Video Games

August 16, 2016
 

‘Batman – The Telltale Series Episode One: Realm of Shadows’ Review

Telltale Games let’s you play as one of the most interesting men in comic books, Bruce Wayne as well as one of most iconic heroes of all time, Batman, in Batman – The Telltale Series. The first episode entitled “Realm of Shadows” is currently available on multiple platforms but today I will be reviewing the PS4 version.

Warning: This review contains some slight spoilers

With Telltale Games creating an all-new story for such a beloved character such as Batman/Bruce Wayne, it is an enormous task and on an equally enormous scale. Not only do you have gamers to please but you also have decades of comic book fans to please. As we all know, Telltale Games is known for their amazing storylines and so far in this first episode “Realm of Shadows”, it is the beginning of what could be a great story.

In “Realm of Shadows”, we begin an all-new story in the Batman mythology. Bruce Wayne is backing Harvey Dent in his run for mayor but it turns out that one of Harvey Dent’s other backers is the notorious gangster, Carmine Falcone. This puts Wayne in a predicament. Being that Bruce Wayne is a multi-layered person, there’s more to it than just helping a friend who has the wrong friends. After Dent persuades Wayne to give Falcone another shot, Falcone, being the mobster that he is, has some dark secrets on Bruce that even Bruce doesn’t know about and it has to do with Bruce’s parents.

“Realm of Shadows” is more about Bruce Wayne, his relationship with Harvey Dent and it’s also about Bruce’s parents, rather than Batman. But what happens to Bruce greatly affects Batman as it does in the comics and film. This also means that you’ll be playing as Bruce Wayne for most of the story. The percentage of the time you are Bruce Wayne opposed to Batman is about 60% – 40% (maybe even 65% – 35%), with Batman being the latter of the two. This was kind of a bummer for me because let’s face it, we all want to wear the cape rather than the tux. Am I right? But to be fair, Telltale Games made it kind of clear that Bruce would be the center piece of the story. This is the plot that Telltale Games has described on their siteEnter the fractured psyche of Bruce Wayne and discover the powerful and far-reaching consequences of your choices as the Dark Knight. – In this gritty and violent new story from the award-winning creators of The Walking Dead – A Telltale Games Series, you’ll make discoveries that will shatter Bruce Wayne’s world, and the already fragile stability of a corrupt Gotham City. So yes, they are right and don’t mislead you. I just wish there was more time as Batman.

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Now when it comes to Batman, the time you spend playing as the Dark Knight is really awesome. You get to use a few of his gadgets like the Batarang, smoke bombs and even this new gadget which I can describe best as machine guns attached to a drone. There’s a lot of detective work that you have to do as both Bruce Wayne and Batman but in my opinion, the detective work you do as Batman is a lot more fun for obvious reasons.

Decision Making

The best parts of the Telltale games is the fact that you get to make your own decisions based on a number of options given. This also means that you play the game your own way and that you can play it several different ways resulting in different outcomes. In some of the previous Telltale games, the choices you make don’t necessarily matter as much as you think they would. When it comes to this game, the decisions you make seem to have consequences to them, for the most part. The decisions you make as Bruce Wayne affect how Harvey Dent, Carmine Falcone and the rest of citizens of Gotham see you. Most of Bruce’s decisions are broadcasted on the Gotham news, so when you make your decisions as Bruce, just know that all eyes are on you. As for the decisions you make as Batman, these are more fun than the decisions you get to make as Bruce and you get to decide how Batman is portrayed in the story. One of the most debatable subjects among Batfans is the debate over how ruthless Batman really is, and guess what…you get to decide how ruthless your Batman is in this game. For example, you get to make a choice whether you make a goon talk by just putting fear into him or you can make him talk by beating the living crap out of him. I love both types of Batman but I think the ruthless Batman is a lot more fun when it comes to video games.

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Gameplay

Aside from pressing buttons to pick your choices of what to say or do, the only other times you use the buttons of the controller are when the button chains (quick time events)  come up. All of the QTEs happen when you are playing as Batman. Though most are very easy, at the beginning of the game which is an opening scene of Batman fighting Catwoman, I noticed that if I would happen to miss one of the buttons in the chain, that the scene would still play out as if I had hit all the right buttons. That part was a bit confusing.

Graphics

When it comes to the graphics in Batman – A Telltale Series, the graphics are pretty similar to the most recent Telltale series The Walking Dead – Michonne. There’s still the bold outlines and a bit of the crosshatching on the characters, just not as obvious. It’s a pretty nice looking game throughout the first episode.

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The first episode is about an hour long (maybe a bit longer) and there’s a lot of Bruce Wayne. Like I said before, Batman is more fun to be but I like that Telltale is trying to get more in-depth with Bruce Wayne’s character. And just in case you were wondering, some familiar voices from other DC video games and animated projects return such as Troy Baker (Batman: Arkham Knight), Richard McGonagle (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Laura Bailey (Batman: Arkham Knight), Travis Willingham (Batman: Bad Blood), along with a few others. I’m really excited for the next episode in the Batman series. The story looks like it’s about to get even more interesting and it was an overall good start for this series.



About the Author

Chris Salce
Chris Salce
I'm a pop culture fanatic based out of Southern California. My collection of comics and pop culture memorabilia would even impress The Collector. When I'm not busy writing about pop culture news, doing film reviews or interviewing celebs, my brother and I work on a comic book called Blood-RED (And yes, that was a cheap plug). I have a certificate of completion for a children’s storybook writing program.



 
 

 

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