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.
After dealing with Two-Face at the end of Episode 4, Telltale’s initial season with the Dark Knight comes to a conclusion in Episode 5: City of Light. Lady Arkham and Penguin are still out there, Bruce Wayne’s status in the city is still in turmoil, and Gotham is generally under siege. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…
City of Light sees things through to their logical conclusion, hitting expected (in a good way) story beats while offering up a few surprises along the way. This is also probably the most balanced episode in terms of time and choices between Bruce and Batman, while offering a slightly different take on the investigation and combat sequences.
The episode also touches on all of Batman’s key relationships (Alfred, Selina, Commissioner Gordon) and gives appropriate moments for closure. It also lays the groundwork for the series’ second season in a way that’s somewhat predictable but sets things up for an interesting story. If Telltale replicates this level of quality, Bat-fans are in for a treat, especially if the team continues to remix traditional franchise tropes into new spins.
From a technical perspective, this was probably the most bug-laden Telltale experience I’ve ever had (and I’ve played almost all of them). The entire opening sequence was filled with stalls and lagging, and that persisted to some degree through most of the game’s combat sequences.
An entire section of the game inside Arkham Asylum featured an invisible inmate who was only modeled as floating eyes and a mouth similar to the horrifying Assassin’s Creed Unity bugs. The game’s final statistics also offered a calculation on how you played overall, but the screen flashed once for me, then became part of the background with other regular statistics floating over it.
Given the short turnaround time between Episodes 4 and 5, perhaps this was due to the rushed release schedule, and hopefully it will be quickly patched in to repair.
As an episode and a series, City of Light hits all the marks while bringing proper closure to main story and key character arcs, all to set up an eventual second season. This episode came with some technical glitches, though hopefully they will be patched over shortly.