We finally reach the final episode of another one of Telltale's episodic adventures. I've continued to insist that Batman: The Telltale Series has been one of the best that Telltale has given us, but it's going to be up to the final episode, City of Light, to determine how true that is. There's a chance that Batman's greatest hour is upon us. Does he really make it?
Depending on your choices the last episode, Batman has either taken down Penguin or Two-Face, but at the cost of either losing access to his tech or allowing Wayne Manor to be burnt down. So, at the start of City of Light, Batman still has one more villain to deal with alongside Lady Arkham herself. This time around Batman needs to finally forge an alliance with the police force and finally bring down Lady Arkham after she abducts Alfred. Similar to most Telltale games, you'll be following the same general story with a few variations depending on your choices. While the story wraps up in an interesting way, and I would say that Lady Arkham has genuinely rivaled some of the comic book greats as an interesting villain, ultimately it won't change too much between players.
Like the past episodes, most of the gameplay is going to involve conversations between characters and the choices you make during these conversations. You'll be deciding between a few major events, though this late in the game it's either going to have immediate repercussions or have to wait until a season two. Still, it doesn't mean some of the decisions aren't still interesting. Very late in Lady Arkham challenges Batman to take off his mask, revealing his secret identity, or she'll harm Alfred, leaving the player to decide if giving up Batman's secret identity is worth the risk to Alfred's life. I still felt the conversations were appropriately tense and interesting. Once scene saw Bruce have to distract Penguin long enough for Commissioner Gordon to sneak around and take out his drones. Having to pick the right things to say to keep Penguin looking at me rather than turn around was a fun way to try and remember what bothered him so much before.
Similar to the other episodes, there are still fights that take place entirely in the form of quick time events. Once again we're going back to extremely well choreographed fights, Telltale pulling some impressive work despite the age of their engine. Early on saw Batman saving some hostage from some members of the Children of Arkham, a battle that consisted of Batman watching every angle while enemies rushed him. A later fight in Arkham Asylum saw a fantastic match-up between Victor Zsasz and Commissioner Gordon, cementing why Gordon has the position he holds. The final brawl between Lady Arkham and Batman is a brutal thing, and one of the most interesting fights in Batman: The Telltale Series, doing its absolute best to make the season end on a high note.
For every nice thing I have to say about City of Light (and believe me I could go on about all the little moments I really enjoyed), it all comes crashing down when the game runs into yet another glitch caused by Telltale's engine. I don't know what happened here, but City of Light gave me far more problems than any other episode in the series, or of any Telltale episode I've ever played. There's the usual Telltale jank: the initial fight was laggy, often halting for much larger amounts of time than usual. One of the scenes in Arkham introduced me to a new Batman villain that consisted of nothing but a floating pair of eyes and teeth. One fight saw the "finishing move" bar vanish, and while my actions still "filled" it I couldn't actually see how full it was on the screen. By far and away the worst was the two hard crashes, twice forcing me to reset my PlayStation so I could get back to the game. I really wanted nothing more than to love this interesting take on the Batman lore, but Telltale seemed determined to make a final impression that left me more frustrated than anything else.
In the end, I feel bad for Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 5: City of Light. It's like a runner who's finishing a marathon in front of a cheering crowd after running it perfectly, only to trip in front of the finish line. Sure he still gets back up and finishes the race, but it's hard not to notice the bloody nose and all we'll be talking about is when he fell down anyway.
Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 5: City of Light was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 using a copy provided by the publisher. The game also available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, iOS, and Android.
With Batman: The Telltale Series finally done, City of Light provides an interesting final episode with some great fight scenes and final story moments. Sadly it also has the absolute worse technical issues I've seen in a Telltale episode that do a really good job not letting City of Light end on the high note it should.
- Concludes Story in Interesting Way
- Fantastic Fight Scenes
- Great Setup for Next Season
- Some of the Worst Technical Issues in a Telltale Episode
- Some Choices Ultimately Led Nowhere