Batman first appeared in 1939, and there have been so many stories about the caped crusade since. Now, TellTale is offering their take on the Dark Knight complete with their impactful decision engine and 3D comic book art style. Batman – The Telltale Series is a new five part original series with the familiar aspects of Batman, Bruce Wayne, Gotham City, Harvey Dent, Oswald Cobblepot, Selina Kyle, Vicki Vale, James Gordon, and more. Episode one is now available which offers about two hours of gameplay.
The story of Bruce Wayne as Batman is practically common knowledge, but the decisions that he faces are often witnessed. Telltale’s version lets you decide how aggressive to be as Batman, or conniving to be as Bruce Wayne. It’s a different approach to reading a comic book or watching a movie, and that allows the developers to really go into the psyche of Bruce Wayne. Telltale’s version really emphasizes what life is like for Bruce Wayne, and the dilemmas he can encounter. The game really establishes two distinct personas, and you get to play as both. Telltale continues to make compelling stories with decisions that will truly leave you questioning what to pick. The Batman connection offers a wide appeal and common knowledge, and the decisions are even more resonant with the understanding of the universe.
A lot of the most vital decisions in Batman – The Telltale Series are as Bruce Wayne and how he interacts with the other characters you know. With that said, there’s still a lot of time to play as Batman, and use his various abilities and gadgets. Telltale is building more and more action sequences into their games, and Batman has the most action yet. You get to fully fight bad guys with timely swipes, taps, and double taps. You also get to play detective as Batman, exploring crime scenes, and linking together evidence. It’s a neat system that is also implemented in planning out an attack targeting enemies, and ways to take them out in the most efficient manner. The game offers the full Batman experience to the point that you get to decide how to integrate someone, and if you should finish someone off or leave them for the police.
Batman – The Telltale Series does a great job of establishing Gotham City with corruption to limit who you can trust. Many of your decisions will be of poor choices, or of the ides in your own head of how to present Bruce Wayne or Batman within the context of the city that’s created. It all adds up to an immersive expereince that is great to partake in. The only real drawback is that it’s such a resource intensive game, it can struggle from time to time in execution. I was running the game on an iPad Air 2, and while it’s not Apple’s newest device it’s quite powerful. There are significant load times that can blend into unmatched voice work and character’s lips. Also, it’s unclear if the game picks up on your interaction in quick action scenes. You also need to be deliberate in other sequences to scroll through the bat computer, or open gates. There are distinct hiccups that you can look past, but that can still take away from the game, and take you out of the overall experience.
Batman – The Telltale Series ($4.99, Universal) delivers a great Batman expereince that will leave you anxiously anticipating the next episode.