Warning: Spoilers for Episodes 1-3 of “Batman: The Telltale Series” follow.
While “Guardian of Gotham” doesn’t exactly forward the plot much, it mainly serves to set up what should be a fantastic season finale. At the start of the episode, Bruce awakes in Arkham Asylum, famous for holding Gotham’s most insane individuals. Since the series is set early on in Bruce’s crusade as Batman, he isn’t aware of who any of these criminals are, though fans will be quick to recognize the ones who appear. One specifically makes himself known to Bruce right away, his long time foe and one of the most recognizable villains in popular culture, The Joker.
The rest of the episode continues with tough decisions, specifically before its climax. The choice leaves Bruce without a large part of his family’s legacy and possibly his closest ally or unequipped to accomplish the trials before him in the season finale. This episode, Bruce also explores more into Vicki Vale’s past, after learning first hand last episode that she was Lady Arkham, leader of the Children of Arkham. Similar to The Penguin, Bruce learns that his parents also wronged Vale’s parents, causing her to have a lust for revenge as well.
The main focus in this episode was clearly the reveal of The Joker, played by Anthony Ingruber, and he does a good job this episode; specifically at nailing his iconic laugh. Over the years we have gotten a lot of interpretations on the clown prince of crime and while Anthony does a solid job, I don’t think he’s done enough to set himself apart from those who have played the role quite yet like Heath Ledger, Mark Hamill and more recently Jared Leto. Part of this may be due to his appearance feeling a little shoehorned in, feeling as though they put him in just for the sake of having The Joker in the series. It is unclear if we’ll see any more of him this season, but I’m looking forward to what Anthony Ingruber can do with the character once the full spotlight is shined on him. I’m also excited to see what Telltale does with his main attire once he is out of Arkham and his plain prison uniform later on.
Technically, the game continues to have a few hiccups here and there, but thankfully nothing game breaking for me. At one point I encountered a glitch where Bruce was talking but his mouth stayed shut the entire time, but that was about it for this episode.
At the end of the day, this was probably the weakest episode so far this season, mainly because it sticks to laying down the foundation for the season finale without moving the plot forward much at all. It will be interesting to see how permanent the consequences of this episodes big choices are and if we’ll see anymore of The Joker this season. By the end of the episode, it’s clear that Bruce and his alter ego Batman will have their work cut out for them, working to both clear the Wayne family name while putting a stop to the Children of Arkham.