Batman: The Telltale Series – episode 5 review

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  • Format: Xbox One (version reviewed), PS4, PS3, 360, PC, Mac, iOS
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Players: 1
  • Site: https://telltale.com/series/batman/
  • Game code provided by the publisher

Episode 1 review

Episode 2 review

Episode 3 review

Episode 4 review

Spoilers for previous episodes below

Well. What a journey it’s been. The shaky start is now all but forgotten, with two episodes that told a tale worth jumping in to. Now, with the final episode, we have what thankfully proves to be another great entry and, while it’s not quite up to the standard of episode four, it still feels reassuringly Batmany.

The main reason it feels like a proper Batman story, probably, is the consistently dark tone the finale takes. In fact, you could argue that this is almost the only reason. No matter what choices you made in previous episodes Harvey is all but invisible, “John Doe” disappointingly fades into the background, and Selina’s appearance is fairly brief and weakly written. When the commissioner exits stage left it’s hardly a surprise; we all knew it was coming in this episode at some point, to make way for commissioner Gordon.

This was the final opportunity to explain what the heck happened with Vicki Vale. While we’re offered an uncomfortable insight into her mental state and motivations, there’s absolutely no attempt to explain how this petite reporter transformed into a super-strong, superhumanly athletic death ninja with access to futuristic tech and an army of soldiers. And, by implication, an enormous amount of money. Er, apart from all that, everything’s cleared up. Sort of.

These are the jazz hands that Gotham deserves, but not the jazz hands that it needs right now.

Alfred essentially becomes the centre of the story here, which is nice to see. While we don’t get to see him go all Rambo again, a crime scene reconstruction shows that the old gent is still amusingly violent when he needs to be, and depending on one of your final choices he comes through a serious amount of brutality bafflingly unscathed. Alfred more or less gets plopped into the role of damsel in distress, and the idea is clearly to have the player ride a wave of empathy as they join Batman/Bruce in trying to save the only family he has left. The script isn’t quite tight enough for this to work, though – and the previously mentioned hardiness of the elderly butler is somewhat distracting in this regard.

Winding things back though, your first major encounter of the episode is facing off against Oswald “what the hell’s going on with that accent” Cobblepot – as Bruce Wayne. Appropriately enough, this is almost entirely dialogue driven rather than a fight sequence. Your main objective is to keep him focussed on you and unaware of his surroundings, meaning that each dialogue choice is one where you have to quickly choose the option that will engage or enrage him the most. It’s an effective sequence, and it would’ve been nice to see something similar as a regular feature in the series. What’s a little less welcome is the accent of a young Oswald in a brief flashback sequence, which is – achieving the seemingly impossible – much, much worse than the accent of the present-day Oswald. It’s just… we mean… but… there are no words.

When the episode’s almost done, there’s a lengthy fight sequence which achieves tension simply due to the sheer length of it (there are a few checkpoints). Then, right at the end, John Doe turns up with a few words that all but guarantee a second season or, at the very least, a few bonus episodes. Overall – despite the dodgy beginnings, and the largely inconsequential results of what should have been some major decisions – that’s something we’re looking forward to.

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Written by Luke K

He plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. He doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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