I am Batman!
During this years Electronic and Entertainment Expo, I was able to sneak into the Batcave in the Telltale games booth and get a look at the up-and-coming Batman series. For those who don’t know, Telltale games puts and emphasis on storytelling and decision-making and these choices in turn moves the action along. The Batman series does the same thing. When I first saw the demo at E3, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
It felt like the action scenes weren’t going to fit with Batman. It isn’t until you get to play the game yourself and give it a test run to see if this is going to work out. The fight/action scenes work but there are minor issues like the action slowing down as well as some of the action scenes feeling forced. The same can describe playing as Batman, having to explore crime scenes and figure out what happened.
As Homer Simpson has said “Batman’s a scientist” so crime scene investigation shouldn’t seem foreign to Batman but the presentation feels forced. While exploring the crime scene, things that don’t go together and you can tell aren’t apart of the crime need to be examined and slows down the action. Not all of the action scenes are like this but it does drag the gameplay a bit.
Writing and storytelling are Telltale games bread and butter. The Batman series builds on what Telltale does so well. You get to meet billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego, Batman.
The key is seeing how Bruce balances his life as Batman with his wealthy real life Bruce Wayne. Long story short Bruce is trying to help his friend, Harvey Dent, get elected Gotham City Mayor. Mobsters and Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catwoman, try to make things difficult for Batman. It’s interesting to see how your choices in the end will affect Bruce’s life as well as the perception of Batman.
It’s also interesting to see how Batman and Lt. Gordon, not a commissioner yet, interact because Batman isn’t seen fondly in the public eye. Carmine Falcone, the mobster, looks to be a thorn in Wayne’s side and the only way to deal with him is allow Batman to have at it.
The game looks and feels like an old-school comic book. The gritty feel looks perfect for Gotham City. The writing adds to that feel by playing up Bruce Wayne as a misunderstood wealthy man that everyone wants to get to know. You get to play both sides of Batman, as I mentioned before.
Your answers will affect both Batman and Bruce Wayne. You will have to figure out if an answer sounds reasonable coming from Bruce Wayne but might paint Batman in a negative light. That sounds like the main theme of a political rally and Bruce will have to watch what he says while he tried to get Harvey Dent elected as new mayor.
I mentioned before that the action scenes feel like they slow the gameplay down. The Catwoman fight doesn’t have this problem but the first battle before Catwoman is introduced does.
The way the controls are also play into the slow-down issue. Blocking punches and aiming bat weapons could have been done better but that could be chalked up to not knowing what was coming next. What I mean by that is not knowing if a punch or kick was coming and the corresponding button to push to block.
One of my favorite features in the game thus far is the voice acting. Telltale always gets the best for their games and Batman is no different. Laura Bailey takes on the role of Selina Kyle and Catwoman in the first episode and did a great job. During her interactions with Bruce and Harvey Dent, you would think she is going out with Bruce rather than being the lady friend of Dent.
Without giving away too much, Wayne’s relationship with Selina gets interesting and complicated very quickly and could bring more to the game in later episodes! I’m not saying the rest of the cast doesn’t do a good job but looks like I’ll have to use the batarang to get out of this one!
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the series plays out but if it’s anything like episode one, everyone should look forward to the rest! I’m giving episode one of Batman the Telltale series a 9.5/10.
I am vengeance, I am the night. I am Batman!
Score: 9.5 / 10