I've always insisted that Telltale has had a fourth episode curse. Every Telltale series I've played, I've found the fourth episode to be the weakest of the bunch, with The Wolf Among Us being a possible exception. Batman: The Telltale Series has reached its fourth episode with Guardian of Gotham, so now it's time to figure out if Telltale's curse has continued, or if Batman can be the one to break it.
Bruce Wayne is easily in his worst situation yet. After the revelations as to who's behind Lady Arkham's mask, Bruce has been drugged and trapped in Arkham Asylum at the order of Harvey Dent. As you may expect, his roommates aren't the most stable bunch, the guards are happy to beat him, and even if he does get out things aren't better on the outside. Dent's police force is rounding up criminals with no interest in following the law, Penguin is hacking into Batman's tech with increasing competence, and Alfred's life is in danger. All in all, not a good day to be Batman.
Your trip to Arkham sees a few more classic Batman villains making their way into the game. Both Zsasz and the Ventriloquist play small parts in Guardian of Gotham, more there for fan service than anything else. The real star of your time in Arkham is held by none other than Joker himself, making his first appearance in the series. It's not a long role, he's probably in the game for just 30 minutes max, but Telltale makes good use of the clown prince of crime and puts yet another interesting spin on a classic Batman character. Outside of this, Guardian of Gotham is mostly about overwhelming Batman. A lot of plot strings either meet their end here or advance in interesting ways. The episode ends with a choice that should cause some interesting consequences for the last episode.
As usual for this series, the main gameplay is in making choices and advancing the story, but there's also some combat to speak of. While Children of Arkham lacked much in the way of memorable fight scenes, I found Guardian of Gotham to have that covered. A fight scene in Wayne Manor was a real treat, with Batman jumping into the middle of the mansion and taking on several attackers while spinning around and hitting enemies in the rafters with his batarangs. Even Alfred got in on the action, taking a rifle out to take out a few enemies. A chaotic brawl in Arkham Asylum was another treat, Joker edging on and pushing all the wrong buttons of other inmates to start a mess.
Likewise, an investigation serves as a break, allowing you a bit of time to stretch Batman's investigative muscles and piece together a crime scene. Much like the other investigations, it doesn't involve much other than chaining together pieces of evidence that you think are related, but it's still a good step from Telltale in adding more game-like elements to their stories. This time around you can investigate a gruesome double murder, searching a family home for clues as to why Lady Arkham would go out of her way to kill a normal family.
There's not much different graphically from any other entry in Batman: The Telltale Series. Bruce's drug-induced psycho trips are signaled with the colors getting brighter, a loud ringing, and the text wobbling like it can't decide if it wants to sit still or not serving as a good way to show how it's messing with his mind. There are no real stand outs in the soundtrack, though the game's voice acting continues to be on point. I also had no troubles with glitches in this episode, another good sign for the game.
Batman: The Telltale Series continues to spin an exciting story, the fourth episode not stumbling like the last and successfully keeping away the Telltale curse. Guardian of Gotham is still just a little off from the heights of the second episode, but all signs are pointing towards an exciting finale. Batman may not be having a good time in the game, but I'm having a good time watching him.
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham 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.
Batman: The Telltale Series' fourth episode successfully avoids the pitfalls Telltale's penultimate episodes usually have, Guardian of Gotham is another great entry in to what may end up as Telltale's finest hour.
- Exciting Fight Scene
- Plot Still Exciting
- Great Voice Acting
- Joker Steals the Show
- Investigation Feel Limited
- Could Use More Arkham Asylum