While not everyone loved the previous episode, I certainly did. Telltale Games introduced the variety of villains from the Bat-verse like a cannonball that hit the streets of Gotham City with a bang. They clearly underestimated the potential of each character thus leaving Mr. Freeze, again, at the very edge of the sidewalk.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: Xbox One, PC, PS4
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: November 21, 2017
MSRP: $19.99 (Season Pass)
Episode 3: The Fractured Mask fixes some of the errors that Episode 2: The Pact had with its story. It has been a trainwreck with overwhelming popular villains soaked up into one big plot that makes the story a little bit confusing. While it’s pretty clear what the Pact (the group of baddies who wants to put Gotham on its knees) is planning, the huge cast of villains makes the screentime unevenly balanced – especially that big reveal after Episode 2: The Pact showed. However, Telltale Games manages to progress Bruce Wayne’s undercover mission to a more interesting approach.
With Selina Kyle making a surprising comeback, this puts our rich boy philanthropist in a complicated position. Bruce Wayne dives deeper into the Pact which makes his task a bit more daunting than expected. While keeping the balance of Bruce and Batman’s relationship between Amanda Waller and Jim Gordon in the middle at all times, the choices I’ve made seem to have more weight than it had before. Even if the choice sounded like it was pretty much the neutral dialogue to make it fair for both parties, surprisingly it wasn’t. The game even puts you in a tight spot where you have to choose between saving Bruce’s relationship with the other character or destroy it.
Harley Quinn didn’t lose her touch in this new episode. We still see the witty, aggressive, and manipulative rockstar dressed clown into the fray. Beginning to doubt Bane’s capability to handle his own men, Harley shines through with her ability to react efficiently to situations. She eventually becomes more likable than in Episode 2: The Pact. She is not just aggressive, but also wise. It gives Harley a lot of potential in this Batverse. And this unique approach that Telltale Games had for Harley Quinn does give it an interesting flavor with John Doe, the undiscovered Clown Price, as the naive and confused person. I can’t wait for the time when John Doe transforms completely into the Joker.
The Fractured Mask continues its “trust” and “relationship” building throughout the episode which shows the “relationship” mechanic its spotlight even more. The plot follows the most evident and cliche direction like most superhero stories we know, but The Fractured Mask leaves everyone with another huge cliffhanger that puts everyone at the edge of their seats. I like where the story is heading, and it does make me excited to see where they will add Mr. Freeze into the mix as he is still not getting a lot of screentime.
Even with a great story that’s branching slowly from The Fractured Mask, I can not help but say that the puzzles that involved the Riddler were rather lackluster. It was rather dull, lifeless like it wasn’t even set up by Enigma himself. Answer pieces for the puzzles were conveniently placed at conspicuous places. They were all disappointing.
Despite the lack of introducing new mechanics to set off the mid-season, Telltale Games took the helm with its narrative direction for Episode 3: The Fractured Mask. It’s a good way to spice things up as we get closer to the season finale, and hopefully, the next episode would not screw this momentum up.