WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Telltale's Batman.
Telltale's Batman has done something no other video game based on the Dark Knight had done before: It has given us the chance to mold not just Batman, but Bruce Wayne. As the game progresses, your interactions with other characters and the decisions you make mark how your version of the Caped Crusader will turn out. Here's the full trailer, in case you haven't yet seen it:
Unfortunately, the game doesn't give you that much time to consider all your options in favor of quicker decisions. So, because you might be scared by the dreaded "Falcone will remember that" line, here's a breakdown of the best and biggest choices you can make to keep a steady pace on the path to becoming Gotham's greatest protector: The Batman.
Chapter 2 - Don't Shake Falcone's Hand During Harvey Dent's Fundraiser
Falcone is a dangerous and powerful individual in Gotham City. What do you do when he offers you a handshake in front of all your guests during Harvey Dent's fundraiser? Do you reject it or do you go with it to keep things friendly? Reject it, that's what you do.
- What choice to make: Refuse
- Why: Everyone at the party turns around to see what you will do.
Considering the Wayne name's state throughout the game after being tied to the mob, not shaking Falcone's hand will be a helpful factor moving forward as you slowly make it clear to people that Bruce Wayne doesn't trifle with criminals.
Yes, at the end of the episode Jack Ryder will talk about Bruce Wayne being involved with gangster regardless of what choice you make in that moment but think long-term for this one.
Chapter 4 - Go On Record For Vicki Vale
We learn every day that, as a celebrity in the midst of a big scandal, it's hard to know when's the right time to talk to the press. While this isn't as serious as a real-life scenario, trust me: When Vicki Vale tells you to go on record regarding the recent rumors of the Wayne family being involved with organized crime, give her a statement.
- What choice to make: Give Quote
- Why: It helps to keep Ryder from tarnishing your reputation later
While her motives aren't very clear in the game other than the usual "only honest reporter in Gotham," going on record for her will help you in the long run. At the end of the first episode, Jack Ryder plays your quote to Vale to his audience. This might not seem to do a lot to better the Wayne's image, but if you don't say anything, Ryder will state that you are so guilty that you didn't even give a statement.
And if you'd like a suggestion, go with "My family is innocent" option. It's a nice speech that feels more natural coming from someone like Bruce Wayne and doesn't feel scripted for someone guilty.
Chapter 5 - Don't Torture Falcone's Sniper
Something that I've always loved about seeing Batman interrogate someone is questioning how I would get information from thugs if I were in his shoes. Here, you are in that situation with one of Falcone's thugs, who happens to be a sniper.
So, do you hit him in the ribs, break his arm and escape? No.
- What choice to make: Don't break his arm
- Why: Helps solidify your still-forming relationship with Gordon
The best way to approach this is to just hit the barrel next to the thug's head until he spills the beans on why he and his team were there, apply pressure to his arm and stay to tell Lieutenant Gordon what's going on.
This game shows Batman in his early stages: People are unsure about him and while he's technically already working with Gordon, their legendary friendship hasn't fully formed. This action will speak a lot about your character to Gordon, as noted by the game with a little annotation telling you the future Commissioner realizes your non-violent methods. This will set up how he thinks about Batman in future episodes and could be a great advantage as the game progresses.
Chapter 5 - Deliver Falcone's Evidence To Gordon Instead Of Vicki Vale
Nearing the end of the first episode, after decrypting a handful of evidence against Carmine Falcone, you have to decide whether to give it to Jim Gordon or Vicki Vale. This is the toughest choice in the game. Both of them are, going by the comic books, completely trustworthy. Fortunately, I'm here to give you a hand in knowing which option is better: Hand the evidence to Gordon.
- What choice to make: Give the evidence to Gordon
- Why: Going by-the-book will help clear Bruce Wayne's name later
Giving it to Vicki entails making the entire city aware of who Falcone is and it's a quicker way to discredit his position in power. However, given Bruce Wayne's unfortunate situation of being blamed for having ties with the mob wouldn't be completely clarified and the billionaire/superhero would be left smeared.
On the other hand, giving it to Gordon, while it does leave Falcone's position somewhat ambiguous for the public, means a by-the-book procedure for the infamous mobster. This will surely play out in later episodes to completely clean the Wayne name instead of just leaving it as a rumor. Taking the evidence to Gordon is also a step closer to the friendship they're so well-known for.
Chapter 5 - Cuff Falcone Instead Of Impaling Him
As mentioned above, the Dark Knight is an unidentified figure in Gotham. The citizens and the press don't know who he is and many choose to see him as a demented person. At the end of the game, you are given two choices: Impale Falcone or cuff him and leave him dangling on the outside of his building.
- What choice to make: Cuff Falcone
- Why: The citizens of Gotham will note your mercy and morals
While it may be hard to restrain yourself from putting a Dent in the face of crime (game reference: drink!), you need to pull out your best meditation techniques and go easy on him.
The lady cop that hates you will find an excuse to shoot at you either way you go, but having mercy on Falcone will be noticed by the people of Gotham. This will be one of the deciding factors between the city ultimately rejecting or embracing you as their hero.
Make These Decisions To Get The Best Experience Out of Telltale's Batman
A great thing about this game is your ability to make choices to shape your future and your character, and what better individual to shape than the Dark Knight himself? Yes, it's sometimes stressful to not know whether you made the right choice once you see the outcome of your decision but that's the best part of the journey.
With this breakdown, you can go into the game and make sure you get the best experience out of the Dark Knight's newest video game... unless your "best experience" consists of making Batman look like a criminal and being hated by everyone. So far, this game is fantastic with tangling you in its compelling and intriguing story, one that makes you care about the decisions you make. Hopefully we'll be able to say the same about the rest of the episodes once they release this year.
Which decision in the game made you think the most?