The usual speed-bump for almost every Telltale season is episode four, but it seems in this case they got that out of the way two episodes ago.
What Ails You is the fourth episode of Telltale’s second Batman season subtitled The Enemy Within. As the Pact’s plan escalates, Bruce steadily begin to discover what they’ve been seeking after all this time and must deal with allies both growing closer and further away as their endgame threatens to throw Gotham into chaos.
Episode two was a disappointment, episode three was a step up and episode four continues that upward trend through an episode that, albeit brief, is another solid addition to this season. After the plot got a little too messy and overly convoluted in the past two episodes, What Ails You finally begins to tie it back together neatly, finally laying out the plot going forward into the episode five climax. Its quite possibly the most well written episode of the season, with one exchange in particular being exceptionally haunting in a way Telltale has never accomplished before. Having such a sadistic/horror tinged tone is nothing new for Batman, but is a welcome change of pace for this game in particular and I hope to see more of it as the season concludes.
Two fantastic action sequences bookend the episode, but its the choices in the middle that really makes it satisfying. Further indicating Telltale is moving away from the simplistic detective elements of previous episodes, What Ails You focuses almost solely on its ability to craft relationships that you care about. Due to its short length it doesn’t boast a large variety of hefty choices and a few key characters don’t even appear at all, but what it does offer is wildly compelling. At this point previous decisions are finally coming back to haunt you and its that sort of subtle choice/consequence dynamic that gives Telltale’s storytelling its punch, and this time is no exception.
Today on Telltale Bugwatch©… Aside from a few stutters, nothing to report. Good job Telltale, keep up the bugspray.
Hard to judge if this tops episode three as the best of the season, but What Ails You is definitely up there as another satisfying 90 minutes of Telltale storytelling at its peak. Episode five can’t come soon enough.
Casual Gamers: Recommended
Hardcore Gamers: Recommended
Narrative-drivers: Highly Recommended