Thursday, June 22, 2017

Batman: The Telltale Series (Xbox One) Review

Batman: The Telltale Series is an Episodic five-part game based on the golden boy of DC Comics, Batman. The game was developed and published by Telltale Games in 2016 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Andriod and iOS mobile devices, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Telltale has come up with interesting stories in past games but how does the god damned Batman fair?

Batman: The Telltale Series plays just like all other Telltale games so if you've played one or two before you be right at home in Gotham. If not then I'll give you a brief rundown on how it works. These games are closer to movies with some interaction than regular video games. I like this because the stories are interesting and Telltale breaks out commands for you to make every so often to keep you engaged. When Batman attacks some thugs you'll control his movies through quick-time events which just means a button will flash on the screen and you have to hit it in time to land the move. As far as these things go Batman: The Telltale Series seems, at least to me, to be the easiest game so far in this regard. I never died once in this game and I'm not even sure that you can.

This game takes place within its own universe which is a good thing because you truly don't know where the story will go next. Of course, they've taken material from the first comics all the way to today to help build their world which is also good. There were a lot of places the story went which I didn't see coming at all which added to my enjoyment. To me, this game feels like it takes place around the comic story Batman: Year One just with a contemporary feeling to it. This isn't a perfect match but it's pretty close.

"What are you?" I'm Batman.
You'll run into many characters from the Batman universe including some who are on their way to being the bad guy(s) you know and love. I don't want to give away too many characters so I don't spoil the story so I'll give you one more that I haven't mentioned, Bruce Wayne.

Speaking of Bruce Wayne one of the cool things about this game is when you have a mission you need to complete you are given the choice of doing it as Batman or as Bruce. As Bruce, you don't have any of Batman's ability to threaten information from people or his wonderful toys. As Batman, you can't talk your way into or out of trouble. It's like games where you can go in guns blazing or sneaking in using stealth. Let's face it Bruce Wayne and Batman are completely two different people so the game is almost giving you two different playthroughs to try.

Without giving away spoilers the story starts with Harvey Dent running for Mayor with Bruce Wayne backing his play.

I always have this section when I review Telltale Games and this game will be no different. For the most part, I had little technical problems with this game. Until the 5th chapter, all I experienced was a bit of mouths not syncing up with their voices and this is something that can happen to the best of games and I'm not too worried about it. As a matter of fact, Batman had it the least so it looks like Telltale has been working on it. Unfortunately, when I began Chapter 5 for the first 20 or so minutes the game was so chopping to the point it became nearly unplayable. Once it ended I didn't experience any other problems so on the whole Batman wasn't too bad compared to other Telltale games.

My only other problem with this game is the length of it. The first Episode was three hours and the remaining four were around one and a half hours each. After paying five for the first three-hour episode you kind of feel like you're being ripped off when you pay the same for the next episode and only get half the length out of it. From start to finish it took me 8 hours and 49 minutes to complete the game. It's up to you to decide if you think that's a good deal or not.

I liked the sound design in this game. The graphics were also great with that Telltale cartoon realistic style combined with stylistic comic book art. It all looks great and to me, it felt like I was watching a live-action comic book.

The characters in this game all look like what their characters look like in the comic books. The design of the Batcave and Batmobile was styled close to what he has had traditionally in the comic books and not driving around some stupid tank down the streets of Gotham. The Batmobile sounds like an F1 car when it starts up or like a Lamborghini.

Compared to some of Telltale's other games this one isn't for kids. There is swearing, violence, and some PG-13 sex. Near the end of the game is some disturbing content that might upset a younger person if they played this game.

Overall I was very impressed with everything about this game. I didn't want to put it down and this is why I'm thinking that I'll wait until Telltale releases all Episodes of their upcoming games so I don't have to wait for months between the next release. I'm not sure if it's because this is a Batman story but this has been my favorite Telltale game so far and I'm looking forward to the next one. I give Batman: The Telltale Series a 9 out of 10.

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