Family Matters

User Rating: 8 | Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham PS4

Children of Arkham keeps the mystery and intrigue introduced in episode one, while escalating the tension further. Bruce's newly discovered secrets about his family's dark past could jeopardize his involvement with Harvey Dent's campaign, all while having his legacy tarnished. These forthcoming revelations build onto Bruce/Batman's psyche to build the character up even more. Episode 2 continues Bruce's quest to clean his family name, but it may not be as easy as it seems.

Throughout Children of Arkham I never felt bored, the episode moves at such a brisk pace, and new revelations in the story kept me hooked until the very end. The only time I felt taken out of the episode was when the game started to lag. For me, this happened very early in the game and became less apparent the longer the story progressed. This lag creates choppy moments in otherwise serious situations that can kill the immersion.

One problem I had with the first episode was the need to linger on the Wayne deaths. By the time I finished the second episode I finally saw the big picture, and began to understand why the Wayne's needed to be factored into the story. Things get even more troublesome with the slow evolution of Oswald Cobblepot. The Penguin and his group of scoundrels make things even worse for Batman and Harvey Dent with the introduction of the Children of Arkham. Looking to inspire a revolution, the Children of Arkham and Bruce's storyline intersect in a rather interesting way.

Another aspect of the episode thats interesting is combat sequences. One feature I really liked from the first episode was the tactical planning of Batman's moves to take out enemies. The saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" rings true to the design of this game. I found myself somewhat giddy during these combat encounters.

One encounter that stood out as a highlight of the episode was a bar fight featuring Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne. The combat featured the standard quick-time events in succession to take down a handful of rowdy troublemakers. As the well-choreographed fight scenes played out, I noticed a combat meter in the shape of the bat symbol appear on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. The success of my QTE's made my meter go up until it culminated into a team takedown between Bruce and Selina; similar in a way to Arkham Knight's team takedowns.

Like many different aspects of Telltale games, this encounter plays out like it may be a one-and-done deal. New gameplay elements brought in to the story seem like they may only fit for the circumstance at hand. It all depends on whether or not the story allows for a repeat of these mechanics. If Telltale continues to use the same mechanics throughout the season, there could be some particularly cool fight scenes to be had.

Despite its length being slightly shorter than the first episode, Children of Arkham leaves enough mystery and intrigue for future episodes while also answering some questions. The fast pace of the episode never lingers, instead it's engaging with its well-rounded character's and thrilling fight sequences.