Previously on Batman: Guardian of Gotham
The “Children of Arkham” leader, Lady Arkham, had managed to drug Bruce Wayne during his resignation as CEO of Wayne Enterprise. This results in Bruce acting violently in public, which lands him a sentence into Arkham Asylum. Bruce realizes that his ticket out of Arkham would involve making a deal with one of DC comics most famous villains, the Joker. Once Bruce returns to the Bat Cave, his main goals are to track down Vicki Vale and deal with Harvey’s psychotic threats (or deal with Cobblepot hacking Wayne Tech). Episode 4 ends with darkness similar to an editing technique to mark a distinct transition in the narrative. This darkness is the perfect transition for the action-packed final episode of Batman: A Telltale Series.
City of Light
The episode begins with Batman facing off against the “Children of Arkham” henchman in a crowded plaza. Because Batman’s tech is mostly inoperable, he is unable to quickly save Commissioner Grogan from a fatal gunshot wound. Grogan’s death results in Gordon becoming GCPD’s next Commissioner, which occurs near the end of the episode. Shortly after the death of Grogan, Batman races to save a civilian grabbed by one of Cobblepot’s modified Wayne Tech drones. Batman jumps to down to save the dropped civilian and then immediately encounters a hologram of Cobblepot as the Penguin. Penguin attempts to murder Batman with the drone, but fails as Batman outsmarts the modded tech. All this action occurs within the first 5 minutes of the game, which instantly got me pumped to continue with the story.
Episode 4 was a disappoint as a follow-up to Episode 3, however, City of Light starts off as a beacon of hope for the series’ final episode. City of Light’s story is more organized, has less filler than the previous episode, and has the perfect pace to keep players engaged. All the major characters that were seen throughout the series have proper closure. For example, in Episode 4, Felicia allegedly left Bruce to give each other space. True to her character from the comics, Felicia is discovered to have stolen one of Bruce’s tech in Episode 5. Bruce tracks her down and confronts her about both the tech she stole and their ambiguous relationship. The dialogue that ensues is entirely genuine to both characters. Felicia establishes that she must leave Gotham for a while because of her kleptomania. Her relationship with Bruce was nothing more than a one night stand that was blown out of proportion by Bruce. This short, borderline filler moment put me at ease for Felicia’s fate in this narrative.
There are similar moments with Cobblepot, Vicki Vale, and even Joker that put the player at ease with their fates. Cobblepot’s plot gets resolved with Bruce (or Batman) fighting in Cobblepot Park while the GCPD is waiting for the opportunity to destroy the device controlling the drones. The bust in Cobblepot park fall onto his back and prevents him from doing any further harm to the GCPD or the civilians of Gotham. As a result of Cobblepot getting arrested, Bruce is able to reclaim his position as CEO at Wayne Enterprises.
Prior to Commissioner Gordon’s speech about his position and the future of Gotham, Bruce and Alfred ruminate about Penguin, Two-Face, and Lady Arkham. Bruce mentions that there will be others like them, hinting that Telltale may produce another series in the future. Regardless if there are no plans for a second series, the groundwork has been carefully laid to ensure that Joker will be more prominent in the series. Perhaps, the friend/foe decision between Joker and Bruce will have a defining moment in the sequel since there were no consequences for making a deal with Joker in this series.
The final episode was definitely worth the wait! Gameplay was mostly fast-paced with few moments of downtime. Instantly from the start of the episode, the story takes the player for a ride that the player won’t want to get off at the end. Facing Lady Arkham was perhaps one of the best-choreographed fight scenes in the game. There was one graphical hiccup I encountered in Arkham Asylum of a set of floating eyeballs and teeth, but it was so laughable I found it hard to be angry. Certainly, this is one of the least polished Telltale games I’ve ever played (not including the earlier Telltale games, such as Jurassic Park). From frame rate issues to sloppy animations, ultimately the story is the saving grace for the series.
Batman: A Telltale Series does end with a possibility for a second series but doesn’t entirely rely on this possibility. Regardless of a second series, the story still ends strongly to be regarded as a one series game, such as Telltale’s Game of Thrones. Looking back on the Telltale’s series, City of Light is difficult to compare to the final episodes of The Walking Dead or Wolf Amongst Us. The Walking Dead final episodes always involved heart-wrenching decisions that left most players in tears. Wolf Amongst Us’ final episode could have had varying degrees of emotion evoked depending on which characters were murdered (or spared). City of Light, however, doesn’t evoke any tear-jerking emotion, but is able to instill the player with a sense of accomplishment as the hero of Gotham.