering from episode 1 returned. This led to some choppy animations, but it was usually limited to transitions as the game was loading a new scene.
Overall, episode is a step up in almost every way. Even with the minor graphical flaws, it is still the best looking Telltale game to date. As someone who does not read the comics, I am hooked by the story and cannot wait for episode 3 to release. Until then, I look forward to replaying the game as the most evil Batman possible.
Episode 2 is the great tasting, less filling sequel to episode 1. It throws more action at you and digs a little deeper into the characters that episode 1 was only able to introduce. I am still digging the Bruce Wayne part of the story, and Selina Kyle’s character is very engaging. There are some minor technical issues, but they do not prevent you from enjoying the total experience. If you like Batman or enjoy the way Telltale Games creates a world, I have no reservations recommending this game.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a PS4 code bought at the expense of the reviewer. This does not affect the content or the final score. For more information, please read our Review Policy.