The title of this game is a bit misleading. Yes, it’s a batman game and you play as batman, but, the majority of this episode has you playing as Bruce Wayne.
This is an interesting approach to not only the DC comics material, but to a batman video game. You spend more time handling politics and engaging in fairly interesting conversations than you do taking down bad guys.
If you’ve ever played a telltale game before, you know exactly what to expect. It’s basically an interactive movie. Action scenes take place via quick time events & there are multiple choice conversations. Personally, I love this type of game, but at this point, having played numerous other telltale games, I’m beginning to find the gameplay to be a bit repetitive and slightly unoriginal.
This is telltale’s first game utilising a new engine too. Graphically, on my Xbox One, the game is very good looking. It’s certainly a step up from their previous games. Environments & characters are sharper, the frame rate is smoother & there are fewer glitches (as far as I can tell). That being said, all of the above could simply be a result of the games art style rather than the engine.
Now, onto the story & characters. The story presented here is a mix between some new material and quite a lot of old material. Batman fans will probably dislike how the game constantly reminds you about the character’s origins & backstory. Some conversations are loaded with exposition, making them a bit cringe worthy. Elements have been picked out from Batman Begins, Batman: Year One, Batman: Arkham Origins and numerous other Batman media sources.
There are a few twists though. Harvey Dent for example, has a unique, bulky look to him and another famous Batman character (whom I won’t name), is rather radically different from their usual representation.
I have to talk a bit about Troy Baker as Batman/Bruce Wayne. In my opinion, Troy is one of the greatest voice actors on the planet today. He’s also no stranger to Batman, having previously voiced Robin, Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Arkham Knight & Joker. However, I’m not quite sure about him in this game. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, his performance is just a little off. It’s not bad, but he’s known for being able to do numerous different voices. Here, he just sounds like Troy Baker. Every time he speaks, it’s a little distracting.
This episode serves primarily as a set up for things to come. That being said, when I finished it, I wasn’t exactly eager for more. Not much exciting has happened yet.
On the whole, this is a worthy if slightly unoriginal, new Batman story. The focus on Bruce rather than Batman has me intrigued and I’m hoping that now things are established, telltale can hit the ground running in episode 2.