Note: In this article we will be discussing Episode 1 of Batman: A Telltale Series, so don't read on if you haven't played it.
Telltale Studios are notorious for crafting rich, character-driven stories based on wildly popular franchises, so when the announcement of a Batman Telltale game dropped in December 2015, hopes from fans were sky-high. And, I don't know about you guys, but in my opinion this video-game incarnation of Batman has the potential to become the best yet.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this game is the best Batman game quite yet. I'm not denying that it has more than its fair share of technical hitches, but here we'll be focusing on the plot and gameplay rather than its performance. Personally, the mantle of best Batman game still belongs firmly to Batman: Arkham City, but there's a number of elements that Telltale's game possesses that, given the correct guidance and crafting, could lead to something really spectacular.
The first of these is the game's plot. Unlike the Batman games of the past, this plot seems to be firmly street-level, with mob bosses such as Falcone being incredibly prevalent in the first episode. This appears to be a time before the supervillains that dominate a lot of Batman media, so it'll be very interesting to see how Telltale handles this. Some of the best Batman media we've had (Batman Begins and large portions of The Animated Series for example) plant their feet mostly on the ground, focusing on mobs over massacres, skirmishes over supervillains, and if Telltale can stick to this, something really special might come of it.
Next up is the characters of the game. The boldest move Telltale have taken is portraying Thomas and Martha Wayne as potential criminals and mob associates. This decision flips the morality of Bruce entirely on its head, as he has to struggle with this not only in himself, but with the public. If executed with conviction and guts, this could completely change not only our perception of Bruce - which would be massive in itself - but also brings into question Batman's moral compass. It begs the dilemma of whether a man living off ill-gotten gains should be able to exact justice so brutally and recklessly, going against the police and the public, yet again a question that we've yet to see explored too extensively in Batman video games.
Finally, and arguably most crucially considering the game's developer, it's the player decisions that may just make Telltale's Batman such a spectacular Caped Crusader game. Even in just the first episode of five, there have been a plethora of split-second decisions for players to make in order to craft their own Dark Knight and play their own way, and if Telltale can continue this, it will surely only get better. Unlike the more passive experience of the Arkham or LEGO games, where players can't decide their own path too heavily, here we've been given the ability to actually become Batman, and if Telltale can implement even more shocking and impactful decisions further down the line, it could just make this best interactive Batman experience yet.
What do you think of Batman: A Telltale Series? Do you think it has the potential to become the best Batman game yet? Be sure to leave a comment below, and follow us for more articles just like this. Thanks for reading!