Batman: The Telltale Series
Telltale Games (Duh)
Nickname: “Definitely Not Arkham Series”
I heard Telltale games were good because they told great stories. Turns out they ONLY tell stories and that definitely surprised me when I was expecting to fight enemies and collect items, you know like a video game or something.
This game tells the story of Batman AND Bruce Wayne. Bruce is working on getting Harvey Dent elected as mayor of Gotham while Batman is working to stop a new criminal organization from doing, criminal things. (No spoilers or that would literally ruin the entire game)
This story tells the tale of Batman and gives you many choices which will decide how Batman and Bruce define themselves. Others also perceive you based on your choices and will respond accordingly.
This upset me a little. Full disclosure, if you are a Batman fan and have been for years, this game may leave you upset at the obvious differences between known character traits and this version’s telling. Telltale is great at telling stories, but picking one that already exists and has a long list of re-tellings is risky. Creating new characters in the universe is a risky move that did not do it for this Bat-Fan.
Here are some differences…
Bruce Wayne– Bruce is usually such a strong willed individual with decisive actions going along with his every mannerism. That’s not what you get with this game. Even with choosing the obvious Bruce Wayne choices, he still whines about a lot, sighs with everything he says, and lets emotions get the best of him too many times to count. That is not how someone with his motivation and back-story should act. It is definitely fun to be able to experience his world though.
Catwoman– She is alright. She does however seem to stray from her criminal path sometimes and break character. She also isn’t as into cats for some reason. Usually you see her making cat puns and referencing the different felines but not here. Is she even Catwoman or just a common thief?
Vikki Vale– Vikki Vale is typically a reporter and sometimes ally to Bruce Wayne as well as love interest. You’ll see throughout the story definite similarities to this character bio but not always.
Commissioner Gordon– You do not see enough of the great Comish in this game unfortunately. Commissioner Gordon also seems so judgmental of Batman and although he needs some convincing, he typically trusts Batman a lot sooner. It took A LOT of convincing to even get him not to freak out when Batman shows up.
Alfred Pennyworth– Alfred is usually the go-to guy for everything and the most trusted person in the Batman universe. Alfred does not always seem this way unfortunately and even he is not immune to character changes.
Batman– The ONE character that is even remotely not a huge sissy is Batman. For a while he has to play it safe to gain the public’s trust but honestly he becomes the only good thing about the game in the later half. In the beginning of the game you feel the need to play it safe and make his every step careful and methodical but toward the end, EVERY OTHER INTERACTION as Bruce is unbearable. “Wahhhh this happened” *Sigh “This happened too how could it??!?” At one point you will find yourself just choosing every “Batman instead of Bruce” option.
Unfortunately with this game Telltale took the bold step of choosing already WELL established characters and just outright changing their mannerisms and character traits. Most story tellers change a character’s origin story and while they do fiddle with that here in some cases (No spoilers here!) they definitely messed with everyone’s character traits. Some games like Tales from the Borderlands seem like a safer bet because your character doesn’t already have 70+ years of history under their belt.
For those who do not know, Telltale games all involve you heavily in a story and have you choose certain outcomes and dialogues. If you are expecting to walk around and explore, choose something else. If you are expecting an above average and immersive story then this is definitely your game.
This game consists mostly of quick time dialogue choices where you must respond to prompts fast enough to prevent a catastrophe! You do this by pressing a button like you would in Fallout or any other RPG except with a timer to add tension.
Gameplay footage from Episode 1’s last fight scene ending
There are also tiny portions of the game where you may walk around only when the story allows you to and look at objects in whatever setting you may be in at the time. Nothing really to report here as most of the time, like exploring the batcave, it is just clunky and has no real purpose whatsoever.
The coolest and highly innovative part of this game is its detective scenes. Batman is the world’s greatest detective and they really do a great job of having you connect the dots (literally) in a case. You are able to walk around a scene and analyze everything a detective normally would. Then you must connect the dots in the right order to form the story of what happened. This is a great aspect of the game and the only portion where you actually felt like Batman 100%.
In some sections there are fight scenes. In these scenes there are many quick time events where you must press the right button in time to perform each step in a fighting move. This can make the fights slower and the action less intense because of all the annoying button pressing when all you want to do is watch the action unfold instead of speeding up and then slowing down in between presses.
Some fights have you form a plan of action in how you will take down the bad guys before you actually do. This was kind of cool at first but having all these choices before a fight scene made it so much less intense than it should have been. It makes sense if it took like 30 seconds but when you have to spend 3+ minutes just picking whether to bash someone’s head against a chair or a desk, it gets to be too much.
Overall this game has a great story that you really can get involved in. Other than that however, it feels more like a TV series or a movie than anything else and would probably function better as a Netflix series instead with just the detective portion being interactive. Also if you are a hardcore Batman fan who only likes the “Oldschool” bat, this game is can be a let down. Overall the story was really cool but the game gets tiring and a bit boring since you can’t walk around and whack stuff.
Pretty picture of the Batcave