The final episode of Telltale’s Batman does an excellent job at capping out its first season. Though the final decision of the last episode only affects the opening of this one, both openings are well crafted and provide a satisfying ending (for now) to the origins of Penguin, Catwoman and Two Face. This allows for greater focus on the main villain of the season Lady Arkham. Lady Arkham has been a compelling original character due her mystery, connection with Thomas Wayne, and the twist of her identity. Without revealing too much, Telltale took a Batman character that has seen no significant use in decades and turned her into a somewhat interesting character. Though not without fault.
Her motivation isn’t original and the idea of a vigilante killing those that can escape the justice system is not just standard Batman material, but superhero material in general. Furthermore, there is a brief exploration of her childhood, which is an effectively disturbing one, however it does raise some questions that make you question the logic behind it. That being said, the final fight between her and Batman is wonderfully done. Involving ancient catacombs, orchestral choirs, and dramatic religious symbolism.
Gameplay hasn’t changed significantly. Aside from a unique section where you need to find the villain’s hideout based on camera footage, the detective portions still seem too easy though I have started justifying this as symbolizing just how good of a detective Batman is. Furthermore, a simple alteration to the combat planning section instantly made it more engaging. But let’s be honest, nobody comes into a Telltale game for the gameplay. They come for the writing and characters. And as far as new Batman stories go, Telltale has done an excellent job at filling their particular version with recognizable elements with just enough twist to make it interesting. (I still think Penguin should actually look bit like penguin but that’s just me).
It hasn’t been a perfect road. Mainly due to the fact that this is a Batman story so you know that no major character is going to die. Without the ability to axe off anybody at any time the illusion of choice that is in all Telltale games is quickly revealed. To the extent that I didn’t feel like my choices had any truly significant impact until episode 4. And I still regret rescuing Harvey since his lack of a burned face has most of his scenes feeling only half as good as they could be. But even with those shortcomings, the games writing and especially its exploration on the Bruce/Batman dynamic more than make up for it. I look forward to tuning in to season 2 same Telltale time, same PS4 system.