Batman: The Telltale Series Ep. 4: Guardian of Gotham Review
We’re nearing the end now of Telltale Games’ Batman adventure and in the second-to-last episode, Guardian of Gotham, relationships are pushed to the edge of stability as more and more character revelations come to light. Technically speaking, not much has changed from the previous three episodes so I won’t waste time going into much detail there. Framerate hiccups, a few glitches and seemingly missing audio still rear their ugly head occasionally but certainly aren’t game breaking. As mentioned in our review for episode three, player choice doesn’t seem to have much affect on things here either. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t enjoyment to be had in this episode. On the contrary, Telltale manages to mix things up a little with some trippy moments thanks to Bruce being dangerously drugged by the Children of Arkham’s leader, who is finally revealed in this episode. I won’t spoil their identity in this review, so continue on worry free.
What I enjoyed about episode four was the utter breakdown of the main cast. Bruce, under the influence of said powerful drug is having a hard time keeping a grip on reality, at times bursting into fits of rage and taking it out on his friends and enemies, eventually landing himself in Arkham Asylum at the hands of Harvey Dent. Harvey has also lost his marbles under the influence of the same drug, coupled with his emotional heart break and feeling of betrayal after finding Bruce and Selina together in episode three. Personal relationships are the main focus here and kept me engaged. I’m sincerely interested as to where each character’s paths may ultimately lead.
“Framerate hiccups, a few glitches and seemingly missing audio still rear their ugly head occasionally but certainly aren’t game breaking.”
Telltale continues to subvert expectations and like they did with the Wayne’s, takes a few loved characters in directions unseen before. Sometimes these decisions don’t always sit well with me at first as a long time Batman fan, but I warm up to them eventually and can’t help but appreciate Telltale giving us a Batman story that feels pretty fresh. There’s also a great introduction to an important character in the Batman mythos that I enjoyed. Yes, I’m talking about Joker. How he plays into the story I’ll leave unspoiled, though. Episode 4 is filled with these moments that should not be fully revealed until you play yourself.
What it’s not filled with is engaging gameplay. Story is front and center here as Telltale starts to pull all the threads together in anticipation of the final act. Episode 4 lacks a spectacular fight and the crime scene investigation moment here, while gruesome, doesn’t offer any challenge. Connecting the dots is way too easy with every option being ridiculously obvious – even for the worlds greatest detective. There’s no cool pre-staging of fights either like past episodes thanks to Cobblepot’s take over of most of Wayne’s technology, which began in episode three but fully takes hold here in episode four. More so than the past episodes, I felt like I was on cruise control for a majority of my play time.
While the story takes center stage, a few threads are dropped that were definitely missed by myself. Digging deeper into the truth behind the Wayne’s apparent corruption is no where to be seen and the lack of Selina/Catwoman made a bigger impact than I imagined it would. Goes to show how much I enjoyed the growing relationship between her and Bruce and I hope Selina makes a return for the final act. At times, I feel like the story is almost too grand for the short run time this adventure is offering. Episode four wrapped up in 1 hour and 10 minutes and ended a little abruptly for my liking. Telltale is really cramming the story into these episodes which doesn’t always allow enough time for impactful moments to breathe. I’m starting to feel this story could have benefited with a little scaling back but Im giving Telltale the benifit of the doubt here that they have a satsifying way to wrap it all up.
If you’ve been enjoying your time with Telltales Batman so far, you’ll enjoy episode four as well. Just don’t expect much to have changed from the previous episodes. It still boasts some great artwork and dramatic story beats while serving up a few interesting surprises, even if lacking in the action department. Here’s hoping Telltale can finish with a bang and deliver on the promise that episode 1 showed.
***A PS4 review code was provided by the publisher***
- New and interesting character reveals
- Story is still engaging
- Beautiful artwork
- Lack of player control
- Occasional glitches
- Framerate issues