The first episode of Batman – The Telltale Series has been released. Telltale Games has become synonymous with storytelling in video games…sometimes to the actual detriment to gameplay. So how does this gel with Batman who is a character known for being a great detective as well as a great fighter? Solid.
The game is very much about Bruce Wayne and Batman and how both personas of the same man affect the city? Bruce Wayne is pointedly called a “kingmaker” at one point. Batman is feared and hated in the city except for Lieutenant Gordon who is his sole ally within the Gotham City Police. Though Bruce would like to think his personas are not that tied together, the first episode proves differently.
The plot of the first episode revolves around mob boss Carmine Falcone and his influence over the city. Bruce Wayne wants his friend District Attorney Harvey Dent to become the next mayor while Falcone wants to be included. Dent is the shining knight of the city and so this does not sit well with the criminal element that has prospered in the city. What happens in the ensuing events I will not spoil but the Wayne family legacy is something Bruce Wayne and Batman will have to work on by the end.
The universe of this Batman is familiar yet different at the same time. Harvey Dent, the future Two-Face, is someone who wants to change the city but makes it clear he’s willing to play dirty to get things done. Oswald Cobblepot, the future Penguin, is here a tall and skinny man who was once a childhood friend of Bruce’s. His appearance is small but he outright days he is up to something. Bruce Wayne and Batman both meet Salina Kyle and Catwoman and their relationship is already filled with sexual tension. Gordon and Batman are allies but it’s clear the rest of the police do not share their trust of Batman. Bruce Wayne also meets reporter Vicki Vale who proves to be an ally in both his personas.
The gameplay is familiar to those who have played a Telltale Game before. This one is a bit more action heavy than predecessors but not much as one might think from a Batman game. The more methodical aspects are played up as players are given options to be more physically violent or more intimidating. It is all up to player choice as per usual in a Telltale Game.
Overall it is a solid first episode in a five part series. There is enough mystery and intrigue that makes me wish that the second episode was already out. Telltale seems perfectly suited to handle a Batman game.