Guardian of Gotham is the most confusing episode in Telltale’s Batman series to date. Coming off episode three’s shocking cliffhanger that came out of nowhere. One would assume the penultimate episode would ratchet up the tension. Instead the result is a technical mess both in presentation and storytelling.
With the fallout of episode three’s twist, it only seemed logical for Guardian of Gotham to continue that momentum. Instead players are forced to partake in a trivial Arkham Asylum section that really has no purpose. The only logical reason is to introduce a handful of villains from Batman’s Rogues Gallery; including a BIG character. This portion of the episode really has no meaning except to possibly set-up future seasons-if Telltale choose’s to do so.
The short build-up inside Arkham doesn’t really matter, because in the blink of an eye Bruce is rescued by Alfred and the Wayne lawyers. Quite conveniently mind you. From there the pacing seems to get back into full swing. With a back and forth between Bruce and Batman trying to right the wrong. Like any other Telltale series; its hard to get really invested if my arch-nemesis is the game engine.
As far as performance goes Guardian of Gotham shows Telltale’s “new” engine at its worst. Cutscenes have dialogue that isn’t properly synced, leaving the heat of the moment (not Asia) feeling quite jarring. The same goes for combat; when a kick or punch is thrown at another character the sound of the contact doesn’t fit properly; or its delayed. At this point it’s almost expected to encounter these types of issues.
Despite Guardian of Gotham being the penultimate episode, I never quite felt like I was “the Guardian.” The back and forth nature of both Harvey Dent and The Children of Arkham make the decision-making quite inconsistent. Even if I chose one option over the other I knew that the end result of my next choice would pan out for the better. There is a clear dissonance between the two opposing parties trying to vie for control of Gotham. The only problem is during my multiple playthroughs, I felt like I understood where one side was coming from over the other. Given that one side was more fleshed-out.
Despite its technical and pacing problems, I am still looking forward to the season finale. Guardian of Gotham introduces some new characters, but doesn’t quite offer anything new in progression. The same core gameplay remains, despite wearing out its welcome.