With the first episode of Batman – the Telltale Series, we met dark and brooding Bruce Wayne, and played moral compass with his alter-ego. Plot developed characters were introduced, and anticipation mounted. In the release of Episode 2: Children of Arkham, tensions only climb higher as the plot thickens, characters who are built upon are mercilessly killed, and every single decision is questionable.
Children of Arkham explores the idea behind “true morality,” and delves deeper into the past of the Wayne family’s demons. As Bruce Wayne, you are tested with choices to support your friends, believe your enemies, and develop new relationships with both. Thrown into the limelight for your father’s sins, the media is destroying the name Wayne, and with each choice you make, it becomes less certain if you’re actually helping, or just making things worse.
As Batman, your choices are no less foggy. With Alfred as your only voice of reason, brutality is once again placed before you, as well as alliances and mystery. Disappointingly, the World’s Greatest Detective doesn’t do much crime-solving, but there’s no lack of fun with gadgets.
Far less action-packed than Realm of Shadows, Children of Arkham makes up for the tons of exposition with intrigue, decision-making, and a creeping uncertainty of what will happen next. There are still quick-time events and action sequences in gameplay, but they’re fewer and further between in this slightly-shorter second installment. Still, this isn’t a negative observation, as you get equal playtime between Bruce and the Bat, with equally stressful decisions made on both ends.
Completely living up to its predecessor, Episode Two continues the trend of stomping all over everything you’ve ever known about Batman lore. Beautifully imagined, the complicated story can’t yet stand on its own, but rather builds on the already fascinating world of Gotham. This is an entirely new story that will drive a new generation of plot, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what happens next.
(For a full review of gameplay, graphics, and other exclusions, please see Episode One.)
A PS4 Review Code for Batman: The Telltale Series was provided by Telltale Games for the purpose of this review
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