The Legends of Abra Kedabra
Batman is no stranger to failures; they are the catalyst for his greatest triumphs. For that victorious moment where the Dark Knight rises, he must first be brought to his knees. Episode 3 of does just this, but this time it’s Bruce Wayne that’s put through the wringer.
In “A New World Order,” Gotham’s golden boy is dragged through the mud by The Children of Arkham. At the end of Episode 2, the group’s mysterious leader revealed that the Wayne empire was built on criminal activity. Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne, was not the saintly philanthropist everyone believed him to be.
With these revelations, Bruce’s legacy is tarnished and the anarchic Children of Arkham have turned the city against him. By the end of Episode 3, Telltale has all the pieces in place for a compelling comeback arc. However, it also becomes clear that the player is more of an onlooker than a participant in this story.
Asking players to make a choice between two options carries an innate tension, even more so when you’re mindful that Telltale likes to hit players with consequences down the line. Instead of pushing the narrative down new paths, however, the Batman series’ decisions only branch briefly before reconnecting at predefined moments, shattering the illusion that the player has a hand in guiding the story.