Night mode

Batman Episode 2 – Children of Arkham Review

Batman Episode 2 - Children of Arkham Review

Batman Episode 2 – Children of Arkham Review

The story twists familiar lore on its head and leaves the audience baffled in all the best ways.


Written by on

Developed by

Published by


Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Release date: September 20, 2016

Batman: The Telltale Series, Episode 2 – Children of Arkham avoids the sophomore slump by providing engaging twists on previous Batman lore while also establishing itself as the new standard-bearer for Telltale gameplay. We’ve seen a dozen renditions of Batman in recent years, but Telltale continues to play to players’ expectations while simultaneously subverting them.

As always, here there be spoilers.


Getting right into the crux of Children of Arkham, it’s revealed to us—and to the citizens of Gotham—that Thomas Wayne is a co-mastermind of a criminal network that includes mob boss Carmine Falcone and incumbent mayor Hamilton Hill. To Gothamites, Bruce Wayne himself becomes slandered as the progeny of a criminal family.

And Telltale doesn’t just make Thomas Wayne some unwilling cog in a criminal machine; no, they make him into a proto-Scarecrow who uses chemicals to drive his opponents insane before ditching them at Arkham Asylum. This leaves Wayne and his cronies free to absorb any and all assets left behind.

When you find out that Thomas Wayne manufactured the mental illness that afflicted The Penguin’s mother, it becomes very easy to see why The Penguin would hold a grudge against the powers of Gotham, especially Bruce Wayne.

When it comes time to visit Mayor Hill, the player is given the choice to confront the corrupt politician as either the Dark Knight or Bruce Wayne. This option allows Telltale to tap into the dichotomy of Batman in a more successful way than the typical moments of action and intrigue. Both identities have benefits and provide options for the future.

By the end of Children of Arkham, a new generation of villains has succeeded the friends of Thomas Wayne, and — despite his light progress — Batman is still chasing answers from the past. With just three episodes to go, perhaps the greatest compliment I can give is that I have no idea what will happen next.


As I mentioned, Batman: The Telltale Series is truly streets ahead of the preceding Telltale games. Whether Batman is making decisions for a tactical take-down or engaging in a fight side-by-side with Catwoman during a barroom brawl, players will feel involved in the action and not bored by monotonous QTEs.

Potentially important decisions are also smattered throughout the game. Though it remains to be seen how well Telltale deals with the fallout from Batman’s choices, at the moment it feels great to be truly conflicted about these decisions (a feeling I’ve missed in the years since Walking Dead Season 1 & 2). And while the big decisions might standout, as the series progresses I’m hoping to see legitimate consequences or benefits to the evolving media portrayal of Batman. If the public turns on Batman (or if they support his vigilantism), there needs to be some kind of payoff.

Audio and Visual

The new engine continues to shine in both the action scenes and when Bruce is wandering around showing off his aristocratic spine. However, I did have some voice-syncing issues. A character would be blabbering away, but his face would look like a stupefied fish gasping for air. It’s hard not to giggle when your brain sees such dissonance, it unfortunately zaps the drama out of otherwise fine writing. 

Aesthetically, I have to mention that I’m a huge fan of Penguin’s realistic mask and the overall character design up through Children of Arkham.


Children of Arkham is an improvement over Episode 1 – Realm of Shadows due to tightened dialogue and absence of dull moments throughout its two-hour runtime. The story twists familiar lore on its head and leaves the audience baffled in all the best ways. If Thomas Wayne can be a villain, then it’s impossible to guess what changes are barreling toward us in Episode 3. Despite several bugs in Telltale’s new game engine, Children of Arkham furthers the dramatic tension while providing a wholly enjoyable gameplay experience.

Grade: A-
Thomas Wayne is a villain!
+ Utilization of Bruce Wayne/Batman personalities
+ Involved action sequences
Some out-of-sync voices here and there


System Requirements
OS: Windows 7 64Bit Service Pack 1
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTS 450+ with 1024MB+ VRAM (excluding GT) – LATEST DRIVERS REQUIRED
DirectX: Version 11 
Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics

Ian Sims

Ian Sims

Ian is a video game addict with no hope for recovery. He spends his days trapped inside JRPGs, platformers, and adventure games. His favorite games include the Borderlands series, The Walking Dead, Final Fantasy Tactics, Super Meat Boy, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Given his penchant for emotional games and the horror genre, he hopes Oculus is developing a VR system that is resistant to his tears.Ian graduated from The Ohio State University and now works in Wisconsin as an Implementation Consultant at a software company. He is the Editor ‘n Chef of, a millennial food website. Ian owns a Virtual Boy and hopes that someday someone will actually care.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.