Spoiler Warning: This review contains spoilers for Batman: The Telltale Series Episodes 1 – 3.
After a slow-paced third episode, Batman: The Telltale Series picks up the pace with a much more action packed fourth chapter in Guardian of Gotham. While it fixes some technical issues that have plagued the series, there are still some improvements to be corrected before the finale.
The episode begins with Bruce Wayne recuperating in a cell after the events of the cliffhanger ending of New World Order. Still clearly effected by Vicki Vale’s drugs, memories of laying a savage beatdown on Oswald Cobblepot begin to surface. Bruce’s reputation is now at an all-time low, and Harvey Dent is not doing him any favors by slandering his name to the citizens of Gotham and committing him to Arkham Asylum. Bruce faces an uphill battle, as he must find a way out of Arkham and stop Vicki and the Children of Arkham from spreading the drug all over Gotham.
While the Children of Arkham are still considered the main threat of the story so far, Guardian of Gotham focuses on what has become quite a two-headed serpent in Two-Face and The Penguin. While the Children of Arkham are put on the back burner throughout the episode, Batman faces quite the dilemma on which of the two villains takes priority and needs to be stopped first. It’s up to you to decide which threat is more important to extinguish: Harvey Dent, the man seeking to ruin Bruce’s life after breaking his trust, or Oswald Cobblepot, the man running what was once your empire and is slowly taking over your tech.
If you’ve been following any of the updates or have watched the preview trailer for the episode, you know all about the big reveal of Batman’s greatest rival making an appearance. Of course it wouldn’t be a Batman game without at least a cameo from the clown prince himself, and essentially a cameo is all his role was limited to, at least for this episode anyway. The Joker, known around Arkham Asylum as John Doe, takes Bruce Wayne under his wing after being committed, and serves as his tour guide of the facility. We get a brief look into Arkham Asylum, which is a much different portrayal than what we’ve seen in other games. You won’t find Killer Croc or Poison Ivy stowed away in giant cells, instead you’ll see a much more normalized institution with only one easter egg villain hidden in plain sight.
The Joker shows flashes of maniacal behavior during his brief appearance, but doesn’t quite stand out as anything spectacular. Anthony Ingruber does an admiral job at voicing the iconic character, especially his rendition of The Joker’s trademark laugh, and ultimately leaves you wanting more. But hey, at least he managed to get more screen time than Jared Leto’s Joker.
Guardian of Gotham steered away from most of the technical issues suffered in the previous episodes with much smoother transitions after dialogue choices or actions, and little to no framerate drops. However there were still several occasions where the dialogue was terribly out of sync, especially during dialogue spoken by The Joker and Two-Face. Certain scenes were so bad that The Joker’s lips were barely moving during his lines, which soured the moment on more than one occasion.
While the story may be intensifying and bulldozing towards an epic finale, the sloppy dialogue syncing puts a damper on what is otherwise another gripping episode. It doesn’t quite have the cliffhanger endings of the previous three episodes, but Guardian of Gotham leaves you wanting more after its hour and a half are through.
Playstation 4 Season Pass of Batman: The Telltale Series was provided by Telltale Games