Telltale is officially that iconic publisher known for their unique concepts when delivering stories from The Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, Minecraft: Story Mode and more. This time the team makes their way to Gotham City with the face that owns the place Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Telltale Series. Batman is to be delivered in a five part series, this being episode one “Realm of Shadows.”
Realm of Shadows begins in City Hall where the robbers are truly showing no mercy, shooting the first guard they see at point blank as they head to the 52nd floor for an undisclosed item of interest. Jim Gordon makes it while the crooks are in motion but the villains are two steps ahead, keeping the GCPD at bay. Luckily the protector of Gotham made his way to city hall as well. The face of fear however is seen as a vigilante, not a crime fighter.
The game immediately spins back to Bruce Wayne who’s in pain, a side we’ve never seen before in any Batman title, the man behind the mask. Glass penetrating, cuts needing stitches, Bruce struggles to maintain his level of protection night after night. Graciously his butler Alfred cares for his wounds and gets him back in fight, at least as much as he can.
Episode one character development evolve around Catwoman, Alfred protecting you and more. When playing as Bruce, it feels more political as it begins with you supporting Harvey Dent running for Mayor, advising him on campaign ads and social events. It also draws in Falcone, biggest crime boss in Gotham. And without spoiling anything the story gets better from here.
The combat system is a bit more fast-paced in comparison to previous Telltale games requiring quicker reactions for QTE’s and an implementation of a 2-button combination for certain evasive techniques and special moves. Language is just as strong as the violence, which is just fine to set the tone of Telltale’s latest game, but stretching the rating specifically for the mature audience.
Before starting episode one you have the choice of changing the look of Batman’s Bat-Tech (gadgets and gear) choosing from blue, red, yellow and purple. Doesn’t do much but is a bit refreshing to have more options. The game in all keep the same look and feel of other Telltale games we’ve come to play and love.
Telltale introduces for the first time ever Crowd Play. Rather than one player making all of the key decisions they are all voted upon, ultimately deciding on every action and reaction made by Bruce and the Dark Knight.
While on choices, in Batman, choices will definitely help or hurt you throughout each episodic adventure. Unlike other games created by the developer, Batman does not offer multiple saves. Instead there is one continuation for the campaign. I personally found myself repeating the first chapter more than once because my ending caught me by surprised based on a decision I made mid-game.
Episode one’s biggest issue I’ve come across is a few of the QTE that I didn’t complete didn’t show consequences. I’m not sure if it’s because they came across the screen quicker than most but as much as I am happy I didn’t take heat for it.