Batman The Telltale Series Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham Review [PC]
Bruce and Batman continue to fight for the right to be Gotham’s Guardian – Batman The Telltale Series Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham Review
The fourth episode of Telltale’s thrilling Batman series… slows down a bit. Which is kind of weird, especially considering that the Joker is included in this episode. The game begins with Bruce Wayne now a patient of Arkham Asylum after being injected with Lady Arkham’s serum. I will try not to reveal Lady Arkham’s civilian identity for anyone who has not yet played the game, but in the 5th episode, I will hold back no spoilers. In Arkham, Bruce is getting jumped by two other patients when Joker comes in and saves him. Joker comes off as a brilliantly insane sane person. That’s a bit confusing, but that is the best way I can describe him. He is calm and well spoken, yet has moments when deeply psychotic tendencies seep out, yet he always seems to be in full control. The Joker eventually reveals that he knows Lady Arkham’s secret and true identity, leaving Bruce incredibly shocked and concerned about who this guy is and how he seems to know so much.
You are eventually freed into Alfred’s care and get to witness first hand the depths to which Harvey has fallen. Gotham is now overrun by Mayor Harvey Dent’s militia patrolling the city. Back at Wayne Manor, Catwoman decides to leave, very unceremoniously, and Bruce and Alfred find a cure for his injection. Bruce then chases a lead on Lady Arkham and discovers she has murdered her parents in order to use their facility to distribute her chemicals. Afterward, you face Harvey Dent and are given the choice to face him as Bruce or Batman. If you go as Bruce, it ends with Harvey having two guards taking to Crime Alley to shoot you. Pretty bleak moment in their friendship. Luckily you are able to cause one of the guards to question their actions and you are eventually saved by Gordon. You then have to choose between preventing Penguin from hacking your tech or prevent Harvey’s forces from taking/destroying Wayne Manor.
The fourth episode felt really short. This may have been due to being enthralled by it or maybe the beats were really fast and quick in comparison to the others. The only part that felt to be normal length was when you are in Arkham’s common room trying to figure out more about your new green haired friend and if you should escape. The way the Joker is represented here is leaps and bounds better than in Suicide Squad. This Joker looks crazy, definitely a bit psychotic, but he’s in control of all of it, he just doesn’t have a clear purpose. It’s very subtle, but you can see his menacing purpose begin to build the more your interact with him. He’s this smart and unnervingly quirky character that you trust but know to be very cautious of. It’s an absolutely genius representation of the character, and even more brilliant early take on him. Imagery wise, he is the embodiment of the crazy being wrought on Gotham; out of nowhere, different than typical crime and violence, an answer to a question no one asked.
The rest of the episode doesn’t stand out. Harvey’s transformation into Two Face is still very entertaining, seeing him go supervillain dictator quick to flex is the serious version of what Mr. Garrison is like as President in South Park, which is a little too close to reality at this time. Having Bruce assassinated gangland style in the alley his parents were murdered in is a masterfully jacked up way to take out your best friend who stole your girl. I’m not saying I approve, I’m just saying I understand. The fight scene with Penguin had brutal choreography. It really felt like an emotional battle. The way Batman was fighting with Penguin looked and felt different than how he fought any other battle. It is subtly done, no big flash moves or extreme dialogue, but every blow really leaves an impact on the player.
Lastly, this might be completely all in my push for this narrative, but this is the Episode where Bruce Wayne dies and Batman is fully realized. Going to Harvey as Bruce seemed like the and final attempt of saving the human side of both characters. Then when the order is given to execute Bruce, both characters died. Harvey died as he severs his last human tie to the world, Bruce dies when he realizes that he cannot save Gotham. I’ve been talking about this plot point since the first episode, and I believe it has come to full fruition and we will only see Batman in Episode 5 on Tuesday.
While Guardian of Gotham felt short, it is the best- performed episode thus far. It doesn’t seem like it immediately, but as you absorb the information and realize path the dominos are falling, it’s mind blowing. The relationships and connections feel real, the emotions feel real, and as outlandish as everything is, it all feels real. Telltale Games does it again and continues to masterfully allows you to live your own Batman story. My Guardian of Gotham review gets a 9.5/10.
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