It’s time to head back to Batman The Telltale series for the second episode. This time we’re bringing you Episode 2: Children of Arkham review.
And this follows on not log after the first episode, Realm of Shadows review. Now as such we have to bring you one of these before you read this review of the second episode…
Spoiler Warning! Obviously with the series being episodic this review will reference parts of the previous episode. This may spoil the game for you if you read on.
There will be no spoilers for Episode 2 however so read in safety I’d you are yet to play this one.
Right, are we clear? Good, then let’s do this because episode 2 really stepped up a gear. And came with an unexpected choice I really liked.
Story – The Dark Waynes
Talk about bringing it gamers. The first episode had a lot of potential but had so much to establish, it didn’t hit the heights I was expecting personally.
And from the first 20 minutes of this episode you soon realise a lot more is about to kick off.
You join a despondent Bruce Wayne near the scene of his parents death. He’s battling with the revelations from Falcone and the media who revealed his fortune was from mob money. A twist I really like, and this opens up so many story points for Bruce and Batman.
Starting with your parents death, since a random mugging seems bit less likely with evidence Thomas Wayne was part of organised crime.
You investigate the scene and are soon after Falcone for answers. He’s not in the best state though, especially if you took the hard line with him at the end of episode 1.
Things go badly and soon you are pointed to your old friend Oswald Cobblepot and his alter ego, The Penguin.
What I like most about the plot so far are the emphasis on relationships, and the one between Batman and Catwoman is excellent. But the ones with Alfred, Gordon and particularly Harvey Dent are all very well done too.
Where the plot gains on the first episode is that everything is more dramatic. There’s a bar brawl, a hostage situation and real emphasis on corruption. Plus, people get seriously injured or just get plain executed.
This **** just got real!
The plot for this episode really gets much closer to the potential the first episode hinted at. I found myself far more entertained here and it was certainly a step in the right direction.
Gameplay – To Bat or Bruce?
There are no major changes to the core gameplay from the first game. Combat situations involve a series of QTE events that get you past the goons and charge up a special finishing move.
Conversation choices are similar although seem more urgent due to the faster paced plotline of the episode.
What really did set this episode apart from the first were the choices and one in particular stands out. As events around Bruce’s family begin to unravel your are faced with a choice of going to visit someone for answers. But the choice presented to you is one that caught me by surprise; you could go as either Bruce or Batman.
What I liked most was how it made me really think, and looking at the stats following the game (which rank your choices against others) was very revealing. Normally they tend to lean more heavily to one side, but there was a slither of a percentage between Batman or Bruce.
It was a nice move and certainly encourages a replay of episodes.
Otherwise, everything was similar. Solid and entertaining enough, made better for more confrontations and Batman presence in this episode.
This episode is a step forward for the series and left me pleased afterwards, wanting more. I’ve skipped the presentation part of this review given I’ve covered that in detail of the previous one.
Mostly this is the same but I have to highlight once again, the technical delivery is poor at times especially where the game is loading scenes based on choices. It’s all just too jerky and loads in poorly. Yes, the artwork is still great but the technical side really lets down he immersive nature of the game.
But I don’t want to dwell on negatives here, this is a great episode and really steps up the series and, from the ending you’d expect it to continue as the next episode comes along.