Spoiler Warning: This review contains spoilers for Batman: The Telltale Series Episodes 1 & 2.
The first two episodes of Batman: The Telltale Series have been quite polarizing. The first episode, Realm of Shadows, was a methodical introduction to the character of Bruce Wayne, as well as Batman the detective. The second episode, Children of Arkham, was much more fast-paced, and dug up some dark secrets of the Wayne family’s past. One would expect that being the third episode, and the midway point of the series, that New World Order would be the pinnacle of the action, but in reality it was a bit of a slow burner.
For much of the episode, New World Order essentially serves as the calm after the storm and lets the dust settle from what was an intense and action packed second episode. After the cliffhanger ending that saw Harvey Dent become permanently disfigured, as well as major secrets revealed about the Wayne family, there were a lot of ripple effects and repercussions.
One of those major repercussions is Bruce Wayne’s legacy and reputation taking a massive hit. Bruce faces quite a dilemma, as the citizens of Gotham are expecting Bruce to be brought to justice for what his family has done, and they are expecting Batman to bring it to him. Cobblepot and the Children of Arkham have caused Bruce to have tunnel vision, and he must put his personal affairs aside to save Gotham.
New World Order packs a ton of story in a somewhat short episode, which on one hand is great, while on the other hand it has much less player involvement compared to the previous two episodes of the series. The first four chapters of the third episode primarily consist of dialogue choices, but ramps up quickly after that to another intense cliffhanger ending. There is plenty of character development, mainly with Harvey Dent’s slow transition into the villain we all know he’s inevitably becoming: Two-Face. We also get our first in-depth look at the leader of the Children of Arkham. Without getting too much into spoilers, the storyline takes a bit of a nonsensical turn with regards to Bruce Wayne’s future at Wayne Enterprises, which hopefully doesn’t come back to haunt the series.
One of the most compelling aspects of the third episode is the budding relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Laura Bailey has portrayed an excellent Catwoman throughout the series thus far, and her chemistry with Troy Baker’s Bruce Wayne really shines in New World Order. Of course that relationship could get Bruce into hot water, so it’s up to you whether it is really worth pursuing or not.
Once the episode hits the fifth chapter, the player involvement picks up with the return of the detective-style gameplay that was one of the most intriguing parts of the first episode. This particular crime scene doesn’t have as much evidence to examine compared to your first go-around, but it’s great to see it make its return after being M.I.A. in episode two.
From a technical standpoint, New World Order suffers from many of the same issues that generally all Telltale episodes have. There are the occasional moments where the framerate bogs down, especially after a decision has been made or a dialogue choice has been selected. There were also a few occasions where the dialogue felt out of sync.
While still a solid overall episode, New World Order is definitely the low point of the Batman Telltale Series so far. With much of its focus on progressing the storyline resulting in little player involvement, the episode at times feels like it’s moving in slow motion. The budding romantic relationship with Selina Kyle, the return of the detective side of Batman, and yet another cliffhanger ending leaves us with high hopes for what should be an interesting fourth episode.
Check out our review for the fourth episode, Guardian of Gotham, here.
Playstation 4 Season Pass of Batman: The Telltale Series was provided by Telltale Games