Batman S2 E4: My thoughts
(I've just noticed that I completely misplaced my notes on EP3 and never posted that. Oops, it'll kill me with inconsistency, but, what can you do now.)
Best. Episode. Ever.
YES. I MEAN IT.
In terms of tailoring, this has the most we've seen so far. From large choices, dialogues choices, it's good. Judging from my notes here (on the "betray selina" choice path), all I have to say are good stuff, with a few improvements on the side. Let's get into it!
- The slo-mo recap was cool (Catwoman getting thrown into the Riddler-box). No objections there.
- The "Batman" choice of which bystander to save in the Sanctus lab was a nice addition. Further proving the Bruce is having a hard time keeping up with these criminals, which he is so opposed to, despite his social mask with them. (The bonus turret destruction that happens soon after was epic. Really cool stuff with the sound building up, and the camerawork. Yeah...)
- The teamwork involving the members of the Pact was really good to see. (Bane holding doors, Freeze deactivating incinerators, etc.) It actually makes them seem like a viable team.
- The fact that you're forced to take down the virus immediately once you're in the room is kind of lame, but a given since they have to get taken down eventually, and better now than later.
- John getting the Batarang IS RELEVANT! Holy Throwing Arm Batman!
- ----This marks the end of our tailored opening, but what fun it was to see!----
- We get Riddler details from Freeze, which is great! He's been quite the mystery so far, so that's nice.
- Okay, I was wondering why the airlock froze so fast when Bruce only turned it down to 5°, but then I realised that we're dealing with Americans, who use the crazy Fahrenheit. No hard feelings.
- We get some good tailoring involving Freeze and Avesta, due do current and former dialogue choices.
- When it's been said that Waller would want leverage on the Pact to make them work for them, that immediately made me think of the Suicide Squad. Pretty please Telltale?
- One misleading choice: If you stay silent when John's about to leave to find Harley, Bruce walks towards John and it places you in the "you refused to let John go alone and find Harley camp". That's not what I wanted nor expected to happen.
- Ah, one bad thing that I think should have been rectified from the start of the series is: To put the News Feed in Reverse Chronology. It's really slow to navigate through now, and it'll be even slower by the end of Episode 5. Please reverse the order, it's much longer than it should be.
- Bruce's remark to Tiffany presenting a gun to him was fantastic. Flat out, "That's a gun".
- John figuring out Bruce is Batman was interesting, but I have to wonder how and when. There's no way he could have done it in the Asylum, he's in a box there. Maybe afterwards, but I really want to know more about it. He says: "I told you, I know the real you", but does he really mean "I know your rich guy is just a façade" or "I know you're Batman" ? One seems unlikely.
- Having the option to continue to trust John is interesting, whether or not you really believe him, but having him and Batman working together is... kind of cool. Greatest Batman relationship ever. I'm callin' it.
*Of course we lose John in the end, but considering that he doesn't exactly betray us, only the Agency, makes me wonder if there is a chance at saving him. He's delusional right now (He thinks he'll be doing the good thing by "saving Gotham" even though we know he'll do that his own way, and Batman can't let that happen). I want to believe him, but also give him the help he deserves!
So, basically this was an incredible episode. Despite the short run time compared to other episodes of the season (for me it was 1h30m) it was really well made and the devotion to choices was apparent, even without another playthrough yet. I'm really going to have to look into this further and see what other things can change. Really excited for Episode 5, and I hope it can wrap things up nicely (though I dont mind if it leaves things for other plots or characters. Suicide spinoff! Please!)
If I were any good at rating things, I'd give this episode a 9.5. Really good, would have loved a bit more downtime with characters like Tiffany or Waller. Everything seemed too quick. Now, I wonder how this final conflict will be resolved. There's a lot of emotional baggage on board...