This game had left me cautiously optimistic for a long time up until its release, much like a recent film featuring the Caped Crusader. Unlike said film, however, this game did not disappoint. Above all else, I gained a new outlook on the character of, not only Batman, but Bruce Wayne as well.
When it comes to graphics, the game pushes the Telltale engine beyond previously established limits. The models for the characters and city are sleek and refined, and gave a fresh new take on the world of Batman. The game does suffer from the same frame-rate slowdown as most Telltale games, but it doesn't do enough to take you out of the experience.
Storywise, the game doesn't do too much aside from establishing some main characters that you can tell will be more prominent further in the series. That being said, I really did like the portrayals of some of the characters such as Catwoman, Oswald Cobblepot, and even Batman. Troy Baker is no Kevin Conroy, but he does a good of staying true to the character while also portraying a more inexperienced version of him. To go along with that, I must mention that it is refreshing to play as a younger Batman. Without being an origin story, the game makes you feel as if you are not the only one that is having to learn things for the first time, and that really impressed me.
The game plays as most Telltale games do: through a series of quick time events, interactive conversations, and condensed exploration sections. There were a few Bruce Wayne sections that seemed to drag on too long, but beating mobsters replaced chatting with politicians and high class citizens soon enough. One new aspect of gameplay that I found to be extremely entertaining was the use of Batman’s detective vision. Every now and then I would use it to coordinate my stealthy plan of attack or to find clues and recreate a crime scene. These small opportunities were extremely immersive and I enjoyed every second of them.
The last thing that I wanted to touch on was something that has been getting some complaints lately. I’m talking about some of the conversation choices. Some have felt that a few options did not seem enough like Batman, thus ruining the portrayal. I must disagree. The game encourages you to “Be the Batman”. This means making the character whoever you think he should be, which is really what Telltale is all about. So I encourage you to play through the game and make your own story with your own Batman.
To summarize, Batman: The Telltale Series is an enjoyable experience with great voice acting and art design. It suffers from a few technical difficulties and uneventful lulls, but key gameplay moments do more than enough to make up for that. While the story is still barely forming, but it’s also important to remember that this is episode 1 of 5, and it’s off to a really great start. I know I’ll be back to resume my role as The Dark Knight in episode 2 and I hope you will as well!