Early August, Telltale released their newest series that I've been anxiously waiting for: 'BATMAN - The Telltale Series' (wonder how long it took them to come up with that title?).
On its own, Telltale Batman is a well in-depth and engaging story. The characters have clear motivations that push the story forward and set up what is sure to be an interesting tale. Being able to control Batman/Bruce Wayne's every decision (from who he trusts to what he says) is extremely exciting. But therein lies the draw of these Telltale games, is it not? And playing as freaking Batman? The world's greatest detective (sorry Sherlock)? Fun-fucking-tastic.
The problem? Batman. There have been so many different iterations of Batman's story that one can't help but refer to them. What path will Telltale follow? The Killing Joke? Year One? The Long Halloween? The Dark Knight Returns? It's hard to separate this version from the others even though it's clear that Telltale is trying to forge it's own Batman tale.
Another issue? THE ANTAGONIST? As in, who is it? As much as I enjoyed delving into the story of Batman (but seriously, who doesn't?), there was not much that happened. Introduction after introduction after introduction (Telltale, I get you're trying to make your own story but goddamn if people don't know who these characters already then get the hell out of Dodge already.)
AND SPOILER: BATMAN'S PARENTS ARE DEAD. If you weren't aware of this insignificant fact then prepare for Telltale to remind you EVERY. FIVE. MINUTES.
Following the typical Telltale formula: characters are wonderfully introduced, you have no idea what is going on and you make some super tough decisions.
In typical Batman formula:
Super sleuthing and detecting? Check.
Depressed Batman (even though he's rich as hell)? Check.
Meaningful Alfred quotes? Check.
All jokes aside, the first episode truly did a wonderful job of setting up the story and leaving many (read: too many) unanswered questions -- causing you to cough up the extra cash for the season pass. (Side note: if you just pay for one episode, it's a waste of money. Either buy the season pass or skip it altogether.)
Verdict: This is simply an introduction to the Telltale version of the Batman story. Characters are introduced, the conflict is set up and Batman's parents are dead. (Oh shit, did you forget too?). The story presentation is excellent, the playable fun factor is not. 7/10
The story features the talents of Troy Baker (what isn't he in?), Laura Bailey (Fetch!), Bailey's husband (aka Travis Willingham) and Erin Yvette (Telltale game MVP).