After the batmobile speed-bump of episode two, Fractured Mask brings the season back up to full speed as it returns to the conflicting loyalties and tough decisions that make Telltale games soar.
Fractured Mask is the third episode of Telltale’s second Batman season subtitled The Enemy Within. After Catwoman’s surprise appearance at the end of episode two, Bruce once again must deal with his complicated relationship with the thief while further investigating the mysterious target the Pact is preparing to assault.
After the lacklustre twists and dull choices of episode two, Fractured Mask immediately throws you in the deep end regarding your loyalties between many competing parties. Allies once close turn against you, former enemies become hesitant friends, and the secret conspiracy slowly being uncovered throw plenty of character’s into question. If I’m sweating over almost every decision in a Telltale episode then they’re clearly doing something right, and while a few confusing and poorly explained plot points detract from the overall experience, this is definitely the hefty decision-simulator that Telltale excels at.
This is bolstered by the return of Catwoman – a character served very well in season one and a welcome face to have return. Your relationship is a little bit streamlined after how complicated it got previously, but it works very well for the story as the usual temptress to crime she often is in the comics. Commissioner Gordon is another character given a new lease on life – while constantly steadfast thus far in the series, episode three sees him desperate and going in anew, and very welcome, direction for the character. Without spoiling much the episode is clearly setting up a fantastically emotional confrontation to come and even thinking about it has gotten my utility belt a-quivering.
And once again, Telltale Bugwatch©, this time to report a few stutters and graphical glitches buzzing around. Still nowhere near as bad as Telltale prior, but lets hope it doesn’t turn into a hornets nest as the season continues.
But overall, Fractured Mask puts the season firmly back on track to another (hopefully) satisfying finale. Still an awful lot of setup, but if this is any indication this series will be firing on all cylinders as we move towards the end of another year for ol’ pointy ears.
Casual Gamers: Recommended
Hardcore Gamers: Recommended
Narrative-drivers: Highly Recommended