One of the biggest dilemma that a hero is often faced with in a story is who to save with a limited time to do so. Even the most powerful heroes are regularly given the choice between saving someone at random or someone who they are close to, almost to the point that it has become a fairly regular device to use to threaten an otherwise infallible hero. With Batman: The Telltale Series we’ve seen that trigger pulled last episode so now that the third episode has been released in the form of “New World Order” where does the story go from here?
Considering what has already been mentioned, it is worth noting that the following review will mention certain events that have taken place over the first two episodes in the series and those who have yet to complete these episodes should do so before continuing on or risk spoiling major events.
With that out of the way Batman: The Telltale Series – New World Order picks up shortly after the events that took place during the debate. Not only has the Children of Arkham’s leader appeared as the one behind the Penguin but with the death of Mayor Hill and potential maiming of Harvey Dent, things were looking grim for Gotham City and especially for Bruce as he was only able to save either Harvey or Catwoman from harm. In fact, not only was he unable to save both of these people but the Wayne family name was once again slandered as video proof of his father’s wrongdoings was aired openly alongside the debate.
Without going into too much detail about certain aspects that are revealed this time around, episode three continues to keep Bruce on his heels as his family’s dark past continues to chip away at his public standing even while his close relationships are either growing closer together or falling apart entirely. Oswald Cobblepot moves to continue to take back what was taken from him by the Wayne’s while Harvey’s reaction to the events at the debate have him teetering on the edge of sanity.
While playing through the episode players are given a rather delightful way to control their handling of these relationships, with being able to either gracefully accept the fact that Cobblepot is moving in to public power or lashing out at him and causing a scene, continuing to support Harvey despite his shifting personality, and more, though it is quite apparent that what players actually choose throughout the episode only have a minimal impact in the way things actually unfold, especially in regards to Catwoman.
While the professional and personal relationships of Bruce Wayne and the character himself continue to be well-written and developed in an incredibly interesting manner with there appearing to be various consequences that will affect more than one relationship with your decisions, many major decisions continue to play out in a predictable, and in one way rather disappointing manner. Those who have played through the previous episode will know that saving Harvey will leave him with only a few scuffs while those who chose to help Catwoman will see a Harvey that is far more familiar looking when it comes to his new personality shift.
The problem with this is that even with Harvey being only slightly scuffed up this transition to Two-Face continues unabated and only makes the character look extremely underwhelming compared to what players who let him get injured will see. Along those same lines players will find themselves playing as mostly Bruce Wayne this time around and barely stepping into the boots of Batman as he rarely takes action this episode outside of two short segments, though considering the one segment ends up focusing on the new villain, who is surprisingly revealed at the end of the episode and will shock quite a few players, players will still be fairly pleased with the way time is split between Bruce’s normal self and his time beneath the cowl.
As usual, players can expect some fairly standard mechanics in Batman: The Telltale Series – New World Order. This comes in the form of a small bit of exploration that allows the player to examine a few of Batman’s gadgets, one simplistic scene that involves looking at various pieces of evidence and linking them together, and of course taking part in a couple of well-choreographed quick time event fights.
These fights are far less frequent this time around and the aforementioned puzzle segment with the evidence is incredibly easy to put together making for rather simple interactions this time around as players will spend most of their time watching and making dialogue choices.
Visuals & Audio
As mentioned earlier, players will be in for a fairly different presentation depending on whether they let Harvey get injured or not at the end of the last episode. Those who did will find that Harvey Dent’s new injured face is presented in gruesome but fitting fashion for the character, matching his expressions and dialogue perfectly, while those who didn’t will be treated to an underwhelming experience.
That being said, the fight sequences are once again well-handled especially since the villain battle this time around features a number of new gadgets being used against Batman, creating an interesting series of events. The voice work for the series continues to be impressive in this episode as each of the voice actors handle their roles well, especially when it comes to Harvey Dent’s voice shifting between his two personalities.
Batman: The Telltale Series – New World Order continues to keep players guessing as to what will happen next as Bruce Wayne’s public life, crime-fighting life, and personal life continue to clash against one another as new threats and revelations continue to pour out of the woodwork. That being said, outside of a few major revelations this episode works primarily as a build-up for what is to come and considering the way things end, invested players will be quite eager for the fourth episode.