About: For those of you who have not heard, Tell Tale Games recently released the first chapter in the season for Batman on Steam. The PC game takes you into the world of Batman, playing as the Dark Knight. This isn’t anything surprisingly new as Batman has been featured in many video games include Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Origins. But for those of you unfamiliar with Tell Tale Games, this introduces a fairly new premise to Batman games… The element of choice. For the first time you are able to choose the dialogue for the Dark Knight and have it create real world consequences in the game. This style of game play coupled with point and click and quick time commands has been used successfully by Tell Tale in their games, including Walking Dead Seasons 1 and 2, The Wolf Among Us and Borderlands. The game also is one of the first I have seen where you spend almost an equal amount of time playing as Batman as you do his normal persona, Bruce Wayne. 5 Chapters are expected to make up the season and the first season has received mostly positive reviews with Chapter 2’s release date still to be announced.
Plot: The game’s plot centers around Batman/Bruce Wayne putting a stop to an attempted robbery of a disk drive by a group of mercenaries and a thief (Cat Woman). While he attempts to figure out the importance of the disk, Bruce is challenged with also maintaining his normal identity and helping Harvey Dent to run for Mayor of Gotham. Only, obstacles seem to crop up at every turn. Not only is Bruce challenged with making a decision on whether or not to accept the crime boss Falcone into his home and agree with Harvey to work with him to further his campaign, but someone has also released fake information accusing his parents of having connections to said crime boss. The plot thickens when Cat Woman discovers Bruce’s secret and leads him to her clients that hired her to steal the disk drive.
Depending on your choices, you can chose how to live your life as Batman and how to represent yourself to others as Bruce Wayne, playing on the duel identity beautifully and fully putting the choice option in the game to good use. And, best of all, your choices will carry on over to the next Chapters released.
Game Play: Of course the best element of the game is the choices you are able to make. As Bruce Wayne, you are given many different dialogue choices and these shape your interactions with the various characters you encounter. You can either chose to support Harvey Dent as much as possible, or criticize him and put a halt to his invitation extended to Falcone. Meanwhile, your choices as Batman are typically more hands on. You’re able to decide whether or not you will break a man’s arm that you have interrogated, shaping your relationship with Lieutenant Gorden (if you don’t break the arm Gordon will notice your restraint, or the opposite). Either way, your actions carry over to Bruce Wayne as well, as Alfred will chastise you even if you just merely punched the man in the face… (*coughs*).
Hey, I like to get straight to the point, okay!?
Well, regardless, choices are not the only great feature of the game. Batman starts out with a number of quick time events, testing your skills and also your patience if you aren’t great at timing. Either way, the quick time events are plentiful and add a nice blend of action to the game that we would expect of Batman.
Not only that, but you can expect to solve puzzles and be strategic as well as there are parts of the game where you literally have to connect pieces of evidence together to create a complete story. There is also a time where you have to puzzle out how you will take on goons before you even start throwing punches. Then you get to throw punches and beat those gunmen’s faces to a pulp. YAY!
Graphics: A nice blend of comic book and 3D, the graphics are pretty solid and also very gorgeous to look at. Sometimes they can be a bit choppy or unfinished, even running the game on the highest graphic setting, but overall each character looks good, fleshed out and the backgrounds are amazingly well detailed. My only personal gripes are probably mostly because of my slow running computer, as often times the lips don’t sync up with the words. But regardless, the graphics are great to look at. Nothing majorly ground breaking graphics wise, but definitely well done.
Overall: I might be biased because I do enjoy almost every single Tell Tale Game I have played, but I honestly have to say that this is my favorite rendition of Batman into a video game that I have seen or played before. It has just the right blend of all the elements that make up the comic that I think most traditional fans will fit right at home while also taking the time to introduce and develop characters for new fans so that they aren’t lost by all of the numerous references and call backs to old characters. The plot is interesting and lets you have the reigns often enough between Batman and Bruce Wayne that you begin to get a very good understanding of his character and those around him. The graphics are stunning and the gameplay is intriguing. I would highly recommend putting this on your Steam Wish List. I purchased my season pass already, so here’s hoping Chapter 2 and beyond are just as good!