Reel Geek Review: Batman from Telltale Games Episode 1

telltale-batman

I’ve been a huge fan of Telltale Games output since they dropped the first episode of their game set in the world of The Walking Dead comic book a few years ago for free, then I went back and played the whole game and was just sucked into that world.    And as far as being a Batman fan, well that goes back years to the time when Scooby Doo and the gang met Batman and Robin, so I’m no Robin come lately to the Dark Knight either, so I know what I’m talking about when I say that this is one of the best explorations of the character in any medium.   Not to discount the Arkham series, which was phenomenal (I even liked the non Rocksteady produced Arkham Origins, mainly for the inclusion of The Joker, and the performance that Troy Baker did there, whom here takes his turn in the opposite side of that coin as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

If you haven’t played one of their games before, it’s not your typical video game.  It’s similar to the old point and click adventure games such as Maniac Mansion or Sam and Max that were popular on PC’s in the 1990s,  it’s story driven, and you choose the dialogue your character says at integral times in the game, and the choices you make affect how the story plays out, who lives, who dies, who tells your story in some cases, to quote the Hamilton soundtrack.

In previous Batman games we’ve felt what it’s like to be Batman as being badass Batman, and we get that here too, but we also get the sense even moreso of being Batman as a person, as the focus is on Bruce Wayne here, both in and out of the suit.    It’s set early on in Batman’s career, like around his second year on the job or so, and Harvey Dent (Travis Willingham) is running for Mayor opposite the corrupt present mayor Hamilton Hill.  And there are also this Batman’s first encounter with Catwoman (Laura Bailey) and perennial early career Batman foe mobster Carmine Falcone (Richard Mcgonagle).  I don’t want to spoil too much of the story as that’s what the game is built up around, but it’s an intriguing take.

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One of the aspects I loved most about the gameplay is with the different dialogue options you can play Batman/Bruce Wayne however you like,  whether you want to be the dark and violent Dark Knight style Batman, or if you want to be the more superheroic Batman, the choice is yours.  I myself like to mix the two up a bit throughout the game, as I’m playing it like he’s still early on in his career, so there’s no Robin yet to lighten his mood up just yet.  And much like Christian Bale’s take on the character in the Nolan movies, you really get the sense of the character that millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is the real mask, and Batman is his true self.

The graphics are the same cel shaded graphics that we’ve gotten in previous games, that really feel as though you’re playing a comic book come to life, and the game play is fast and fun as well, with a few quick time events in the action scenes which never feel overplayed or distracting from the game itself, which is nice.

It’s only the first episode, but I’m already hooked and waiting to see how the rest of the series plays out.   And if you haven’t played any of the other games yet I highly reccomend you do so, especially The Walking Dead games and The Wolf Among Us (their take on the amazing graphic novel series, Fables) .    Til next time, be sure to keep it Reel.  ***** Five out of five stars.

 

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