Telltale games, for me, have turned a somewhat-to-be-avoided gameplay style into a nice diversion from everything else. I really don’t like quick-time events all that much, especially when they’re a large part of the experience. Telltale, however, has allowed the stories they tell, and how they’re told, to overshadow the now-minor annoyance of the quick-time event. While I admit that I have to be careful to spread out my Telltale games to avoid gameplay fatigue, I always feel the experience is rewarding when the game is good – and this one is good.
From the quick-time action sequences and timed dialogue choices to the distinctive art style and well told story, the Telltale formula is on full display in Batman the Telltale Series. The action sequences are nice but the real fun is in the detective work. Discovering clues and linking them together to figure out what happened is fairly simple, but fun, and never takes long enough for the simplicity to negativly impact the overall experience.
The story unfolds over 5 episodes, each broken up into a handful of chapters. The characters are well done, despite being very different from the Batman characters as I know them (not a bad thing). I tend to associate most of the characters with their various cinematic versions which, as I understand, can be VERY different from the source material. I had to forget everything I thought I knew about the origins of the various villains which didn’t take me too long to adjust to. You’re presented with choices both significant and not significant as you work your way through the story which changes the narrative as you go. For example, at one point you have to pick to save Harvey Dent or Selina Kyle and, depending on your choice, the story can change quite a bit – who stays friendly with you and who does not.
There are a few twists and turns that are well thought out and kept me engaged and wanting to see where in Gotham the next chapter would take me.
The art style is also right there with the rest of the Telltale series games. It’s really nice to look at and fits really well within the Batman universe. I did run into quite a few technical hiccups along the way, mostly in form of jumpy cut scenes and (seemingly) missing dialogue. It didn’t wreck the experience for me, but definitely made me work harder to stay immersed in the experience. The sound and music, other than the missing dialogue, was spot on. The sound effects during action sequences were solid and the music was great throughout.
Batman is pretty much exactly what I want out of a Telltale game; Good story telling, great visual and audio presentation, and decent gameplay. While the glitches definitely took away from my overall experience, it’s still a worthwhile journey to take, and I’m looking forward to Season 2.