Telltale has gotten through two episodes of Batman: The Telltale Series without any major stumbles so far. The plot keeps advancing in unexpected and exciting ways as the new and still unnamed villain provides a compelling threat to Batman. The third episode, New World Order, seeks to continue this. Has Telltale finally hit a snag in the road, or does the Bruce Wayne heavy story still continue to impress?
After the events of Children of Arkham, several people are in a bad spot. Depending on your actions you may have created Two-Face or gotten Catwoman hurt, found out the truth behind Thomas Wayne, and Mayor Hill has been killed. Now with the Children of Arkham taking power, Batman must figure out what their plans are and how it involves a drug that turns people into primal husks that want nothing more but to physically destroy anything near them. Along the way, you’ll also be dealing with Harvey Dent’s rapidly deteriorating mental psyche as he battles with his inner demons. Plus, just to add to the misery, Bruce Wayne is being kicked out of Wayne Corp and being replaced by Oswald Cobblepot. All in all, it’s not a good time to be Bruce.
New World Order‘s plot continues with Batman: The Telltale Series‘ strong characters and storytelling, offering new takes on classic Batman characters along with completely new characters that add to the mix in great ways. The more athletic, cheery, and willing to get his hands dirty Penguin is an interesting challenge, while Dent’s battles to control himself is by far the most relatable and sympathetic I’ve seen in a while. The plot also doesn’t stall this episode, continuing to move forward at an interesting pace and leaving with another shocking reveal. It does, however, lack the hard choices that the other episodes have. There was no real moment where I sat down and said: “I need to think this through.”
Combat also sees a bit of a drop in this episode. Children of Arkham featured what I thought was one of the most well choreographed and fun fight scenes in a Telltale game, so it’s a shame that New World Order has nothing even close to that quality. Its pair of fight scenes feels rather small even, finally getting a fight with the leader of the Childen of Arkham feels like it was cut short, while a quick spar with Two-Face is more of a sad moment than a real fight. What’s here is serviceable, but not up to the standards of the first two episodes.
Thankfully, investigations return, not having been forgotten after their unfortunate absence in episode two. The bad news is that it’s only a single, rather easy, investigation that involves Batman trying to figure out the Children of Arkham’s plans. I still really like the mechanics of it, trying to piece together various elements and how they connect is a fun puzzle game mechanic that Telltale’s games are normally lacking in. I just wish it was put to a bit more use, as it feels underutilized and we’re already over halfway through the season.
One thing I’m quite happy to say: after the technical issues that plagued Children of Arkham, New World Order ran smooth with no glitches to speak of. I had no slowdown, no unresponsive reaction commands, no stuttering characters, nothing. I always worry about Telltale’s games in this regard, and it’s a relief that nothing keeps this one from getting its story across.
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order is a small step back in a so far excellent series. The story still continues to impress even though the other elements faltered. Hopefully, the choices, fights, and investigations will pick up for the final two episodes. New World Order is the series’ current low point, but it’s still another good episode in what is shaping up as one of Telltale’s best.
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 using a copy provided by the developer. The game is also available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC via Steam, iOS, and Android.More About This Game
A slight step back from previous episodes, New World Order is still an interesting chapter that provides the best twist to come from the game yet.
- Characters and Plot Still Strong
- No Usual Telltale Glitches
- Investigations Return
- Combat Scenes Are Weak
- No Interesting Choices