I have to admit, despite Telltale’s superb ability to tell tightly-woven storylines guided by player choice, I’ve found it hard to stick to the end of any given set of episodes. With the introduction of Batman that’s all changed, and after finishing the first episode I’m eagerly anticipating the rest of the story.
Rocksteady’s Arkham series presented some of the most engaging Batman games to date, yet Telltale’s laser focus on the duality of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego is a fresh and riveting experience. The tale of Bruce Wayne and his crime fighting mission is one I’m especially familiar with, but Telltale managed to surprise and engage me in a multitude of different ways.
This story takes place at a time when Gotham is still in the pits, and its police force aren’t particularly fond of the Bat. He’s still a bit of a myth, a sleuth under the cover of darkness. It’s the beginning of Bruce’s career as the caped crusader, and as such, many villains and sidekicks are yet to be established.
Without giving too many spoilers away, the villain known as Oswald Cobblepot is actually an old friend of Bruce in this adaptation, and he has many steps to take before becoming the notorious crime lord known as the Penguin. It’s a change such as this that makes Telltale’s storytelling all the more exciting.
For a world I thought I knew inside and out, here I’m learning a different take on its characters and integral plot points. It’s a story I’m not entirely familiar with, and it’s keeping me on the edge of my seat. That being said, it’s clear that Telltale are also using many parts of Batman’s 75 year history; the clever script and elegant art design clearly prove this is a passion project for the studio.
At the heart of this Batman adventure Telltale’s usual gameplay formula returns; a myriad of quicktime button presses, followed swiftly by time-sensitive dialogue trees and some top notch writing. In terms of looks, the plunge into Gotham marks the first major improvement Telltale has made to its long-gestating graphics engine, introducing a new lick of paint and seemingly getting to grips with previous niggles; my concurrent issue with lip syncing in every other series seems to have disappeared, for now.
Telltale’s Batman series has me pumped for more. Being able to craft my own persona of Batman and Bruce Wayne via Telltale’s signature dialogue trees, means I don’t always have to be the nice guy. This is a Gotham City that features graphic violence and gore, combined with strong language. It’s a story built for the fans that grew up with Batman, who deserve an adult interpretation of a character they know and love.