We’re well into the thick of things for Telltale’s Batman series. We’ve seen some shocking reveals and fantastic story, but how does that hold up at the halfway point? Let’s take a look at Episode 3 – New World Order.
What’s It About?
New World Order picks up shortly where Children of Arkham left off and while the titular group of Children appears to be the overarching villain, this episode spends its time on the rise of Two-Face.
His story will pick up at the hospital, recovering from being viciously attacked and scarred by the Children. Despite his horrific visuals, Dent maintains a positive image as he’s inaugurated as Mayor of Gotham. That won’t last long. Soon, Dent starts to chip away in favor of Two-Face. It’s a direct look into his internal conflict; Two-Face sees Dent as weak and won’t stand for it. Dent has trouble keeping him suppressed but starts to rely on his iconic coin (which, to be fair, kind of comes out of nowhere in this story) and losing the battle. By the end of the episode, he’s nearly too far gone.
Bruce’s arc doubles down on Wayne Enterprises situations. He finds that the Children are using the police’s own network to gain insight into what’s going on, which, in part, leads to a small demise of Wayne Enterprise; the police are told to stop using all WayneTech. The biggest shakeup for Wayne Enterprises is Bruce’s removal as CEO in favor of Oswald Cobblepot. It can bring a paranoid or unstable Bruce to light, but in order to maintain some insight, you’re given the option to keep your tech expert Lucius Fox as your inside man (which is what I did).
Batman’s arc has a small stop with a police officer responsible for the death of Carmine Falcone but a bigger run-in with the Children of Arkham that crosses over with Catwoman. It provides the big action set piece very let into the episode and ultimately provides a very late reveal to keep you in suspense until Episode 4.
Why Should I Care?
I struggled a bit with this episode, especially considering the quality of Realm of Shadows and Children of Gotham. The first chunk of the episode moved incredibly slow. There were some quality story points, but it didn’t provide a ton of value. The pitstop to help the police officer serves just a bit of a purpose later on. You get some interactions at Wayne Enterprises that ultimately don’t seem to affect the results of Cobblepot stepping in much at all. The most entertaining part of the episode was the Dent/Two-Face situation, as I felt it was a great glimpse into his psyche.
But it doesn’t really save the episode from itself. The first major action set piece doesn’t come until well into the fourth chapter of the episode after some minimal detective work; this entire episode’s detective work was on the weaker side. The set piece helps kick off some of the most interesting elements, including the heaviest insight into Harvey’s struggles with becoming Two-Face. It ends on a strong enough note with the reveal, which like the rest of the reveals starts changing up characters in refreshing ways. However, there’s not much else to say here, which allows me to transition to our next section.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
Ultimately, New World Order feels like it’s the most forced and straightforward of the episodes so far. The choices you make can send a couple of situations into different situations, but the decisions, on the whole, didn’t make me feel like there was much of an impact. Choices have just enough impact to stave off being unimportant.
The story, while strong in some elements, felt like most of the first half could have been relegated to Children of Arkham wrap up instead of taking up space here. It’s not boring, per se, but certainly the least interesting of the storylines so far. The problem and yet the good thing is that it picks up towards the end, so it’s just worth it enough. Is 45 minutes of strength enough for a roughly two-hour play session? Eh, tough call, but if you’ve bought a season pass, it shouldn’t matter much. Just play New World Order, either way, to keep things going.