Batman: The Telltale Series is a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ title, which saw both its publication and development through Telltale Games.
Now first of all, if you’ve taken part at all in any of TellTale’s previous titles, all of which resemble Batman‘s ‘point-and-click’ style, then you will already have a general idea as to what you should expect moving forward; especially since very little has changed from the likes of its previous hits The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, the latter of which also fell under the DC Comics’ banner.
However, it is safe to say that what did change, most notably the combat system, actually managed to make a significant enough splash that it easily separated itself from either of its lofty predecessors. More specifically, there are now two distinct versions of the combat system players will take part in; the first, and most common of which is quick-time oriented, while the latter focuses more on the how side of Batman’s strategic movement. The best example of this, of course, comes towards the episode’s climax when Batman quickly dispatches an entire room full of guards. However, each guard presents you two distinct options of attack, both of which will alter his pathway throughout the room.
Even more impressive, however, was the game’s rather unique implementation of Batman‘s detective work. This, of course, was done through the use of a very minor yet altogether significant crime-scene, in which players are tasked with piecing together what ultimately transpired through the use of several easy to find clues. While the puzzle itself was far from difficult to solve, it did, however, allow for a very fun look into the mind of the World’s Greatest Detective.
The art? Well, the art is about as graphically impressive as any of TellTale’s other titles so far; a subtle mixture of comic book detail and dingy colouring that will leave players feeling like a true member of Gotham’s often ugly streets. Needless to say, the game easily shows off TellTale’s graphical capabilities, specifically when it comes to the game’s several pristinely choreographed action scenes.
Equally as impressive, however, is the game’s very cerebral use of music. More specifically, TellTale manages to infuse nearly every scene with the same level of intensity found within director Christopher Nolan’s highly popular Dark Knight Trilogy. However, while the game doesn’t specifically boast a soundtrack created by the legendary Hans Zimmer himself, it does seem to draw quite a significant level of influence from his work, the majority of which is beautifully mixed with a rather chilling alteration to the equally popular sounds of the Batman Animated Series of the 1990’s.
Of course, as always, TellTale’s real brilliance truly shone through the episode’s superbly written narrative; one that not only allowed players to control the infamous Caped Crusader but the man beneath the cowl as well. However, by doing this, TellTale utterly eliminates any of the mental or emotional barriers the well-known protagonist often creates within his comic-based world. Therefore, it is through this brand-new opening that we are able to not only understand but create much of the reasoning and thought that brings a man of Bruce Wayne’s stature into the boots of such a renowned hero.
Unfortunately, the game’s one minor downfall comes from its serious lack of interesting achievements, something TellTale’s several other series have done very well in the past. Nevertheless, the list for Batman appears to be overly simplistic, limiting its 30 achievements to that of rewards given out for simply completing each individual chapter of the game.
Our Verdict on Batman: The TellTale Series Episode 1:
Needless to say, TellTale Games have once again not only adapted a highly popular franchise into their own form of storytelling, they completely re-invented it. From its beautifully written, atmosphere-inducing soundtrack to its dimly coloUred, comic-style art, Batman: The TellTale Series delivers a very impactful punch in every single way you could think of - both aesthetically and narratively.