Previously on “Batman – The Telltale Series: the Review,” I discussed Episode 2. That chapter earned high marks for improving on an excellent foundation from Episode 1. To recap briefly, Episode 2 ended with us making a profound choice. How will this play out in this installment? Good thing you don’t have far to scroll to find out!
Developed by: Telltale Games
Published by: Telltale Games
Release date: Episodic release from August 2nd through December 13th, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Reviewed on PC)
Price at time of review: $24.99 USD for the full series, Episode 1 FREE, so give it a whirl
Story & Setting
Episode 3 shoves you immediately into a situation that drives home the impact of your choice at the end of the last one. Having chosen a particular path, I naturally found myself playing to options that supported my earlier decision when in conversation mode. Dialogue trees support this beautifully, but also allow you to steer things in other ways to some degree if you’ve had a change of heart. Semi-spoiler alert here, but at least one visual reminder is a clear indication that some choices can’t be undone (without a new save file anyway). This will tie into a full on spoiler later. You’ve been warned.
And here’s that spoiler I promised…
Episode 2 has us choose to either help Catwoman, who appears to have lost the upper hand against heavily armed goons, or lend a hand to Harvey Dent as The Penguin readies to land what might be the killing blow. This is naturally a Batman scene. Choosing Catwoman gives Bruce Wayne a front row seat to the badly burned face and evolving personality of Harvey Dent as he decays into Two-Face. And you’re constantly reminded that you could have tried to stop this [insert sad emoji].
Enough spoilers, the game relies very heavily on a tale in which most of the major characters have ties to Bruce Wayne as well as Batman. This never feels contrived however, and creates a multilayered set of relationships that is mesmerizing to Batman fanboys like myself.
Episode 3 delivers a set of circumstances that make what Bane did to Bats’ spine seem merciful. Conflicts come from several angles at once, and you’re left to deal with them on a mostly emotional and cognitive level.
Nothing new here. Unless something notable changes, I won’t bother with this section for the next two episodes. I would like to reiterate though, that unlike many point and clicks tales, Batman does feature a robust set of fail states…
Visual & Audio
The visuals are another topic I’ll likely skip for the most part. The techniques used before continue to hold up. The game has a feel of being caught somewhere in limbo between a comic book and a movie which supports the game as a whole very well.
Voice acting remained excellent. With characters evolving rapidly at points, the voice acting is convincing, conveying the proper tone to match the choices you’ve made. Harvey Dent, who I felt occasionally strayed toward “over the top” in Episode 1, shines brilliantly in this one. The descent into madness is riveting, and Episode 3 convinced me they made the right choice on voice actor after all.