So, I’ve never played a Telltale game before. I know they’ve become quite popular due to their Walking Dead and Tales From Borderlands games. But now they’ve dropped a new Batman game in chapters.
Chapter One just came out, and it’s REALLY great. It’s a far departure from the experience you get from playing the Arkham games. It’s closer to a really in depth Choose Your Own Adventure novel.
A lot of work has been put into crafting a deep mystery, and focus has been put on an engaging narrative as opposed to cool combat and intense action. And by doing so we get to experience other aspects of playing out a kind of story that other Batman games couldn’t. Like being a detective, and linking together clues to push forward the narrative. There is only a little bit of that in this first chapter, but I hope it’s a feature we see much more of in future chapters, as the mystery that’s unfolding is really captivating.
Also, there is a focus on determining the kind of Batman you want to be by giving you a choice of how to respond to situations, that web off to determine how specific characters react and feel towards you. These choices add a lot to replay value if only to see how the story can be altered by your choices.
There is also a heavy focus on giving both sides of Batman’s life a spot light. You spend almost equal amounts of time dealing with a mystery in Bruce Wayne’s life as you do plotting out taking down a room full of thugs and recreating the events of a crime scene as Batman.
Because it’s Batman, taking down bad guys will, by nature of the character, be a part of that story. And as such, it approaches combat as a series of quick time events. QTE’s, while not one of my favorite gaming tropes, is appropriate for the style of the game, and employs it in a way that isn’t overly distracting from the great visual aspect. And without getting too spoilery, there comes a point where you get to determine how one of those sequences plays out, and that scene in particular, is one of the most immersive in the game. You feel how you would expect Batman to feel in that moment.
The story is well complemented by wonderful voice performances and a cool visual style. It creates a really cool atmosphere which makes it near impossible to put the controller down. Thankfully, the first chapter only runs a brisk 2 hours or so you won’t have to worry about losing 6 hours of your day without realizing.
I’m really excited for the next chapter to drop. At only $4.99, its an inexpensive and fun way to spend a couple hours. I can’t recommend it enough.