Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Realm of Shadows is here, placing us in the shoes of both Bruce and Batman as they try to take down crime boss Carmine Falcone. It’s a fun packed opening episode and one that offers plenty of fan service. As early as this first episode we meet the likes of (good guy) Harvey Dent, Catwoman aka Selina Kyle and a few more familiar faces too. It’s fair to say that this is a episode that starts off strong, although you get the feeling that the plot is set to thicken as the series moves on.
While player choice has always played a large role in the Telltale games, here it seems to influence the game more than ever and the choices thrown up will decide the outcome later on, whether that’s Gotham police view Batman’s actions, whether or not your shake a mob bosses hand or how far Batman goes when interrogating someone. I’ve always enjoyed the way Telltale has you decide and while I’ve never been convinced that the choices made too much difference, you can most certainly see that they do in this game. Playing through Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 will throw up some moral dilemmas, so it’s just up to you how far you’ll go when making these decisions in order to solve a crime.
What you may like about playing Batman: The Telltale Series is the ability it gives you to solve crime. During play you’ll link clues and piece together evidence that you find during play, allowing you to play the detective and figure out Batman’s next move. Combine this with the quicktime combat events that you’ve come to know and love from the Telltale games, along with the combo meter that builds up to a finishing blow as you complete each quicktime action, and you’ll soon come to love playing as Batman in a Telltale fashion. It’s even fun playing as Bruce Wayne, as you work your way through the plot, making friends and enemies without the need for a quicktime punch. So what’s not to love about that?
As with most Telltale games, there is still a bit of an issue when it comes to graphics. While the action and story is very enjoyable, it will often pull you back to reality with bump, thanks to the stumbling frame rate, which often seems to struggle along as you make quickfire decisions. It’s a shame really because for all the game does right, the issues with the framerate do ruin things a little, although it’s no worse than in previous Telltale games, so if you managed to get through those and still have fun, then you’ll likely not be too fussed about this.
Other areas of presentation don’t really disappoint. We still get the watercolored style from previous Telltale games and it seems to work well with Batman’s look. Combine this with the strong voice acting from the super talented Troy Baker and it’s hard to argue with the quality on offer here. It would perhaps have been easy to mess something up, be that the look, feel or story, but overall Telltale seem to have pulled off bringing us a great episode without too many issues.
Despite the obvious framerate issues, Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 is a brilliant first attempt at telling the story of DC’s favourite son. Whether you are playing through, building the plot with Bruce Wayne or smashing your way through a crime scene/enemies faces with Batman, you’re sure to enjoy what’s on offer in this very first episode.
Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta
(Version Tested: PS4)
+ Play as Batman/Bruce Wayne
+ Great voice work
+ Recognisable characters
- Framerate issues