Home Game Reviews Batman: The Telltale Series – Crafting Your Batman

Batman: The Telltale Series – Crafting Your Batman

Batman Telltale Series Review

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Batman Telltale Series Feature picture
Batman Telltale Series

Title: Batman: The Telltale Series
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Released: August 2, 2016
Platforms Available: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Article Reading Time: 7 minutes

Into Gotham Dark One

A lengthy introduction of Batman is surely completely unnecessary, as is the team of developers behind this licensed game – Telltale Games. Anyone who plays or reads about games knows roughly what’s happening here. Batman is one of the most popular superheroes ever, despite having no superpowers and quite often being more annoying than interesting with his unrelenting principled nature, but that’s mostly up to the audience or readers and writers who write a particular Batman story.

Telltale’s Storytelling

Fortunately, it’s Telltale’s games that let the players write and develop the story, so maybe it’s a good thing that the game was made this way, because you can (if you want to) play as Batman without the lame bullshit about justice. I have to say that as a fan of Telltale games, I have almost no problem actually calling them games, though there are certainly many people who might object. But here we have great point-and-click episodic adventure and no way around it. Telltale developers succeeded in writing great stories and game in their episodic Batman series.

A Fresh Start for Bruce Wayne

As usual, we start off pretty much at ground zero, with Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, not being resigned to the death of his parents, having no super-enemies or chasing after Catwoman, all of which is still a thing of the future. A pretty standard Batman tale in the beginning as we know it, which you have to wade through every time someone decides to tell the Batman story with a nice clean slate. However, the writers in this case know how to avoid tired clichés and try to change up the classic themes, polish them up and give them a little personality and their own point of view.

Villains and Twists

It is pleasing just the fact that the number one villain here is not the overly-maligned Joker, but the often-neglected Penguin and Lady Arkham. At the beginning of our story, both Bruce Wayne and Batman are trying to do their best for their beloved Gotham, but soon all the plans start to fall apart like a house of cards, and at the speed of sound too. Discriminatory information about Wayne’s family and ill-gotten family fortune, as well as connections to the local mafia, begin to leak out. Batman, in turn, has problems with a sect of madmen called the Children of Arkham terrorizing the city, and also with the public seeing him as a sadistic madman due to his not-so-subtle treatment of the local crime gang. And that’s just the beginning of all the trouble. one wonders if Bruce would rather not hang himself over it.

Great Atmosphere

I don’t want to give away more of the story, because that’s what the game is all about and without surprises, the game wouldn’t be much fun. Telltale has managed to evoke the right dark, bleak atmosphere and there’s really no shortage of dramatic scenes. Bad luck sticks to Bruce’s heels more than the girls do to his money, and you’ll often have to make some really difficult choices for him. These (as is normal with the Telltale Series) have a major impact on the future development of the story, so look forward to your daily dose of dilemmas. The action sequences are handled by sequential cutscenes, where you have to press the appropriate button or combination of buttons at the right moment, or point the cursor somewhere and the hero will then punch someone or throw a table at them. Unlike fighting games like God of War, the window for hitting the right key is huge and as long as you don’t have six beers before playing you’ll be fine. It’s definitely more difficult to make timely decisions in conversations than in battles.

Interactions and Choices

From time to time the player can even play detective and try to decipher what actually happened at the scene. In practice, this means taking a look around the area, examining the various points of interest (i.e. places that allow for some sort of action) and then trying to connect the dots to create a web of connections. It’s nothing particularly revelatory and won’t tax most of your brain cells, but it works well as a mini-game and I welcome any activity in the case of a Telltale game with open arms. Because there aren’t many of those in the game. How much you mind depends on how much you like Telltale games or how much you can immerse yourself in the story.

Detective Work and Mini-Games

The detective work in Batman: The Telltale Series offers a refreshing break from the action sequences. Players can examine crime scenes, gather clues, and piece together events in a manner that feels authentic to the character of Batman. These segments, though not overly challenging, add a layer of immersion and make you feel like the world’s greatest detective. Additionally, mini-games sprinkled throughout the episodes provide a fun diversion and keep the gameplay varied.

Impressions

I find the game hard to rate overall, just as I find all Telltale games hard to rate. On the one hand, the gameplay principles are still more or less the same as their previous efforts, and the game doesn’t really offer too much content or game time because you can do the whole thing in a weekend just fine. On the other hand, it offers a great Batman-esque story that manages to draw the player in with the power of the black hole, great dubbing by Troy Baker (Bioshock, The Last of Us, Far Cry 4…) and it doesn’t cost much money (especially if you buy it on sale). From time to time some technical glitch appears, but fortunately it’s nothing serious. So the final rating is more up to the player, and it’s just a matter of how much you like/dislike Telltale’s style and how much you like Batman. If you answer yes to at least one question, I recommend giving the game a try, I ended up having a surprising amount of fun.

Buy Batman: Telltale Series

  1. Steam (PC, Mac): Available for $14.99 currently on discount for $7.49. Purchase the game directly from Steam
  2. Microsoft Store (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC): The complete season costs $14.99. You can buy it from the Microsoft Store or play for free with your subscription
  3. PlayStation Store (PS4): The Season Pass, including all five episodes, is available for $29.99 or discount for PlayStation Plus members. Check it out on the PlayStation Store

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