Children of arkham is the follow up to the first episode of the Batman Tell Tale series, and whilst I loved that initial episode I have huge problems with this one. Minor Spoilers throughout the review so go someplace else if you have responsibilities and haven’t had time to play it, or just keep listening if you’re cool and don’t care about nothing, not even getting your homework in on time. You badboy.
Firstly, the good
This very much feels like a continuation of the last one, you see familiar faces and continue to build relationships with people in the game, thus replacing your real life friends, now you’ll never be alone, the dichotomy of Bruce Wayne and batman is brilliant and the sections where you can choose to either go in as Bruce Wayne to have political talks to resolve situations or go in busting heads as batman are a welcome change up and unique from anything we’ve ever seen before. The consequences this time around also feel more grandiose and the last one really feels like it could change the game to come further down the line even though tell-tale never do that and everything will return to the status quo within 4 minutes of episode 3.
The penguin is executed brilliantly in this and shows shades of anarchy, it’s a nice change on the character that pits him more as an equal to batman, whereas in the past he was just a short fat dude who you had to jump and swing up to hit you.
Where to start, so from the off they say that Bruce Wayne’s parents were gangsters, laundered money and sent anyone who disagreed with them to arkham. Whilst normally this is a done as a twist that’s revealed to be false, throughout they pretty much confirm it, to the point where even Alfred says it’s true. No, just no tell-tale, this change isn’t good, change is bad, I never want change, I want my iPhone to stay at ios7 forever, and ever, and ever. So that annoyed me. I can’t see how it will be resolved now and if it is a twist then it leaves this entire episode shallow and pointless.
They also have Bruce Wayne fighting people and taking them out with ease so it’s pointless keeping up the playboy pretence now, this is worse than when peter parker was dunking basketballs from two mile away in front of the high school.
They have you revisiting previous locations, so development feels lazy and you get bored of seeing the same environments again.
The pacing is also really off in this one, whereas in the last one you were never doing something for too long, this time around you are just having long dialogue sections that feel like they go on for longer than that conversation at new years with a guy you haven’t seen in the past 10 years and didn’t even like that much to begin with anyway.
It’s a shame that this is such a weak follow-up as it has elements that surpass the first episode, however if the rest of the run continues like this I’ll be hugely disappointed.
Overall I’m giving it a 6/10
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Peace to all