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Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 4 - Guardian of Gotham
Score: 75%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Introduction:

Iíve heaped my share of praise on Telltaleís treatment of the Dark Knight. Its willingness to take major narrative risks and stand out as its own interpretation of a comic book legend has earned it a special place among adaptations Ė at least in my book. While its conformity to its long-established gameplay formula is occasionally a thorn in the side, it still hits far more often than it misses. This has been, in no small part, thanks to the excellent pace it set for itself from the get-go. Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 4 Ė Guardian of Gotham drops the ball on that front; while itís undoubtedly a satisfying penultimate chapter, itís also an incredibly messy one.

Bat, Interrupted:

Episode 3 Ė New World Order ended Bruce Wayneís humiliation conga line with a nasty one-two punch: with Vicki Vale revealing herself to be Lady Arkham and sticking our hero with a dose of the Children of Arkhamís inhibition-killing drug. After a very public (but richly-deserved) beatdown of Wayne Enterprises CEO Oswald Cobblepot, Bruce wakes up as Arkham Asylumís newest inmate. Some of the Caped Crusaderís most memorable adventures involve the creepy psychiatric hospital. It plays a key role in Batman Begins. Itís the setting for a good chunk of the Arkham franchise. And if you want to go back even further, thereís the classic Batman: The Animated Series episode "Dreams in Darkness." Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 4 Ė Guardian of Gotham squanders the opportunity at making its own mark in favor of blatant fanservice and a deus ex machina that sees Bruce out and about well before the episodeís halfway point.

Reviewing entertainment media poses several unique challenges, one of which is to judge something on the merits of what it does rather than focusing on what it doesnít do. That being said, I canít imagine any Batman fan looking at this diversion as anything more than a tease at its best and a missed opportunity at its worst.


Gotham Under Siege:

While psychological thriller fans will almost certainly be left wanting by Bruce Wayneís incredibly short stay in Arkham Asylum, Gotham City benefits from that brevity. For reasons that range from political to personal, Mayor Harvey Dent has somehow managed to make Bruce Wayne Public Enemy No. 1, despite the obvious fact that he, himself, has totally lost his mind and completed his transformation from a well-meaning but egotistical public servant into a full-blown terrorist. With the Children of Arkham still at large and Dentís mental state more or less locked into his "Big Bad Harv" persona, extreme measures are the only ones he seems capable of taking.

Dentís story in Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 4 Ė Guardian of Gotham rubs me the wrong way; while the first three episodes took their time in establishing the man as a deeply-flawed idealist, this one seems desperate to destroy all that conflict and nuance in favor of making him just another powerful bad guy in Gotham City.

Reeling from the influence of his little surprise injection, Bruce must synthesize an antidote and get back into action. After all, a mysterious tip from an even more mysterious fellow in Arkham Asylum might be all Batman needs to preempt the Childrenís master plan. This leads to another interesting (and incredibly gruesome) murder investigation, a handful of exciting (and technically inept) action sequences, and an important decision that, from the looks of it, just might determine the structure of your season finaleÖ


Conclusion:

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 4 Ė Guardian of Gotham constitutes the weakest ninety minutes weíve yet seen from this series. I very much enjoyed my time with it, though Iíll confess to being disappointed with it at the same time. Certain developments come across as both cynical and unbelievable, and the entire episode feels rushed, but provided the series can stick the landing next month, itíll be forgivable.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:



Microsoft Xbox One Elite: Dangerous: Horizons - Guardians Windows Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 4 - Guardian of Gotham

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated