I played a Telltale Game for this first time this year and the first one I tried out was Game of Thrones. After playing the game, I found a whole new gaming genre that fit my interests. I enjoy action based games but sometimes it’s nice to sit back and enjoy a well-written story. After that I tried The Walking Dead (Season 1), The Wolf Among Us, Life is Strange and of course my favorite Tales from the Borderlands. So when I found out that Telltale Games was making a Batman game, I was ecstatic. I found a new game genre that I love, throw in the fact that I’m a bit of D.C. nerd and you have a game that’s right up my alley.
Some of you might not even know what Telltale Games are so they’re a small/indie Developing (and Publishing) company that specializes in graphic adventure video games. The games are usually split up into 5 episodes and each episode is approximately 2 hours long so the entire games usually take about 10 hours to complete. The gameplay itself is usually simplistic, you have very limited movement when controlling your character and all action sequences are handled by quick time events. The biggest aspect of the gameplay is the very in-depth talk paths, you ultimately get to chose everything your character has to say. This may not sound very exciting but these games are driven by the narrative and by putting you in difficult moral dilemmas. Even if it is just a video game, its never easy choosing gets to live and has to die.
That’s a quick run through how Telltale Games play and work but how does that translate to this new Batman game? Knowing that Batman doesn’t kill so I was very curious, how Telltale was going to deal with this since most moral dilemmas revolve in Telltale games revolve death but with this game that obviously couldn’t happen. I think Telltale did a great job with this, you often times have to choose between saving one person or another who (is it whom?) are not necessarily in life or death scenarios but they’re certainly in precarious situations. There are also situations where you have to choose between going to an event either as Batman or Bruce Wayne. Both options have their pros and cons so you have to weigh it out and pick what you think is the best option.
Where this game really nails it is, it’s not necessarily an interpretation of Batman but rather it gives you an option for you to chose the type of Batman you want to be. Do you want to send a message to the criminals of Gotham by being absolutely Brutal or do you want to work within the law a little more and by more merciful when it comes to dealing with the criminals? A cool feature at the end of the game actually rates you between being merciful and brutal. In case anyone is wondering, I ended up with a 92% merciful rating so obviously, I chose the law-abiding approach.
Although I really enjoyed this game, it does have some issues that need to be addressed. The biggest issue of this game is the fact that it has some serious frame rate issues. In some cutscenes, the frame rate ends up tanking and it can make the gaming experience a little less enjoyable. It bothers me because if a game has frame rate issues in cutscenes that means its poorly optimized. The good news is there have been patches released to fix most of these frame rate issues but if you bought the game in 6 months, you’re still likely to run into a few.
My only other complaint with the game is, episodes 4 and 5 just feel shorter than usual. Both of these episodes ended up taking an hour and a half so they feel shorter than the first 3 episodes. It certainly didn’t feel like the story was poorly edited and moments were cut out but I can’t help but feel like the game could have been an hour longer.
Now that I got the “cons” out of the way, I do want to talk about some of the “pros” and an important one to talk about is the price. It’s not a full priced game. The games cost $25 so although they are shorter and they are also cheaper.
I have watched a lot of animated Batman movies, TV’s shows, Live Action Batman Movies and have even played a few Batman video games and I think Telltale did the best job with Bruce Wayne. Instead of the game feeling like another Batman story, its Batman and Bruce Wayne. You play as both equally and they both have very interesting story arcs. In some ways, its almost more fun to play as Bruce Wayne than it is Batman.
Since this is a narrative based video game, the story is obviously the most important aspect of the entire game and Telltale does a great job of it. The game kept me on the edge of my seat for most of it and although I don’t want to spoil anything but I do want to mention that they had a very interesting story arc with the Wayne’s family history. What also got me very excited about the story is, it’s not all about the Joker. Nothing against the Joker but it just seems like he’s a bit overused and it’s nice to see some other Batman villains get a chance to be in the spotlight.
I do want to give out a friendly warning about the game though. This is not an action based game, there is very little action in it. That may seem like an obvious statement but it seems like some people buy these games without realizing what type of game they are. I always describe these games as interactive movies or TV shows. You have control over dialogue and decisions but you can’t go flying off somewhere and just start beating the crap out of anyone you want to. If that’s more interesting to you and a game that’s revolved around the story doesn’t interest you as much, I would recommend to go out and play the Arkham Knight series.