Going into Episode Two, I was interested to see Bruce struggle with the fallout of the Season Premiere “Realm of Shadows” and what that meant going forward. Sadly, not much is here to really chew on outside of the shock of the Season Premiere. It’s kinda like if the third Avengers film was all Thanos just sitting in his chair for two hours.
Most of the time in Children of Arkham is spent on scenes that stretch my patience and my time, all the while weakening the awesome cliffhanger of Episode One. However, Batman does save himself in the end with an awesome standoff that has dire consequences for Episode Three.
Without speaking in specifics, the whole point of Batman – The Telltale Series so far has been to take 70+ years of Batman stories and flip your pre-conceived notions on their head. On that notion and that alone, Telltale never fails to disappoint in this episode or even the previous episode, with plenty to chew on after you’ve finished. For these moments alone, it’s totally worth your $4.99 (if you buy each episode, $29.99 with the Season Pass Disc).
There’s a lot of “The World’s Greatest Detective” to see here, but I never truly felt that way. I just felt I was going to random items or places and walking to them, instead of using Batman’s super-sleuthing skills and actually making the connections between the cause and effect of it all. I really only understood what the object’s significance until Batman told me that’s what it was, making me feel like an idiot 100% of the time.
To the effect of Telltale’s love of QTE’s, oh boy, there sure are a bunch here, especially in a bar fight near the middle of the Episode. I love me a good bar fight, but not when I feel like I can’t lose — even when I don’t press any buttons.
Yeah, that’s actually a big problem in this Episode and all of Batman: The Telltale Series and I’ll mention it in every single Episode review if I have to. For some reason, when I use the shorter trigger stops on my Xbox One Elite Controller that I plug in directly to my Xbox One, my triggers stop working. It’s not a corrupt file or anything — Batman: The Telltale Series just doesn’t work well with the Xbox One Elite Controller at all.
For those of you who don’t own an Elite Controller or don’t own an Xbox One, expect some audio glitches that do carry over from Episode to Episode, as well as the usual Telltale slew of bugs that I’m becoming quite sick of.
Batman: The Telltale Series — Episode Two: Children of Arkham is ultimately dispiriting, as a follow up to the amazing Season Premiere cliffhanger and fails at following that up with a sorry payoff to Episode One. A lot of the Episode feels rushed and underutilized, making it nigh impossible to dive back into the dichotomy of the mask of Bruce contrasting with the true face of Bruce, Batman. The vision for the Season does become quite clear after this Finale, but as a standalone, it fails to stand on its own two feet.
Batman – The Telltale Series – Episode 2: Children of Arkham is available now on Mac, PC for $24.99, or iOS, Android, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One for $4.99 for Episode 1 and $19.99 for the Season Pass. A copy of the Season Pass was generously sent to use from our friends over at Telltale Games.