Episodic games are tricky to review because it’s almost like trying to review an entire novel, chapter by chapter. Obviously, some chapters (or in this case, episodes) will inevitably have more action or more dialogue or more plot details, meaning that it’s hard to get a good look at the entire story when focusing on each individual episode.
Such is the case with Batman: The Telltale Series, which released its second episode, “Children of Arkham,” today. It’s not that the episode is bad: it carries the momentum of the story built up to in the first episode, but it’s paced differently and doesn’t quite have as much of the wow factor as the previous installment. That’s not to say that Episode 2 isn’t good, but it’s hard to judge it simply on its own merit knowing that it’s building up to something bigger and better.
In the first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series, players learned quickly that being Bruce Wayne is hard, especially after Bruce learns that his entire life is a lie and everything he thought he knew about his parents isn’t true. In Episode 2, Bruce soon learns that his dad was as much a criminal as Carmine Falcone. This shakes Bruce to his core. Thank goodness for Alfred, who stays by Bruce’s side through it all.
Episode 2 doesn’t have as many moral choices either for Bruce to make. As is typical with the Telltale games, though, no choice is a good one, but there isn’t anything in this episode that will change the story that much (or so it seems). Even a choice at the end of the game about who to save doesn’t carry much weight because both characters survive that encounter.
Episode 2 also skips the detective work that made the gameplay of the first episode. Instead, there’s a lot of button-mashing to take out bad guys, although it’s a lot more fun when Catwoman jumps into play along and assists Bruce in the good fight.
And that’s where Episode 2 does shine: the relationship between Bruce and Selina sizzles. It’s partly because of just the really good story here, but also because of the voice acting talents of Troy Baker and Laura Bailey. Bruce even gets his chance to make a move on Selina (but does he dare?) and it makes for an even more interesting dynamic between the two, who pair up often throughout this episode.
Episode 2 sets the scene for the next episode, though, which will probably offer more thrills, chills and spills than this one. Episode 2 sets up the story and now it’s up to the following episodes to knock all those dominoes down.
Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2 “Children of Arkham” is available now for both PCs and consoles.
Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Note: FanGirlConfessions.com received a review copy of Batman: The Telltale Series for PlayStation 4.