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Review: Batman: The Telltale Series (PS4)
Batman: The Telltale Series (PS4) Review
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Who doesn't want to live the life of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne? Armed with all those wonderful toys, he gets to stalk the streets of Gotham City, busting heads as Batman. What's not to like? Batman: The Telltale Series makes a compelling argument; life as the Dark Knight is punishing, having to juggle day to day life without the cape and cowl, embroiled in complicated political machinations, while crime runs rampant. Bruce Wayne's tragic backstory is but the tip of the iceberg: Batman has got it really tough in this first chapter in Telltale's latest episodic saga.

Titled 'Realm of Shadows', Telltale's first foray into the Dark Knight's long and storied history is its very own beast; a completely different take to Rocksteady's Arkham games with its own unique narrative and complex web of relationships that revolve around Bruce Wayne and Batman. As Wayne, you'll find yourself rubbing shoulders with mayoral candidate Harvey Dent and pressing the flesh with various Gotham dignitaries, before a visit from Carmine Falcone throws things into disarray. As Batman, however, you'll brood in the batcave with Alfred, examining clues and evidence using the batcomputer.

As you progress through Realm of Shadows' various sequences, you'll quickly discover that Telltale already has Batman pinned down, delivering exciting action sequences via some extended and surprisingly enjoyable QTEs, while later on you'll get to flex the Bat's 'world's greatest detective' muscles amid grisly crime scenes. These sections task you with discovering clues and then linking them to construct a sequence of events, ultimately piecing together what transpired to generate a lead that pushes the narrative along. They're good fun.

These parts are also indicative of the game's dark and mature tone, pulling no punches in showing some fairly gruesome sights that put Batman in the same league as Telltale's The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones. The atmosphere, art style and good old choice and consequence gameplay makes Batman typical Telltale fare and consequently its story is every bit as engaging and compelling. Of course, as a debut episode, there's a fair bit of set-up to wade through as you're introduced to characters and their relationship to Bruce Wayne/Batman.

With Catwoman and mysterious mercenaries caught up in the mix, alongside a very different version of Oswald Cobblepot, things become increasingly difficult for Batman, and it's down to you to make decisions that will shape how the rest of Gotham perceive both Bruce Wayne and his crimefighting vigilante counterpart. Even something as seemingly minor as a handshake can have repercussions further down the line and your dialogue choices matter just as much as they did in previous Telltale adventures.

As such, Batman: The Telltale Series has the same trophy list as every other episodic Telltale title to date, awarding trophies for simply completing each of the episode's chapters. Then again, what else did you expect? We can't imagine Telltale would mix things up as far as its trophy lists are concerned; the only one that's bucked the trend to date was The Wolf Among Us, which required collection of all its lore entries.

Another involving dose of Telltale storytelling, Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 'Realm of Shadows' kicks things off with style, setting up numerous dangling threads, initiating plenty of intrigue, and unearthing a dark secret that threatens to destroy the Wayne legacy. By the time it's all played out, you'll be desperate to find out what happens next, ready to catch up with Dent, Selina Kyle, Jim Gordon, Falcone and Cobblepot to see where Batman and his billionaire alter-ego end up in the next episode.

Given Telltale's enviable pedigree in crafting stellar choice-driven adventures, Batman's strong start points to another saga in a similar mould, building upon the extensive lore of DC Comics' most popular hero with a take on the characters and world that manages to feel simultaneously familiar and entirely Telltale's own thing. That's no mean feat. Batman: The Telltale Series is definitely on the right track with its opening chapter.

 

A score befitting the Caped Crusader, Batman's orchestral music is excellent, as is the voice acting from a cast of seasoned veterans like Troy Baker, Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham.

Telltale's trademark comic book style works wonders for Batman, as you'd expect. The atmosphere is spot on and it looks good.

Played a Telltale game before? Then you know how this all works. As there's a fair bit of fighting, expect more quick-time events than usual.

A solid couple of hours, you can also spend time reading codex entries for each character and messing around in the batcave. Choice and consequence obviously plays a significant role once again.

Typical Telltale fare: play through each chapter in this first episode and you'll bag all of the trophies. Simple.

Telltale and Batman fans are well catered for in Batman: The Telltale Series' first episode, with a hefty dose of action and intrigue to set things up for the rest of the ensuing saga. We can't wait for more.

 
 
 
Game Info
Developer:
Telltale Games
Publisher:
Telltale Games
Genre:

Release:

US August 02, 2016
Europe August 02, 2016
Japan August 02, 2016

Players: 1
ESRB: Mature
Collection:864
Wishlist:47
 
 
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