Batman The Telltale Series finally wrapped up on December 13th and it was quite an interesting ride to say the least. While most of Telltale’s games have a dark or foreboding theme throughout, this story painted Batman’s world in the true light the series was always meant to be. What differentiates this game from Rocksteady’s 3D outings however is its heart and is exactly why this may just be the best Batman game to date.
The game kicks off with a bang as it immediately tells you that there are no kid gloves this time around. Instead, it employs the use of a shotgun to a security guard’s face to relay to the player that it means business. As you continue onward, the game unfolds in a way you’d probably expect. Some thieves are trying to rob city hall of its treasures and only you as Batman can put a stop to them. Similar to Tales from the Borderlands, a lot of the combat rotates around QTE sequences that have Batman throwing mean right hooks, punishing uppercuts, and other signature techniques from the Dark Knight’s repertoire. While the controls during combat are rather simplistic, it does add to the narrative experience as the bat moves and sways just like you always dreamed he would.
The narrative pushes itself beyond anything you would expect from Batman onscreen as not many stories have delved past the PG-13 moniker to really shed light on the dark underbelly of Gotham. There are points throughout the whole five episode run where Bruce is faced with the mafia or other criminals and the player is asked what crime really means. Is a man who serves up Justice every night with a bat mask on really in the right or is he just as twisted and corrupt as Falcone and his gang of thugs? These decisions form the core of the gaming experience and make you feel for every single character introduced.
As a nod to Batman fans in general, Batman the Telltale Series brings a full cast of characters into play including Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and even Vicki Vale. Although they all have their own amount of screen time during the eight or so hour long adventure, each feels relatively fleshed out and necessary for this rendition of Gotham. From the villains to the NPCs, Gotham is truly the main character of the story as it goes through more of an arc than any single character. From the beginning onward, the city itself will dramatically change and the tensions of the citizens within actually form an incredibly deep layer of realism that Telltale hasn’t achieved until now.
Batman The Telltale Series is an amazing experience and season 1 really sets itself up for future season additions. The choice between doing things mostly as Batman or Bruce coupled with the ability to choose between being more of a douche-bag or a compassionate soul give that old Telltale heart stopping feel that the developers are known for. The only major issue I can point out during my playtime was the odd frame-rate dips and bugs that made the experience a little less than perfect.
Primarily, the problems rose during the “last time on” openings and randomly during some of the crime scene investigation sequences that have you piecing evidence together by linking one item to another. During these sections, if you’re lucky, you won’t notice any issues at all but during my time with the game, I encountered a number of surprisingly annoying bugs. The first was a bug that synced the voices from the onscreen choices, so by the time something would pop up on screen, the audio was lagging behind so badly that I had to make a blind guess to the answer or risk remaining quiet. Even further on, during the bridge between episode 4 and 5, it appeared that the syncing server faced an issue and my cloud save could not be synced. Immediately I panicked but after a quick reset, I had no issues reclaiming exactly what I needed for the experience but I was no longer able to use Telltale’s cloud save functions.
These minor grievances aside, it’ll be hard fought to find a better narrative experience that puts you into the world’s greatest detective’s shoes and actually makes you want to stay in them.
That’s why I’m giving Batman The Telltale Series Season 1 a Joker had BETTER be in the sequel, out of 10.
PROS: Smooth combat through QTE, Strong Narrative and characters, good dynamic choice between Batman and Bruce.
CONS: frame rate dips & other bugs at the worst times, often no “right choice” for a situation leading to answering opposite how you actually want to play
Andron (or Ace as he likes to call himself) is the so called "Head Honcho" of Bombchu.com. He has a deep passion for video games primarily RPGs, Fighting or Adventure. When not gaming, he's furiously typing on his keyboard or coming up with new schemes.