At E3 2016 we got our first glimpse of the first 30 minutes of Telltale's Batman game, which is coming out sooner than we all realized. Actually, representatives of Telltale's Batman mentioned to expect the release of Episode Five by the end of 2016. So, Episode One to be just around the corner.
Our look at the first 30 minutes of the new Batman
The game opens with a heist already in motion. Some typical Gotham baddies breach City Hall, kill a security guard, and the Bat shows up to dish out some good ol' vigilante justice.
In the opening, we hear the thugs talking about 'him', throwing around the pronoun in fear that speaking the name 'Batman' will summon Bruce Wayne. It appears Batman is already a well-known figure, and we won't spend much time diving into origin stories here.
Well, true to form, Batman appears as he's mentioned. We see a flurry of rapid quick-time-event combat as Batman dismantles the invading bad guys and eventually confronts Catwoman in a hectic rooftop showdown.
Then we drastically shift gears: Batman puts on his Bruce Wayne suit
After the showdown on the roof, we cut to Wayne Manor, where Bruce is wearing a tux and throwing a fundraiser. The banners read 'Harvey Dent for Mayor of Gotham'. Dent gives a speech and then he and Bruce take time to schmooze with the old money of Gotham, leveraging the Wayne name to raise money for Dent's campaign. Both Dent and the guests remember what Bruce says, with Telltale's iconic 'Harvey with remember that' flashing on the screen periodically.
As Bruce, it is up to the player to navigate the world of Gotham - speaking to party-attending elites, and known characters like Viki Vale, Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon, and Carmine Falcone.
Decisions range from abusing the Wayne name with donors to choosing whether or not to publicly shake Carmine Falcone's hand. Of course, everyone remembers who their friends are in Gotham. Bruce's interactions are just as much a part of the game as Batman's fighting and detective work. As we were told in the presser: "You can't talk about batman without Bruce Wayne."
Telltale wants to put players in charge of Bruce - as he creates Batman's villains
One of the most tortured and iconic traits of all Batman storylines is that Batman is often fighting the villains that he creates. In one way or another, Batman or Bruce's decisions subtly influence and motivate crime in Gotham. One suit always seems to cause problems for the other to solve - that's a central tension that Telltale's Batman wants to focus on.
In the press room, we asked if the appearance of Harvey Dent meant that Two Face would be present in the story - and the question was met with a shrug and a mischievous smile, "This is a Telltale game. It's all about the decisions you make..."
While this may have been a clever way to avoid answering a spoiler-y question, it does make us wonder: will we have control over who actually shows up as a villain? Will we get to cause Two Face's origin story? Prevent it?
Right now, we don't know the answers. We do know, however, that Telltale's Batman game is not based on any previously existing comic or storyline. Everything is going to be fresh, so, in theory, anything is possible.