Episode 3 of Telltale’s Batman series makes some very bold narrative decisions which further cement the story as worthy of the Batman franchise. Character dynamics are flipped and explored in new ways and shocking revelation at the end will leave your jaw on the floor. However the series is still struggling on the technical side with this episode being the worst yet.
This episode is titled New World Order and appropriately so as the status quo is changed and Bruce Wayne finds his life falling to pieces fast after the revelations at the end of Episode 2: Children of Arkham. Now Bruce finds himself with very few friends and trying hard to hold on to the ones that he has. You see an evolution of Harvey Dent throughout the episode that gives the player a feeling of defeat as it almost seems that no matter what you do Harvey is destined to go down the dark path. As Batman you start building trust with characters which he’ll need with the Children of Arkham and their mysterious leader trying to tear Gotham apart. There was more of a balance with Bruce Wayne and Batman in this episode with decisions now starting to blur Bruce Wayne and Batman’s duality and unifying them into one persona. The reveal of the villain’s identity at the end not only shatters your expectations, but is so unique you’ll never see it coming ultimately challenging Batman’s title as the World’s Greatest Detective.
By this point Telltale should have gotten their games to run smoothly, but with this episode I’m beginning to wonder if they even have a QA team at all. Lip syncing issues for the characters is noticeable in every scene. Animations are still clunky when at this point in animation technology it shouldn’t be. How much could it cost to add some more keyframes to these animations? There is a point where a character’s arm folds into itself during a cutscene. At one point the game crashed so hard my PS4 froze for a good minute before booting me back to the home menu. Actions scenes still stutter losing the fluidity of the combat. Telltale really needs to take a hard look at future episodes before release and think about patching previous ones.
The technical aspects don’t ruin the game, but they can take you out of the experience which is a shame as Telltale has crafted an excellent story that should still be experienced regardless. If they can fix some of these issues for the last few episodes then the experience will be that much better.