Overall - 80%
While there were a couple key choices throughout the episode, the game played mostly like an overarching story with different dialogue options. With what appears like 4 more episodes, we have yet to see any real game changing plot options but I still think there is plenty of time and this was an incredible start.
Telltale doesn’t know how to make a bad story game. Seriously. Ever since The Walking Dead Game, they have released one pleasure after another and Batman – The Telltale Series is no different.
Batman – The Telltale Series Episode One Review
I remember a time when Batman games didn’t hold the luster or metacritic that current Batman games hold. In fact growing up games like Batman Forever on Genesis or Batman and Robin on PSX respectively, barely hit 5/10 or better. With Rocksteady averaging an astounding 91.3% across their Batman trilogy, its needless to say that anyone following up a game with our Caped Crusader has big shoes to fill. And let me tell you, Batman The Telltale Series Episode One “Realm of Shadows” does just that.
Can I just say how much I loved the intro to this game. It was so classy to see the hand drawn comic book variant from Batmans past featuring various incarnations in different times (and suits!) even going all the way back to Detective Comics Number 27, the first Batman Comic. It felt like a great nod to the source material and as a fan made me appreciate that Telltale took the time to say it first. Making first impressions only continues with a BANG once you start the game, as you are dropped right into the action of a Burglary in progress and let me just say playing as Batman starts off pretty friggin fun actually. Sure its simple Up, Down or A, B but after a little bit their are combinations of A and Right or moving a reticle and clicking Right Trigger to complete an action during the fight. It really felt like playing a Batman Cartoon complete with the taking down of Catwoman in a fight where neither of them pull their punches.
Where this game may stumble just a little bit is in its small talk. Only occurring for maybe 30 to 45 minutes of the total 2 Hour and 30 minute playtime, small talk was kind of boring with what felt like a few characters just adding to back story or to set up future content. Oswald Cobblepot makes a small appearance as Bruces childhood friend only to hint at tidbits for future episodes while Bruce mixes it up with Harvey Dent on an election campaign. It played like plot fill at this point since we only have episode one to play right now and its all foreshadowing. On the other hand one of the more memorable sequences took place between unmasked Catwoman/Selina Kyle and a similarly unmasked Batmam/Bruce Wayne. Somehow these two characters always mix up the pot with their sexual tension and mental chess and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
The central theme of Episode One follows a fairly straight forward plot line of Corruption and Gothams #1 Crime Lord Carmine Falcone. I think ever since Batman Begins Carmine Falcone is the first fall guy go to, so it should be pretty obvious what direction this was taking. What made it cool was how they employed it. Utilizing Selina Kyle as the source of info on a buyer of illegal goods, Batman is able to Investigate a crime scene in order to produce evidence and leads towards taking down Falcone. Here Telltale has Batman play the Detective by linking clues to piece the story together. Once you actually link different clues to their correct corresponding story point, Batman is able to piece together what happens and move the plot forward. I found it fun and I really liked how they actually have Batman the Detective in the game. It wasn’t anything where you could effect the outcome of anything but it was satisfying.
Without Spoiling the end, Batman – The Telltale Series Episode One has you put everything you’ve learned into a final conflict with Falcone. Utilizing the same Clue Linking mechanic learned previously, Batman puts together a plan of attack that is really fun to setup and then play. It felt like playing what Guy Ritchie did with Sherlock Holmes where he visualized the attack then employed it, only here you get to choose how you attack and then actually get to do it. The results led to a very satisfying Batman scene that flows straight into the final conflict. Not gonna lie, I kinda want to play just the Batman parts again to see the different play style choices.
While there were a couple key choices throughout the episode, the game played mostly like an overarching story with different dialogue options. With what appears like 4 more episodes, we have yet to see any real game changing plot options but I still think there is plenty of time and this was an incredible start. What it truly needed was more of that friggin Batmobile. Seriously, How cool was the Batmobile Lambo? The thing friggin went from Red to Black with camouflage tech then Armored up while also opening the back for jets. LAMBO BATMOBILE GG Telltale. Click HERE to see the GIF