Rise and Fall
Batman is a fascinating character. As a huge Batman fan I love it when developers use the medium to tell a new and engaging story within the world. There are many stories to tell, and so far Telltale’s Batman series is delivering a unique take on the source material. With New World Order, Telltale forms their own story into a compelling-yet unpolished-episode.
Episode 3 doesn’t take its time to get going. Time is of an essence, and with the perils surrounding Bruce/Batman, and the city as a whole there’s no time to waste. Every second of New World Order is briskly paced. Playing through episode 3 felt like a race against the clock. To add to that pressure is the-sometimes overwhelming-decision-making that Telltale is known for.
These quick decision making moments feel like they have no truly devastating repercussions. Instead I felt my decisions were being made for me, slowly guiding me on a path Telltale wanted me to make; one that might fit their over-arching plot later in the following episodes. Three episodes in, there is a sense of monotony when playing.
Each episode thus far features the repetitious rhythms that hinder the flow of each episode. The primary concern is detective mode. At first the detective segments were amusing, but little by little it starting to wear out its welcome. In most cases the plot is moving along at such a brisk pace that stopping to do some detective work becomes a chore. The structure of these segments never change, always consisting of matching one clue to another.
Combat featured in the episode isn’t bad; in fact it’s actually well choreographed. The technical issues however, make it hard to really appreciate the thought and effort going into the animation. At first I was really engaged with the situation at hand, but as soon as the animation started to get choppy I was immediately taken out. Especially when it’s a crucial moment that could change the course of the episode.
Thankfully the episode features little Batman (never thought I would say that). Instead more of the focus is put on Bruce. Telltale understands the pathos surrounding Bruce and his families reputation. That’s why core characters are slowly moving down their own path accomplishing their own agendas; depending on the character. Characters like the Penguin, Catwoman, Lucius Fox (ironically voiced by Dave Fennoy, who did the same performance in Arkham Knight), Gordon, Vicki Vale, and Harvey Dent start to show their motivations.
The focus of the episode is more on Harvey Dent and his transition to mayor; as he and Bruce have a relationship that is slowly free-falling. Little by little different quirks start to show, giving a sense of the characters eventual turn into Two-Face. It will be interesting to see how their friendship turns out over the next two episodes. The next two episodes need to explain a good amount based on the outcome of this episode. Towards the end, a revelation is revealed; one which came out of left field for me. Players may be taken aback by it, I know I was; but it’s a different storyline that I haven’t seen before.
Episode 3 is another strong entry in Telltale’s series. Featuring a well-written story and some fascinating characters. Despite some sequences starting to be repetitious, and technical shortcoming’s ruining the immersion. I’m eager to see where the series goes from here.