By: Mike Chen
Please note that since each episode of Batman: The Telltale Series features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our complete thoughts on that, refer to our review of Realm of Shadows.
Batman: The Telltale Series’ third episode is much less about Batman and more a Bruce Wayne simulator. The midpoint of the series, the events of New World Order advance the plot quickly and wind up putting Bruce/Batman against a number of difficult choices.
Many of these unfurl like clockwork, lining up heroes and villains in a way that mostly feels organic. There are two major twists in this relatively short (finished in about an hour) episode, one about halfway through and one gut-puncher at the end.
The first one feels a bit forced from an in-universe perspective, an arbitrary choice by the developers to flip the script rather than making much narrative sense. The final one, however, takes Batman into territory never (I believe, though there are far too many iterations of this for me to be certain) before ventured.
Given the way Telltale has taken existing elements and hit the Shuffle button, we’re in for an exciting final two episodes in this standalone Batman adventure.
As the focus is mostly on Bruce, you don’t get to do too much with Batman and his combat/infiltration skills or his gadgets. You do, however, get to advance the relationship with Selina/Catwoman if you choose, so this episode is a bit of wish fulfillment on a number of levels for longtime franchise fans.
Short and lacking in pure Batman elements, New World Order delivers by putting a human face on the Batman experience and going into territories that can’t be replicated in combat-focused games. Some major twists and fun give-and-take with Catwoman keep this series up to its high standard so far.