The highly anticipated Batman: The Telltale Series released its first episode worldwide on Tuesday, presenting a whole new story for the Caped Crusader. After weeks of anticipation the question on everyone's lips is: Was it worth the wait? To put it bluntly — yes. Batman not only manages to be original, but it draws from different aspects of the character that have been somewhat dormant in recent years and also focuses heavily on Bruce Wayne.
What sets this game apart from the critically acclaimed Arkham series is that it is heavily character based — less about the action, more about the story. Playing the game is like watching a Batman TV series, only we get to decide what line comes next in the script. What is perhaps most notable about the game is that it re-introduces the world to Batman as the world's greatest detective.
In recent adaptations, Batman tends to get his answers with his fists and while there is some physical intimidation in the game, Telltale takes us back to basics — back to analyzing and piecing together the evidence. What's more is that we get to help Batman via gameplay — we become the detectives.
Unique Gameplay Brings The Detective Out In Gamers
Telltale has always had unique story-based gameplay — anyone who has played their successful The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones franchises will have a good idea of how things work. However, Telltale has taken the interactivity of their gaming to a whole new level with Batman allowing the gamer to, quite literally, connect the dots and analyze the evidence. I don't want to give anything away, but the feature requires the gamer to think hard and use their knowledge to connect the evidence and solve the case.
Not only does this feature allow us to play a vital part in the game, it's also a real throwback to the detective work that Batman was renowned for in the earlier comics — before violence and fear became his main tactics for getting answers.
Telltale games are renowned for their decision making tactics that often result in gamers panicking due to the limited amount of time they have to make such a decision — simply put, the harder the decision, the shorter amount of time you have. If you're a fan of the format, then you'll be pleased to hear that it is present in Batman.
Batman is the perfect vehicle for Telltale as the character is forced to make tough decisions on a daily basis and their unique format reflects this. Moreover, the detective element is made even more prominent through the decision making as it involves gamers having to decide the best course of action in order to solve the mystery — we become the detectives and deduce the best way to move forward.
The Originality Of The Storyline
Telltale made clear from the beginning that Batman would be filled with completely new storylines, yet it was evident from the trailer that certain elements of the Caped Crusader's many colorful adaptations had been borrowed. However, it becomes more evident as we play the game that this is very much Telltale's interpretation of Batman — there are brave storyline alterations and friendships that I would've never imagined.
The originality of the storyline keeps me guessing and allows me to get in touch with my inner detective as, even as a tenured Batman fan, there are things I couldn't possibly see coming.
Story Before Action
Don't get me wrong, we all loved the Arkham franchise, but it relied heavily on action sequences and violence in order to figure out the answers. Like The Walking Dead, Batman focuses huge amounts of time on the storyline and how it plays out as a result of the decisions we have made.
While there is one scene in particular where violence is necessary, most of Batman's — and our — deduction is done through the storyline based sequences.
The first episode is a solid opener to this brave new Batman world, full of story and action that thrills the inner detective in all of us. Telltale has started something with Batman and, as a fan of the hero, I'm excited to see where it leads. With four episodes left to go, who knows what'll happen next — I guess that'll be up to our inner detectives to figure out.
What did you think of Episode 1 of Batman: The Telltale Series? Tell me in the comment section below.