Video Game Review: Batman: The Telltale Series

Details: Released in 2016. Spent nine hours playing through all five episodes for an average of a little under two hours per episode. Purchased for $6.25 through Steam.

Batman: The Telltale Series is an adventure game from Telltale studios that retells some classic Batman tales as well as a whole new story. This game makes significant changes to the Batman mythos and also keeps some things the same. As a big fan of all things Batman, I enjoyed this game and the story it told.

Batman: The Telltale Series tells a Batman story that takes place early on in Batman’s career. Batman’s been doing his thing for a while and the idea of a “supervillain” is just introducing itself.

This story introduces a lot of the classic Batman rogues gallery. We get retellings of how Batman meets Catwoman, the Riddler, and Harvey Dent among others. What I like about this game is that it isn’t afraid to make changes to the Batman mythos and there are some drastic changes made that surprised me.

These changes are largely why I enjoyed this game. For an adventure game that centers on story, unpredictability is everything. Batman: The Telltale Series successfully surprised me. With that said, many of the plot points were classic Batman and stayed true to the mythos. Part of the fun was trying to guess what was different and what stayed the same.

Gameplay is your standard Telltale game style. That means making dialogue choices and quick time event. There are some parts which require you to investigate a crime scene and put clues together. These are like the crime scene sequences from the Arkham series, except easier. These were kind of badly done. Luckily, they only comprise a small portion of the game.

Visually, the game looks like it’s running on the same game engine Telltale has been using for the last ten years. It does not look graphically impressive. It’s stylized… because that’s the only way this game engine can be passable. And it’s passable. The game looks adequate. I just wish that Telltale would stop being lazy and actually improve or get a new game engine. For games that center on story, the visual aspects of a video game are essential.

Music is good and the voice acting is great. They use some well-known and recognizable voice actors here like Troy Baker and Laura Bailey. That experience shows and adds to the enjoyment of the story.

Worth mentioning is that this game can be played in a group setting where people get to vote on decisions. I never tried this but it looks like a fun way to play with your family, a group of friends, or at a party.

Overall, this is a fun Batman story where the choices you make do cause major changes to the story. However, the main plot line will remain unchanged regardless of your choices, which was fine to me. This game is an easy recommendation for any fan of Batman and for anyone looking for a good Batman story. This is not a good game for someone who wants a game heavy on gameplay. Like all Telltale games, this is essentially a playable movie.

Score: 7/10

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