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Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - City of Light
Score: 97%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 12 (Crowd Play)
Genre: Adventure

Previously on Batman:

By the time Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - City of Light starts, Batman has been put through hell. Not only have long-buried secrets about the Wayne family been dredged up, but Bruce has been fired as CEO of Wayne Enterprises.

To make matters worse, Bruce was poisoned by the leader of a terrorist group called the Children of Arkham and he publicly attacked Wayne Enterprises' new CEO, Oswald Cobblepot. Episode 4 - Guardian of Gotham had players working to get Bruce out of Arkham Asylum and making a few new "friends" in the process. Unfortunately, Bruce's reputation has fallen far and his friend, Harvey Dent, the new mayor, has a personal grudge against Bruce. Of course, the same poison that landed Bruce in Arkham is racing through Dent's veins, so that isn't helping matters.

By the end of Episode 4, Batman has to choose to either save Wayne Manor from Harvey's attempt to seize it, or stop Cobblepot from using his new access to Wayne Enterprises to completely disable all of Batman's technology. It's a tough choice to make, and while the player can resolve one of the two problems by the time that episode ends, City of Light will start off with Batman having to deal with the issues he wasn't able to take care of before.

Cobblepot or Dent:

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - City of Light starts off with Batman facing one of two problems. If you chose to save Wayne Manor and took down Dent, then Cobblepot's control over Batman's tech is your biggest worry now. If you chose to go after Cobblepot though, then it's a mad Harvey preparing to burn down Bruce's family home that starts off this episode.

Regardless of which starting point you come to, City of Light reminds the player that the person Batman is facing was once a friend. For Harvey, it's a flashback to the pair planning to make Gotham better; for Oswald, it's a scene with the two kids talking about Cobblepot being bullied because his mother is in Arkham. Either way, Bruce is going to have his work cut out for him in order to get past the immediate threat in one piece.

Lady Arkham:

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - City of Light isn't over once you've dealt with Bruce's former friends. There is still Lady Arkham and her terrorist group to take care of. Unfortunately, her desire to get revenge on Bruce Wayne means that Batman will have to work fast in order to keep someone close to him from dying, and he will have to do it without the use of many of his gadgets since they aren't quite recovered from Cobblepot's meddling.

As Bruce pieces together what exactly happened in the kidnapping, he also gathers clues about where Lady Arkham has made her ransom video. While this doesn't quite get Batman's companion out of danger, it does give the Dark Knight some interesting insight into Lady Arkham's torturous origins, and maybe he can convince the villain that the path she is on can be changed.

Batman's final showdown against Lady Arkham is one of the more intense fight scenes in Batman: The Telltale Series and it feels like a solid payoff to the build-up that has been growing since the first episode. While it doesn't compare at all to anything seen in a more action-oriented genre, for an adventure game, it will take some speedy fingers and reflexes to get through.

Final Thoughts:

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - City of Light ends what turns out to be a solid story that focuses on Bruce Wayne a lot more than it does Batman. While you often play as the Caped Crusader, you are frequently the man behind the mask, and quite frankly, even when you are Batman, it feels like you are playing Bruce in the costume and not just a superhero taking out enemies.

While most of the choices you make in Batman: The Telltale Series don't amount to more than a few dialogue differences, major actions like the one seen at the end of Episode 4 or a choice you make at the mayoral debates do have a bigger impact and help to personalize the story that you are playing through. Different Telltale games have pulled this off to different degrees, and while I might wish that there were some bigger branching points to some of the decisions made in Batman, some of those choices could still play out if a second season is released, something hinted at heavily by the end of this game.

Overall, I enjoyed Batman: The Telltale Series a lot and being able to play through a drastically different Batman story than you would find in other genres makes this title stand out in a crowd of superhero games.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - City of Light Windows The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Episode 2 - Ties That Bind: Part 2

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