"Telltale" takes the familiar "#Batman" mythos and subverts the cliches that have made their way into almost every adaption. In this episode, Bruce digs deeper into his parent's unsavory past. It's a very risky move depicting one of Superhero comic's most incorruptible and benevolent parental figures in a less than heroic light.
A broken pedestal
In almost every "Batman" depiction, Thomas and Martha Wayne were always the symbol of good who stood against the corruption inherent in Gotham. "Telltale" relishes in subverting this tradition by having Bruce discover the ruthlessness and power that his father used to control others as well as the shady connections that the Waynes used to amass their wealth. Many characters have a legitimate quarrel with the Wayne family, including the brand new villains introduced in this episode. "Telltale" has a knack for writing characters who are capable of doing horrible things while still being human enough to sympathize with. Even when I didn't agree with the means by which certain characters used to achieve their goals, I could still see where they were coming from.
More nuanced choices
This episode also allows for more nuanced and morally flexible decisions. How do you choose to confront the man who might have ordered your parents' death? How do you react to your best friend telling you that you're bad publicity but also the only means of financing his mayoral campaign? What do you say to a burly bearded guy who recognizes you at a sleazy bar?
Still some issues
While not as persistent in episode 1, the performance issues still drag the experience down. I experienced framerate chugs in places as innocuous as an office. There are also a couple moments where the lip synching is off.
Yay or nay?
"Children of Arkham"fulfills the promises made by "Realm of Shadows" and sets the stage for a more morally ambiguous and gritty tale than previous "Batman" adaptions. Whether or not the heavy choices made in this episode will leave an impact remains to be seen. Some of the technical issues have been resolved and the storytelling is much stronger in this installment. Recommended. #DC