Batman has many different story arcs throughout comics, cartoons and film and yet, Telltale games decided to make the story their own. There are familiar story pieces, such as the over dramatized death of Bruce’s parents, but all in all Telltale decided to take a fresh approach with the game. Classic characters such as Alfred, Oswald Cobblepot, Harvey Dent, Vicky Vale, Lieutenant Gordon, and Selina Kyle all play a big part in the story. Some of these characters are fairly traditional where others have been mixed up a bit. Alfred in particular is not to my liking. He is overall less like-able than other iterations of the character have been.
The first episode starts off fairly traditionally with a Batman who is relatively new in his career. Gordon and the GCPD are unsure what to think of him and public perception is still mixed. At the end of the first episode is where HUGE changes come to the Batman mythos and I personally loved it. Some may dislike the liberties taken here but I found them refreshing for the most part.
The use of Bruce and Batman together was a fun mix. I felt that I got to play as both personas regularly enough to where it didn’t get boring either way. At times, I found myself preferring moments where I played as Bruce rather than Batman, especially in the first few episodes.
Telltale games are known for having big decisions to make and this game is no exception. I won’t spoil the decisions but it always fun to make what appears to be a small decision and have it have large consequences. That said, I found that some decisions seemed to lack much importance as the story would have likely played out in a similar way regardless. I’m looking at you episode 3!
Voice acting was great as usual for a Telltale game. Troy Baker is great as Batman/Bruce. He doesn’t achieve Kevin Conroy perfection but that is a high bar to be compared against just like comparing anyone to Mark Hamill’s portrayal of The Joker. The supporting cast is voiced exceptionally well except a certain DC character which cameos in Episode 4. The voice acting is terrible when compared to the impressive list of other actors who have voiced this part throughout the years.
While the game was overall a great twist on the Batman universe, there was a major change to a well known DC character that I found unbelievable and plain silly. Further, the main villain fell flat when compared to the other surrounding villains throughout the story. The character development for the main villain was less than the side villains in the story. It felt that Telltale was unsure who they wanted to be the real threat making the final episode a bit of a miss overall. Had they focused better on the main villain, the final episode would have had a better payoff.
With another Telltale game behind my belt, I will say that Batman: A Telltale Series was a refreshing take on the character. While not all changes met my fancy, and one in particular was a huge miss, Telltale took a risk and took me through an engaging story despite the disappointment of the conclusion. With what they have presented in this first outing, I cannot wait to see what is next for Batman in season 2!
3 out of 5 Couch Cushions