Batman: The Telltale series is great. And I don’t know why the hell I haven’t played it sooner – I’m a big batman fan and whilst I’ve been playing this I’ve been wondering why the heck it’s taken me this long. They’ve written a unique story for this game which makes it even more interesting for me as a player, and any Batman fan. The only reason I can think it’s taken me this long is because Telltale games don’t jump out when they’re on the shelf, but even when it was a freebie with PS Plus it’s still taken me an age to actually install it and play it.
Anyways I’ve now gotten through most of it (About to finish episode 4), and I can honestly say that this is a game I’d recommend to anyone, especially Batman / Comic fans – Without getting too spoilery, the story starts where Batman is already established (You have a Batcave and a relationship with Gordon), but his enemies have all just begun their progression into evil (Penguin isn’t yet evil, and Harvey Dent is still running for mayor, Catwoman is also introduced in the first episode). Bruce discovers that his parents could be wrapped up in the crime families such as the Falcones, leading to him theorising that the source of his wealth is from a life of crime – On-top of this, you also have Lady Arkham and the ‘Children of Arkham’ terrorising the city, leading to a fairly meaty situation for the caped crusader to defuse!
There are 2 big sides to this game, playing as Bruce and playing as Batman. There are a few big moments where you can choose to tackle a situation as Bruce (Trying to smooth talk with charisma) or as Batman (Using brute force); this element makes the game interesting, as you really get a feel of what it’s like to be Bruce Wayne, especially when you’re being accused by Gotham for being mixed up in crime. It’s actually the most I’ve felt in a video game exactly how hard being Batman actually is, and you have to make a lot of tough calls, and make a few mistakes. It’s certainly a far cry from the power fantasies of old.
As with all Telltale games, it focuses heavily on the story and the relationships in it. The main ones to worry about are Harvey Dent (Attempting to prevent him from becoming Two-Face), Selina Kyle (Protecting her), Gordon (Keeping on his good side), Alfred (Keeping him close, as anyone should), and many more smaller relationships. You’ll find decisions you make to benefit one person will affect another in a negative way. This makes the dialogue and choices very difficult at times, and very interesting. As I personally know lots about the characters in the game and in my head, I have a certain way I want it to go, making the story intense in my own personal dream story (FYI it’s hard to save Harvey).
Next we come to the combat; again it’s quite enjoyable for a game which doesn’t have an open world or action vibe. Most of the combat is left to QTE commands, but when you pull it off it’s goddamn cool; there’s a particular bar fight with Selina Kyle and a backing sound track that was just really damn awesome that helped amplify each QTE for the maximum effect. There are also other scenes where you have to plan your attack within a room and watch it play out, which is pretty satisfying and gives you a great sense of control.
As all good Batman games should have, there’s an element of being the world’s greatest detective. You’re given a crime scene to investigate and have to discover how these people died, or what the enigmatic Lady Arkham’s plan is – You can explore lots of different elements and then link two parts of information together (E.G. a bullet to man’s head), and once all of the elements are married up you’ll get a little cutscene, generally where lots of people die. You also use the computer in the Batcave to investigate certain drugs, DNA, etc, but it’s not tricky. A lot of the detective elements are essentially simple puzzle solving but are still very enjoyable.
Now similar to Telltale’s other titles, it’s not perfect. At any time it can be glitchy and cut out and pretty much any fight scene does go smoothly (Taking away from the badass feel and sense of danger). It just kind of pauses and randomly freezes, and the mouth movements don’t always match up with what’s being said. It’s a shame they can’t just improve the graphics and glitches a little because it takes away from a really well written story and multiple choice game. It’s not awful by any means but within a game that’s not exactly huge you do think they could do better with the simple things, and the graphics aren’t exactly next level.
The story is where this game shines for sure, you’re pulled into many different elements of Bruce Wayne’s and Batman’s universe, and all areas of Gotham. It’s great for me, and anyone who wants to explore this world. For me there’s not anything they get wrong in terms of the characters or relationships and it’s made me want to play it through it again to see how different decisions can affect things – I will without a doubt be getting the second season after finishing this and it’s made me want to go back and play the Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale games.
It’s an easy to play game that you can almost have on in the background; you don’t need to be prepared for an epic play session or to use your brain too much to play this game… The story is very enjoyable without having to think too much about it and this has been a good game for me to put on for a few hours between each Kingdom Hearts session. I just wish it had an extra layer of polish and it would’ve sealed the deal for me.
I give this game a: