A good but not great episode, Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham is not quite as strong as the last couple, but it sets up the stage for a climactic finish and does suffer from some of the usual problems that other penultimate episodes in Telltale Games' titles experience.
The biggest takeaway from Guardian of Gotham is that it is setting us up for a grand finale. As such, this episode lacks some of the independence and personality found in earlier episodes. Things get off to a promising start as we are thrown right into the action, but before long this unique take on Batman is back to straddling that tightrope walk that is Bruce Wayne versus Batman.
I've mentioned this in the reviews of earlier episodes, but Telltale Games did a fantastic job in having us walk in Bruce Wayne's expensive shoes. Video games tend to focus on action, and comic books often deliver action in spades, making them a good match. However, many of our best superhero tales revolve around dual identities - the aspect of who we are versus who we strive to be. The secret identity makes characters more relatable to us many times and both halves of the personality help to make a whole character and story. Here we spend a lot of time with Bruce as he tries to get to the bottom of of a few different mysteries. Bruce Wayne has a vulnerability about him and his circumstances here that Batman seems to be lacking, making for a more palpable tension throughout the adventure.
There is a fairly substantial twist - another reflection no how the staff at Telltale Games has taken this well-known property with character we think we understood going into things, only to turn events around on their ear. I absolutely love it. If this had been a rehashing of the Batman we already knew it would be a challenge keeping the gamer invested, but I have to say I've been delighted and gut-punched at the same time by some of the developments so far.
Once again choice is somewhat hit and miss in terms of how it plays out. Some of the choices so far feel as though they carry almost no weight, while others were obviously very big and their impact was felt almost immediately. Still, while some loose ends were tied up here and there, most of them are left dangling for the next and final chapter coming this week. Admittedly, this story has some of that heavy weight to it that sometimes saddles The Walking Dead. There is just almost no let up in the heavy events that come one after the other. It would be nice to see a few more moments of enjoyment, but thus far those have been few and far between for this version of Batman.
That being said, the performance of the engine has to be noted here. The Telltale games have never been technical marvels, but the software running them is really starting to show its age. Long load screens, characters talking before the video is showing and more unfortunately ruin the immersion from an otherwise very good story.
I am really looking forward to this last episode however, as this is one of the best Batman stories I have seen yet. I love that it is capable of surprising me while also looking at both halves that make up the legendary superhero. Oftentimes the second-to-last episode in a Telltale Game is a huge let-down. Thankfully that was not the case here. Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham was not the strongest overall entry in the series, but it is still a good one that has me optimistic about great things for the last chapter.
Provided by Publisher
Article by Nick