Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 5: City of Light Review
When I first finished Episode One of Batman: The Telltale Series I proclaimed that if Telltale kept the quality at the level seen so far this Batman adventure could wind up my favorite game featuring the caped crusader. Telltale was presenting a refreshing take on the Bruce and Batman duality while totally subverting expectations when it comes to the relationships and backgrounds of well known characters. While it being my overall favorite Batman game didn’t end up coming to fruition thanks to a couple weaker episodes that didn’t hit the highs set in Episode One, Episode 5: City of Light, ends things on a satisfying note, tying up some lose ends while teasing what’s to come next.
It’s been a fun and intense journey guiding Bruce and Bats over the course of Telltale’s first season of Batman. Having control over Bruce and getting to play from his perspective more so than any other Batman game has really attributed to the appeal of this adventure and episode five does a great job of presenting us with a changed man from what was seen in episode one. There’s a great arc to him as he was shaped by my choices to be more empathetic and a team player. I feel like I know Harvey Dent and the rest of the supporting cast now with Harvey and Selina Kyle’s arcs specifically feeling pretty earned. The latter really throwing a knife into my sensitive heart. There’s a great moment late in the episode where you decide which side of you will face the public in support of the new commissioner, Jim Gordon, as well. All these characters have appeared in other Batman games but I’ve never felt as entwined in their lives as Batman or Bruce Wayne as this Telltale series offered.
“It’s been a fun and intense journey guiding Bruce and Bats over the course of Telltale’s first season of Batman.”
The new big bad of Gotham this go round, the Lady of Arkham, gets an equally fulfilling and earned conclusion to her story. Finding out about her past and what shaped her was heart breaking and led to some dark places. All of it culminating in a great, earth shattering (literally) fight that along with the opening action sequence easily makes up for the so-so fights of the past couple episodes.
In fact, Episode 5: City of Light starts with a bang and rarely let’s up. It’s easily the fastest paced episode even with the returning detective sequences. Which yes, as pointed out in earlier episode reviews, have become a bit of a chore more so than offering an interesting challenge. But here, for whatever reason, they didn’t bother me. That may be attributed to the revelations offered by these sequences on top of being so immersed in the world thanks to the engaging story and action within it. There were a lot less moments where characters simply stood around talking with exposition being delivered during scenes with better stage direction.
A worry of mine around episode three (possibly unfounded with Telltales record) was that by the end of City of Light I wouldn’t have felt I had much impact on the final outcome but that really isn’t the case. It’s actually quite cool how different things can play out during this episode when some earlier decisions are switched up and my fears that Telltale was trying to tell too grand of a story for their short run time were put to rest. I don’t feel the story of Thomas Wayne’s past illegal wrong doings in connection to the mob was explored enough but what I ultimately felt when the credits rolled on City of Light was satisfaction and a huge amount of anticipation for season two.
Technically speaking, framerate issues are still experienced in Episode 5: City of Light but are much less frequently seen and I didn’t notice a single audio drop this time around. As a whole City of Light is the most polished episode yet but take that as you will – the bar isn’t that high. At least when it comes to Telltale’s engine. Artistically, City of Light follows the trend set by the last four episodes in that its often beautiful, vibrant and stellar recreation of the comics is only occasionally tarnished with a bland or low resolution texture and at times ridiculously robotic walking animations.
It’s often said that a fulfilling and earned ending is the hardest part of writing a story but Telltale has done just that. With a satisfying conclusion to many of the threads started in Episode One, Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 5: City of Light offers an intense, emotionally revealing and action packed conclusion to an intriguing and fresh take on the legend that is Batman.
***This episode was reviewed on the PS4 with a code provided by the publisher***
- Action-packed fights
- Great pacing
- Earned and satisfying conclusion
- A few framerate drops
- Detective scenes still too easy