Batman Ep. 3: “New World Order” Review
With Gotham under attack from the terrorist group calling itself the Children of Arkham and the Wayne legacy threatened by the exposure of old secrets, Bruce finds himself caught in a series of events that seem to be spiralling ever further beyond his control.
Telltale continue their penchant for creating interesting new takes on universes we love. The first episode in this series deceived players by making the enemies and plot setups seem obvious and signalled, with the second episode delivering a punch to the gut to anyone expecting to predict everything that’ll happen.
This continues into New World Order, with new twists blindsiding both Bruce and the player. While most of this episode is played straight, one revelation is sure to surprise those who thought they had figured out the master plans of the Children of Arkham.
New World Order shows that Telltale always has a trick up its sleeve as the episode comes to a close, further cementing the downward spiral faced by both Bruce and his beloved city. The struggles he faces — and the choices you must make — help ground Batman, making him more relatable; the fact that he’s not infallible and makes mistakes helps humanise him in ways more traditional Batman games never could.
As a fan of Batman and his array of eclectic adversaries, I was both surprised and excited to see that Telltale were taking this story in a different direction than expected. There’s a delicate balance between keeping familiar characters such as Harvey Dent true to how comic fans know them, and introducing new versions or circumstances that conflict with what we expect to happen.
Without going into detail, I’ll mention that New World Order proves that you never can truly predict where Telltale are leading you. Crumbs of truth litter the landscape amongst the occasional red herring, with Telltale toyfully playing with Batman fans into believing they know what’s going on until it’s revealed that you were competely off-base — and it’s fun.
Unfortunately, performance problems still seem to plague the series; I was experiencing odd stuttering and audio desync in a couple of scenes where it felt like the game was trying to load assets in the background faster than possible, as if it was expecting to be run exclusively off of SSDs instead of regular hard drives. This shouldn’t be an issue — the game is designed with consoles in mind which generally don’t have SSDs — so I’ll chalk it up to performance hiccoughs. Crashing to desktop was once again experienced, too.