Telltale shocked the world earlier this year when they announced that they were making a Batman game. Previously all of Batman’s outings have been full of action so naturally fans were excited to see how well Batman would fit in the Telltale mould. Does Batman: The Telltale Series impress with its series premier “Realm of Shadows”? Read on to find out.
The story of the game is a fresh take on the Batman mythos and isn’t based on any comic or other source material. First of all this is great because it gives Telltale the freedom to do whatever they want, a right they deserve after their work on other IPs. Secondly watching or playing the same story gets boring after a while, like how many times have we seen Batman’s origin by now? Thankfully Telltale quickly goes over the introduction quickly and gets right down to business.
The game starts with players taking control of Batman as investigates a break in at City Hall. This version of Batman has been at work for a couple of years and is not a beginner. Shortly after things mellow down as you suit up for a fundraiser. Without spoiling anything playing through the Bruce Wayne parts was much more fun than playing Batman. This is the first real Batman game where we actually play as a notable portion as the Wayne family heir himself and its great.
Playing through “Real of Shadows” reminded a lot of The Wolf Among Us. The events have the player question established characters and wonder if they’re really what they seem to be. There’s a lot of mystery involved that’ll be slowly uncovered in the coming episodes but the premise is intriguing. However we could have gone without Alfred’s constant nagging about Bruce putting his life in danger as well as flashbacks and constant mentions of how his parents died.
Although most of the action scenes are played via QTA sequences, the detective portions are much more fun. Towards the later half of the episode Batman will be tasked to find the source of an explosion and how the game has the player recreate events was done splendidly.
Troy Baker as Batman delivers an amazing performance although he makes a better Bruce Wayne than Batman. We’ve all spoiled by Kevin Conroy for all these years so its not Troy’s fault, all praises to him. Rest of the Batman regulars including Lt. Jim Gordon, Vicky Vale, Alfred Pennyworth, Harvey Dent and Celina Kyle make appearances among others.
Batman: The Telltale Series is built on Telltale’s brand new engine that promises better performance and greater visual fidelity. The game certainly looks amazing but unfortunately the occasional frame rate dips we’ve all accustomed to are still present. There’s also the annoying black bars at the top and bottom which I personally despise but some developers add for that “cinematic feel”. Telltale could have done a bit better with the character designs as seeing Harvey Dent being built like a body builder was just weird.
The series introduces a brand new feature called “Crowd Play” which you can expect to be incorporated into future projects from the company. Through Crowd Play viewers can participate in the decision making process through communicating with the Telltale website. Players through Crowd Play can enable viewers to help in making the tough choices and making the playthrough a joint efforts. Personally I never used the feature but I can see it becoming really popular with YouTube and Twitch streamers.
Batman: The Telltale Series has started off quite well with the story taking an unprecedented turn at the end. The original story and Telltale’s take on Batman will be fun to see unfold and I can’t wait for the next episode.
Batman: The Telltale Series is developed and Published by Telltale Games and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. This review is based on the Playstation 4 version of the game.
Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 “Realm of Shadows” Review (PS4)
Game description: Batman: The Telltale Series is a point and click Adventure game that consists of 5 episodes. The first episode titled "Realm of Shadows" introduces players to Telltale's take on the caped crusader as he investigates the latest mystery affecting Gotham. The game introduces Telltale's new engine as well as new features including "Crowd Play". For long time fans this game should be a treat as it allows them to experience a different style of Batman that focuses more on detective work instead of action. Batman: The Telltale series will also have players play significant portions of the game as Bruce Wayne. Release platforms for the game are PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Mac OS.
Batman: The Telltale Series is a captivating adventure game that highlights a different side of Batman. The new take on the Caped Crusader is much welcomed as Telltale's original story makes its impressive debut in the first episode titled "Realm of Shadows".