Platform Reviewed: PC Platforms Available: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android Publisher: Telltale Games Developer: Telltale Games Release Date: August 2, 2016 (Realm of Shadows), September 20, 2016 (Children of Arkham) MSRP: Php 629.95 (Steam), $24.99 (Steam)
Just like how TV series are made, Batman: The Telltale Series continues to allure its players into the series with Episode 2: Children of Arkham. Telltale Games has shown their innovative story telling into play, especially on a known and beloved franchise. Telltale has proven themselves worthy to produce quality narrative and plot twists. “This game series adapts the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play” is always the disclaimer in every start of each episode, and guess what? It really does.
We see, read, and watch a lot of variation of Batman’s story. May it be on comics, movies, or the animated series – the most common path that movies/series follow are the plot laid out by the comics. What I love about the way video game developers go for is that their narrative is surely unique. The imagination of each creative director gives out how they want to tell the story of Batman – different plot twists, and how they handle key characters without sacrificing the foundation of Bob Kane’s roots of the Caped Crusader.
The story continues after the events of Episode 1. Resting my case on choosing to let Falcone live, circumstances happened. Few characters has shown themselves, the political debate has become more interesting as to how the Wayne Family is involved in such accusations — that Thomas Wayne was connected to the crimes with Falcone, Mayor Hill, and also Arkham Asylum. It’s also slowly steering away from the political standpoint on issues with corruption to focus on what probably the whole story of this season – were Thomas and Martha Wayne corrupt?
With the confused Bruce Wayne finding more reasonable excuses to wear the mask to confront political figures, I had to choose between stepping in the City Hall as Bruce or Batman. Bruce has been caught into a tight situation with choosing the right people to turn to. The conversation and how your choices greatly impacts the events in this episode surely makes you stop and think first before pressing A, X, B, or Y on your controller. I never went back to start the episode again just to know how the alternate endings will be, but I want to see that drastic change as I go along with the next few episodes – I didn’t even re-play Realm of Shadows just to know what could have been in Children of Arkham.
The plot and how Telltale managed to polish the narrative side was great, but how about new gameplay experiences in the game? Aside from the core mechanics that was introduced in Realm of Shadows, there are none. I was hoping to see some quick-time-events with the Batmobile since it was shown in the Episode 2 trailer, sad to say that it wasn’t.
There are still little frame-rate issues in the game that have might been addressed but still present on certain PC builds. I played the game on an Intel Core i5-4440, R9 290X 4GB GPU, and a total of 16GB RAM – and I still get some issues even I had the drivers updated. I’m very particular with frame-rate inconsistencies as it does ruin the experience and gets entirely annoying.
Children of Arkham has the balance of you playing as Batman and Bruce Wayne. The story keeps getting better and better, and interestingly enticing. I like where Telltale is going with their first season of Batman, and I am thrilled to know what Episode 3: New World Order has to offer.
This review is based on a review copy provided by the developers/publisher.