First thing first, Telltale’s games is all about overwhelming feeling of consequence in games where most of your time is spent talking to people, picking things up, giving meaningful looks and often doing nothing at all. Just like the very successful franchise, The Walking Dead, the focus on how your words and actions affected characters made even the slightest interactivity in the game feel profound.
Telltale is always at their strongest when they’re making up entirely new story elements, even when they’re playing in somebody else’s world. The Walking Dead Season 1, for example, remains the studio’s perfect standard thanks to the strength of original characters like Lee and Clementine.
With all the Batman world as their sandbox, Telltale have chosen to base their game on the early history of the character. District attorney Harvey Dent is running for mayor against the corrupt incumbent Hamilton Hill. Bruce Wayne is Dent’s biggest backer and best spokesman, while mobster Carmine Falcone is complicating the whole thing with his clear desire to get his money (and his control) in on the ground floor of a new city administration.
After the slow start, the social situations you find yourself in start to take on weight and tension. The conversational gameplay, and the writing, shines most when characters are locked in battles of will with an added level of intrigue (as in a certain scene between Bruce and Selina Kyle).
After the dramatic conclusion to the third episode, the fourth hurries to a resolution of sorts before accelerating towards the showdown with the villains on the loose in Gotham.
Also, it’s also a shame that Telltale don’t evolve the gameplay over the course of the season. Ever since The Walking Dead, their games have revolved around the story and the characters, but recent games have dabbled with the occasional puzzle solving element, lightly leaning on their previous history with point & click adventures. For Batman, you have action sequences where you get to plan your route of attack with an augmented reality holographic projection from the Batcomputer, but you can’t make a wrong choice here, it just gives you a slightly different sequence to the quick time event that follows. Fun at first… but …c’mon!!!!
Similarly, it plays upon the notion that Batman is the world’s greatest detective at times, giving you crime scenes to awkwardly wander around, finding clues and then linking them together in pairs. A welcome appearance in the first episode, Telltale didn’t take the opportunity to build upon this clue linking mechanic until the final episode, and when they did, it was a stilted moment of wandering back and forth between two Batcomputer interfaces to compare clues.
- Amazing visual art style… remind me so much the animated TV series
- Great audio and great casting! It’s like watching an interactive version of the tv show!
- Interesting twists on old characters original continuity
- Just like all Telltale games, some HEAVY shaky action scene frame rate issues… almost frustrated in the final episode
- Doesn’t develop puzzling elements… or after a few, they felt very boring… or not exciting!
Rating: 8/ 10
Batman: The Telltale Series starts strongly, recreating and altering the Batman mythos in new and inventive ways, but can’t keep it up and fades towards the end of its run. Even with some issues, the series is worth checking out for fans of Batman.