Batman_FinalLogo_1920x1080

Console:  PlayStation 4

Pros

*  Telltale games are awesome and this one is no exception

*  Explores the difficult choices of both Bruce Wayne and Batman

*  Excellent narrative and innovative action elements keep this episode very entertaining

Cons

* While I thoroughly enjoyed the emphasis on Bruce Wayne, I felt the Dark Knight’s segments weren’t nearly as engaging

* Waiting for episode 2

—————-

If you are a fan of Batman and a fellow gamer there is no doubt that you have at least played one of Rocksteady’s excellent Arkham games in recent years and you will also either know or have heard how amazing they are.  While various other heroes and franchises have struggled to get a proper video game treatment, Batman has actually been treated really well with many successful titles over the years.  Whether you are ripping down the streets of Gotham in the Batmobile (Arkham Knight) or enjoying seeing the DC universe represented in block form (Lego Batman Series) there has long been many terrific moments as the caped crusader.  So many of these moments have been excellent and extremely rewarding however it seems like Batman always gets the glory, not Bruce Wayne.

This is right where Telltale comes in with Batman: The Telltale Series.  While you do don the cape and cowl regularly this series is much more about Bruce Wayne and the struggles he faces balancing being a philanthropist and the responsibility of carrying Gotham City on his shoulders.  As a player you are forced to constantly make difficult decisions and manage relationships while trying to keep Gotham on your side.  I found this approach to be extremely exciting and thought to myself, finally we will be able to make those difficult decisions that we have only seen played out in front of us before now.

I had no doubt Telltale was up to the task, but you never really know do you?  Let’s see how they did…

Presentation:   A+

I have always loved the look of Telltale games as they tend to capture the essence of comic book style through cell shading and animation.  This release is no exception as the presentation of this Batman title is nothing short of excellent.  The Dark Knight looks as intimidating as he should be, this iteration of the Batmobile is something to be envious of, and all of the supporting cast are brought to life through outstanding voice talent and character design.

While the animation is sharp, I always find the audio the most important of Telltale games due to the importance of the story and character elements.  The cast in episode 1 has done an incredible job of portraying the personalities of these iconic members of the Batman universe.  I do find however that every time Batman switches on his voice modulation I am bit thrown off.  It’s not that the voice is bad, I just think there could have been a bit of a different approach.  This to me isn’t what Batman sounds like…  While I had this gripe momentarily it is never really a huge deal and I still find Batman’s presence to be very well done.

With crisp graphics and animation, excellent voice talents, and the usually slick interfaces of Telltale games Batman: The Telltale Series is most certainly solid on the surface.

Single Player: A+

Sure the game looks and sound great, but is it worth the play through?  Absolutely!  The driving force of any TT game is the exceptional story and in this entry you will take the helm of Wayne Manor.  I find this to be severely refreshing as you will be faced with working with Harvey Dent as he runs for Mayor, rubbing shoulders with Falcone, and even playing a game of cat and mouse (or bat) with both Catwoman and Selina Kyle.  You will have to make snap decisions in front of Wayne Manor guests, a group of mouth watering Press and fend off the concerned judgments of everyone’s favorite butler.  Balancing all of these relationships and maintaining the positive image that the Wayne family projects on Gotham is already proving to be a challenge.  I absolutely can’t wait to see what is in store for future episodes.

If you have played any of the previous Telltale games you will know exactly what to suspect, but if not you are in for a real treat.  Just to cover things quickly, I focus on bragging about the story elements simply because that’s the beauty of any Telltale title.  While some would use the term “Quicktime Event”, I prefer to refer to their games as interactive movies.  Honestly though, if you only refer to them by either of those terms you are doing these games a severe injustice.  This is simply watching events unfold and hitting a few buttons along the way, you are a part of the story and your choices during both action scenes and conversation make a real difference.

The interaction doesn’t stop there as you will plan Batman’s attacks on facilities and piece together crime scenes putting the Dark Knight’s detective skills to work.  There is plenty of variety here to keep things entertaining throughout the duration of Episode 1.  You will even get a chance to use the Batcomputer to keep up to date on events and get background information on all the characters.

Replay Value: B

I can’t really give the replay value a huge boost because once you play through an episode you are just simply ready the next one.  It doesn’t mean however you can’t play through the story more than once and see how much differently things turn out.  In fact, I actually do keep my other Telltale games around and revisit them from time to time.

Regardless Batman:  The Telltale Series Episode 1 is a solid first glimpse into this brand new Batman universe.  I am relieved we are getting a fresh approach to Bruce’s world and experience his struggles first hand.  Again I loved this Episode and I can’t wait to see what TT has in store for us in future episodes.  I feel any future events have been setup perfectly and as I reached the end of this Episode things are already starting to look pretty tricky for our favorite millionaire playboy.

Overall: A+

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