Control what kind of Batman you think Gotham deserves and if anyone will remember that.
[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]elltale’s Batman starts exactly where it needs to start, with a Batman with nothing to his name but being a masked vigilante. Bruce Wayne’s name, however, is the most valuable item in his arsenal. With Harvey Dent campaigning to be mayor and Bruce Wayne being his biggest backer, conversations are everything. As is the norm in Telltale games, players must make tough choices that will follow them throughout the game. Whether it’s a tense handshake or how you respond to the press, these choices affect how you’re treated and Batman in particular reminds you a ton. There’s a lot situations that make you feel as if you could only win morally and others where that they would so be out of character that you couldn’t mess up.
Working with Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne takes the war for a better Gotham on both fronts as the Batman and a politician. Bruce Wayne trusts Harvey Dent to clean up Gotham in which the criminals have the corrupt city officials on a short leash. The citizens of Gotham don’t necessarily have faith in Dent, but the Wayne name reputation is highly respected. The game takes a turn where the Wayne name is being tarnished and it’s up to you to protect it, find out why, and bring justice to whomever is doing it.
In the Batcave, you can look through the Codex keep up with information and interactions you have with certain characters. Such as the “cat burglar” you encountered in the first scene of the game, who is obviously Catwoman. The distinction of calling her a “cat burglar” is because the codex labels that as her name as that since it’s his first time meeting her. In fact, Telltale seems to have started in Year One of Batman’s career. Commissioner Gordon is a lieutenant, Harvey Dent is still okay, and a certain Oz seems to have drank his milk growing up. We also see Carmine Falcone, who is a mafia boss, as a major player and funny enough, he debuted in Year One. The Batcave is not necessarily anything to write home about since Batman hasn’t been around long, but what they do with the Batmobile is incredibly smart that I’m surprised I haven’t seen it done before.
Whereas Bruce Wayne is handled as any run of the mile Telltale character nowadays, he still is intriguing in that you are immersed in that you feel like you’re Bruce Wayne himself. Someone makes a comment about your parents, you feel the emotions that come along with it. When Alfred expresses his concern for your well-being, you feel the urge to reassure him or to agree with him. Telltale makes Bruce Wayne, something from Batman games for a long time, one of the most intriguing elements of the game. You get to be the millionaire with a heart of gold, whether it’s pure or fool’s gold is up to you.
Once again, Telltale brings a delightful breath of fresh air to Batman games and leaves you wanting more. You obviously have QTEs that you have to complete during fights, but are rewarded with a finishing move if you hit them enough though it’s not very satisfying. What feels more satisfying is when you’re allowed to be a detective and breakdown the crime scene. You get to piece the crime scene together and simulate what occurred through finding clues and interrogation. During the interrogation, you can break the guy’s arm and at the end of the episode, 50.3% chose not to break his arm which surprised me how split that was. Granted, some of the choices they give you are so obviously one-sided unless you want to make the worst Batman possible. The other refreshing bit is when you set up your plan of attack, rather than barging in. It makes you feel more calculated and together, making your Batman seem collected and not just running into fights. These bits only happened once each and I hope to see more than just one for future episodes.
The Dark Knight’s suit is nice and stays true to the core design, with a nice choice at the beginning to choose what color you want your tech to display with the choices being: blue, red, yellow, or purple. He also comes equip with a voice modulator that sounds like the ones you get at any cheap store but it makes sense to mask his voice. Batman comes equipped with new gadgets, such as a drone that allows him to scope out an area and makes more sense than a remote-controlled batarang. The best thing about this game is that you are given the choice of to essentially recreated your favorite adaptation. There’s enough choices that can range from a brutal Batman to playboy millionaire Bruce Wayne.
Though the episode is quite enthralling and there are nice bits, the episode falls short. Episode One does what it needs to, makes the player intrigued in the plot and have moments that you want more of. With Bruce Wayne and Batman setting the stage for alliances, only one can wonder what the endgame is for Telltale’s Batman. Once we step out of the ‘Realm of Shadows”, we’ll see who rules them and what is hidden within them.