What’s the definitive Batman game? Is it Telltale’s episodic series this year which has scaled back on the action in favour of a deeper look at the man behind the iconic cowl? Not exactly, but Telltale’s reinvention of the dark knight has come pretty damn close to unseating Rocksteady’s legendary trilogy so far. Where Telltale has succeeded this year however, is in a narrative which tells the definitive Bruce Wayne story instead, by not answering once and for all who the real persona is behind one of Gotham City’s most enduring legends.
Instead, that decision is left up to you, the player, as the fifth and final episode of Batman: The Telltale Series reaches an explosive conclusion.
It’s a story which has managed to drastically alter the events surrounding the origin of a man who is driven by pain and tragedy, creating a fresh new approach that still stays true to the core ideas of this character, a game built on choices and consequences. And that’s where Episode 5: City of Light kicks off, as your final choice from Guardian of Gotham alters how this final chapter starts.
For me, that meant facing off against Oswald Cobblepot once and for all, after the deranged criminal had managed to effectively steal the entire life of Bruce Wayne out from under him. City of Light spends its first half effectively tying up loose ends, but also reminds the player that there’s more to the villains who plague Batman and Bruce Wayne than just a mere lust for power.
There’s some deep-seated tragedy here for the mid-carders, that shines a light on their characterisation far better than the source material comic books ever has. There’s an idea of redemption that exists as well, driving the player at times to realise that even the most psychopathic of criminals still have some seed of decency in them, even if it is buried under years of pain and hate.
And maybe that’s where Telltale’s Batman series truly shines.
The idea of finding out if Bruce Wayne or Batman is better for Gotham may be the main hook in these five episodes, but for me, it was the idea of trying to actually empathise with my rogues gallery that made this season of infamy gripping. Trying not only to stop maniacs from tearing Gotham apart, but to actually save them as well was inspiring and tragic in my failure to actually do so.
The primary Arkham-themed antagonist of Telltale’s Batman series is a prime example here, and one of the best new villains to ever emerge out of a Batman game. Far, far better than that rubbish Sin Tzu at least. City of Light is a solid episode, and a fitting end that builds on numerous threads from the previous four releases. Slightly uneven at times, it still goes out with a bang as the real Bruce Wayne emerges from the shadows stronger than ever before.
Last Updated: December 14, 2016