There is much going on with Batman right now, we’ve already started the Return to Arkham reviews. And regardless of the great games released last week, I wanted to get back to the Telltale Batman series and get this Episode 3 New World Order Review out there.
Will it be another step forward or a return to the so-so nature of the beginning of the series? Well, my thoughts are below as I look at how the game does everything you’d want from a middle episode. Delivering one of the best of ANY Telltale series to date.
As with all episodic reviews this will be written expecting that you have played episodes 1 and 2. This will contain Spoilers for those who haven’t. There will be no spoilers for Episode 3 here, other than a few references to the direction of the story but nothing more than that. Promise.
OK, we good to go? Got your Disqus comment ready for the end for me to read? Then to Gotham we go.
Story – The New World Order… But No Sign of Hulk Hogan
Last episode saw a number of big events kick off in the story. Not least the big hostage situation that saw Mayor Hill killed and Harvey Dent injured.
Was it a stray bullet in the shoulder? An Arrow to the Knee maybe? No, you guessed it; it was right down one side of his face. What are the chances?
The story picks up with so many people’s lives in a mess after these events. Bruce is still dealing with his family’s legacy being torn down in a great move by the writers here. Dent is the Mayor by default but his sanity is slipping as his personality splits, just like his face.
The children of Arkham on the other hand are doing rather well. They’re getting information on the police department from somewhere, helping them evade capture. You soon realise what is happening, and have to figure out how to stop them.
After some nicely scripted moments early on setting the scene, the episode soon becomes one of the best I’ve played in a Telltale game. It’s perfect for the middle episode and a few things really stand out.
There’s an investigation and action sequence Batman faces that is really well put together. You look into situation that sees everyone in Gotham at risk from the Children of Arkham. It’s a well done sequence, but the best part is when you think about it all later. After the events that follow, right to the episodes end you realise how clever it all was.
Plus the following scene with Catwoman is also done superbly as the potential chemistry between Selina and Bruce continues, should you choose it to.
But the kicker to this episode is the two big twists in the storyline, one that blindsided me completely. I’m one for seeing these things coming and I did guess the first twist, but the second one got me, jaw wide-open in surprise. The best thing about it was how much it made me think about little moments in the story so far that made a whole lot of sense that this could be true.
I loved it and it’s got to be exciting to fully talk about in the next review!
Once again the acting was excellent and from Troy Baker (Batman), Laura Bailey (Catwoman) and all the other cast put in great performances too. Travis Willingham puts in a particularly good performance as Harvey Dent as he starts to slowly turn into Two Face. But the writing and direction of this episode was just exactly what it needed to be.
A middle episode that really delivers on action and conflict, but also sets up so many questions to be answered going into the final 2 editions.
Gameplay – “Just Read the Teleprompter”
There is nothing much new here in terms of the gameplay mechanics. But what the game does do this time is really give you a sense of importance on the choices you have to make.
Usually you’ll get one like this per episode, but there were at least 3 in this one that could really have a big impact you feel. Another reason this episode was so good to play, let’s just hope it does impact the next episode.
Action wise there was more QTE combat to enjoy. It’s the foundation of the action so, once again, it’ll work for you or not. But it’s well done and puts some urgency on the actions of Batman nicely, and it does feel good delivering that Batman finishing move.
I like the detective scenes too as Batman pieces together a crime scene with a bit of a nod to the Arkham games. It’s done their way however, and I once again enjoyed the process of evaluating the scene and linking the items together.
The rest are the usual conversational choices but due to the plot, very few seem trivial. There’s so much going on with each character and, since Bruce can’t trust so many people, everything feels important/risky.
Especially right at the end.
This episode literally has everything from action to romance. Great choices and unexpected twists and turns. Plus it sets the series up with a number of questions for the final 2 episodes.
New World Order is one of the best Telltale episodes I’ve played in any series. It’s certainly the best of this Batman series and more like this could make it a classic. The pesky glitches and stuttering do still spoil the game at times, but that’s about all there is bad here.
I really can’t wait for more on this and if you are waiting on getting this series, it’s certainly worth getting now. And might be worth catching up on before the spoilers become unavoidable.
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About this Batman New World Order review
Game Reviewed: Batman The Telltale Series Episode 3: New World Order
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 18