Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2: Children of Arkham
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Android
The first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series left us daunted by the mystery surrounding the Wayne family and Telltale’s execution of the story and presentation of the Dark Knight. Now, Episode 2: Children of Arkham is finally out and as we dive further into the history of Gotham, Bruce Wayne is caught between catching the criminals of Gotham and dealing with a conspiracy that threatens to ruin his family name.
Picking up right after the first episode of the series, Children of Arkham sees Bruce Wayne torn by the knowledge his family wasn’t as pure as he thought is was. During your investigation in the Wayne family history, you, as Bruce, will stumble upon a dark secret that surrounds Thomas Wayne and how he secured the Wayne family’s fortune. This promptly leads you to investigating what happened the night where Bruce Wayne lost his parents and why it happened. As it unfolds, a new threat appears in Gotham in the form of Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin. The history of the Waynes and the Cobblepots is tied in blood and Penguin is out for revenge.
It’s interesting to see Batman’s vulnerable side as he faces the grim history behind his family’s fortune. In general, all the characters in the second episode feel more fleshed out, with each individual having their own personal goals and vendettas. Certain ones, like Vicky Vale, should’ve been highlighted better, and the story does have a few holes in it, like how Cobblepot got involved with the main antagonist of Episode 2 and how he managed to rally up a rag tag group, including a meta human. Though it isn’t as clear as it should have been, the story continues to evolve in an intriguing way, and we are once again left excited for the approaching release of the next episode.
Just like in the first game, the biggest disappointment is the disconnect you have when playing as Batman. There are scenes where I wanted to get involved in the action, like in the famous Arkham series, but they all play out like a typical Telltale game, with lots of flare but minimal player input. Not much is to be said for the gameplay other than the choices you make in conversation, investigation and situations now has a bigger impact in the overall narrative.
As it is essentially a part of the same whole game, Children of Arkham doesn’t change anything when it comes to gameplay, but the choices in this one are rather heavy. There were moments I had to pause for a few seconds to weight the consequences of the actions I’m about to take. The final act presented a very difficult decision that split my group of friends 50/50 on which choice was the correct one.
There are specific vibe and style that are unique to to Telltale’s games, and they are even more prominent in Batman Episode 2. During interactions between characters, the game feels alive as if you’re watching an episode of a Batman TV series. The problem comes when you go into the action, and see that Telltale’s game engine still have a way to go when it comes to character animation. Character movement is very stiff during fast combat sequences, and it ends up looking like robots having a brawl. The first episode didn’t have this problem since it focused more on investigation, but Children of Arkham features more of action scenes, so this issue becomes more noticeable. Nonetheless, Episode 2 is pretty similar to the first one, with no major changes in the graphics or music quality.
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 2: Children of Arkham dives deeper into the conspiracy of the Wayne family, and delivers a much more interesting story. This, combined with great character development and Bruce Wayne’s involvement with the characters of Gotham, really fleshes out the series overall arch. Unfortunately, due to some heavy action sequences, characters look a lot less natural and have more of a robotic feel to them. However, as with all of Telltale’s game, choice takes center stage here. They all feel like they are going to have a crucial impact on future episodes, which only makes me wish I could play them right now.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.