Batman: The Telltale Series, Episode 2- Children of Arkham Review

Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks for sharing your gameplay vids with us (see below), and for the super reminder that I need to freakin’ play this game already!!! 😉 xoxobatmanarWell, the first episode certainly left off on a “boom” kind of moment, didn’t it? Bruce Wayne’s dad, Thomas Wayne, a bad guy? Certainly seems like it, but Carmine Falcone could have been blowing smoke up the Bat’s butt, but something tells me that we have only begun to scratch the surface. Batman: The Telltale Series’s second episode entitled Children of Arkham picks up right where the last one left off, with Bruce and Alfred about to get into some serious words. Bruce is angry at Alfred for keeping the true nature of his parents a secret, so clearly some critical choices are about to be made…

Nope. Not yet, anyway.

batmanar3

It’s actually after the fight, Bruce is in Crime Alley recalling the night his parents were murdered as Alfred is helping him recall the event to dig up any memories that Bruce may have locked away, maybe something he doesn’t want to remember and boy, does he. Turns out, he remembers hearing his father talk about Carmine Falcone, meaning that his parents’ death wasn’t just a random murder, but someone wanted and paid for them to be dead. The obvious person behind the hit would be Falcone, so off to the hospital to visit him and the first critical choice can be made here; whether you want to ease his pain or to end it! I chose to ease the pain, because I am taking the route that Bruce Wayne is not as sinister as his father as we are learning. After pressing Falcone hard for some information on his father, Bruce Wayne will finally be getting some answers… or at least he expected to. A gunman stops Falcone shockingly unexpectedly only to reveal a bigger plot element; they are being manipulated with a drug that makes a person free of any personal restrictions or fear. Hmm, sounds like the Scarecrow’s MO. Could he be making an appearance as well? A part of me feels doubtful, but we may see Telltale’s iteration of him possibly. Immediately afterwards is another key choice you have to make, either tell Vickie Vale who the gunman is or totally snub her. Vickie feels like an element that doesn’t quite work, but maybe because I’m deciding to work more closely with Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent. I’m sure based on the choices you can make, she could have a larger role, but in my game, she pops up and I have to make choices and then she’s gone and I’m not sure if there’s any real consequence.

batman-the-telltale-series-episode-2-penguin

Perhaps I should slow down and take things as they come. After all, what just happened was kind of a huge shock, but this episode is only gonna pick up steam from here and the choices are not only going to become more difficult to make, but will also shape the rest of the game. Anyhow, Batman’s got himself a Penguin to catch! This leads him back to Falcone’s club where Oswald Cobblepot has started to make himself at home and seems to be taking over Falcone’s empire (again, much like the show, Gotham). They squabble for a bit and Penguin leaves you with a goon to go chase down Catwoman, so you get a fight scene which is good and all, but the real entertainment happens afterwards when Bruce tracks down Selina at a bar in an attempt to beat the thugs there and save her. And I do mean “beat”. What follows is by far the most fun I’ve had in the game so far; Bruce and Selina, not Batman and Catwoman, get into a massive bar brawl with some hipster thugs (on a side note, why are all of Penguin’s goons hipsters?) to a rock song. It’s all QTE, but that doesn’t mean it’s dull. I was enjoying myself watching these two team up to lay the smack down on them as their regular selves, but I think the greatest thing about it is the sense of relationship development between them, because immediately afterwards you’re left with a critical choice to either kiss Selina or resist, but how could I? She’s a pretty lady who can handle a bar full of scum. Sadly, she rejected me and reminded me about my loyalty to Harvey. Pour some ice cold water on that groin and move along.

gothamkids4

gothamkids

There’s been all this talk about Mayor Hill and it’s now that Bruce decides he needs to visit Gotham’s corrupt Mayor to get some answers about his parents, since their families are tied. Going into this, I knew I was going to have to make a choice I wasn’t comfortable with, even if it was the right one. Mayor Hill offers you the info, but only if you cut funding to Harvey’s campaign, but he’s my bro! Can’t do that, so I told Mayor Hill to take a hike and needless to say, he didn’t give me the scoop I needed. So much for that. Guess there’s always a different approach, but for now it’s time for the great debate; Dent Vs. Hill. But before that, a call from Harvey where he says he has to distance himself from you, publicly shame you, but he still wants your money. Hard, but important choice to make on whether or not you continue to back the twerp, but I’m a good friend, so I did. Anyway, the Penguin, having made threats on both candidates, crashes the party, but Batman enlists the help of Catwoman to stop him seeing as how the GCPD always seems useless. This finale to the episode brings you to the hardest decision you will probably have to make the entire game once the fighting begins. Everyone is scattered and being beaten, so Batman only has time to save one person in time, either Catwoman or Harvey. I chose to save Harvey seeing as how Catwoman can handle herself, so it felt like a very Batman thing to do. However, if you choose to save Catwoman, Harvey is scarred, thus creating Two-Face! Well, physically anyway, because even if you save him, Bruce comments that the event changed him and there will be some mental scarring. That goes double for Bruce as Penguin publicly leaks some rather intense footage of Bruce’s father being a scumbag. But behind all of this is the puppeteer. Some nameless, kinda a mix between Hot-Topic fetish gear and something from Death Note, villain that calls their group The Children of Arkham. It’s gonna get a whole lot darker from here, I feel.

gothamkids8

The second episode of Batman starts off slower, but purposely slow so that it may catch you off guard about halfway through when it constantly presents you with very important choices that are going to permanently shape the rest of the game based on your choices. I had a very hard time choosing most of these and maybe I made a few impulse choices, because I couldn’t decide, but I stuck to my gut and decided to protect Harvey. He’s Bruce’s friend and what’s best for Gotham and I felt that’s what Batman would have done. Of course, even though I know she’s “dating” Harvey, I couldn’t resist trying to kiss Selina, since you do feel the connection she and Bruce share and I can only feel that’s gonna escalate and come back to bite me on the ass, so bring it on, Episode Three!