Version Tested: PC
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac
Where To Buy: Steam
Batman: The Telltale Series is perhaps the most Telltale of all Telltale’s adventure games up to this point. It tells a great story – I absolutely love the portrayals of various characters in the Batman universe and the way they subvert my expectations of those characters. The voice acting is excellent (even Harvey Dent, who felt like a low point at the beginning of the series), and the Gotham they have created feels vibrant and alive.
At the same time, all the common complaints about Telltale’s games are compounded in their version of Batman. Framerate issues are surprisingly common. The animation is clunky and broken in certain places. The detective mechanics, which seemed like they could be very interesting in the first episode, have been severely underused and are essentially a “walk back and forth, trying every combination” event. The biggest concern comes from the big choices which, while they certainly feel big and impactful, seem to have little to no consequence on the overall storyline.
As stated above, the story in Batman is phenomenal. It is both familiar and unique, leading you down a path you think is regularly traveled, then pulling the rug out from under you with some new twists on very familiar characters. Some of the plot points seem like the occur a little too conveniently, but this is obviously to drive the action forward and keep things interesting throughout. I absolutely love Telltale’s take on Bruce Wayne and the classic Batman trope of possibly being the cause of as many or more problems as he solves factors really well into the “pick your poison” mentality of the game.
The big Batman fights in this episode are, admittedly, not terribly difficult, but they are a blast to watch. Particularly the fight near the end of the episode with several goons and an extremely powerful fighter. Even when you are inputting incorrectly, it sometimes feels like Batman might get overwhelmed and succumb anyway. Even though a quick restart to almost the exact spot you failed is one click away, the fights are dramatic and tense. They remind me a good deal of the excellent finale to Tales from the Borderlands. Battling Batman’s foes works surprisingly well, even if it is just an extended QTE.
The voice acting and characterization in New World Order are top notch. A few characters that seemed weak in the beginning of the series have blossomed (Bruce Wayne himself and Harvey Dent), while characters who started strong, like Cobblepot, Catwoman, Alfred, and Vicki Vale, all continue to impress. Telltale usually has great voice work – it is practically necessary for their plot heavy, cinematic games. But Batman knocks it out of the park.
There are definitely issues with the third episode of Batman: A Telltale Series. But, overall, the story is extremely compelling and the characters are fascinating. Telltale still executes its gameplan to perfection, even if it is not everyone’s cup of tea. New World Order brings some more interesting twists to the story and of course, ends on a huge cliffhanger. Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham cannot come soon enough.
- Gameplay: Good action scenes this time around. Detective scenes seem like a wasted idea.
- Graphics: Gotham looks good – the small color customization allowed to the player is a nice touch. Some odd animation issues crop up.
- Sound: Voice acting is extremely strong. Music is minimal but used well.
- Presentation: Feels like a playable TV episode. Well, put together.
- Voice acting is great, especially Cobblepot, Alfred, and Vicki Vale
- Characters that seemed like weak links are starting to shine
- Story is very compelling
- Good action scenes
- Detective scenes seem wasted
- Odd graphical issues
Jordan has been gaming and geeking as far back as he can remember. You can find him on Twitter @Jordality and occasionally find him streaming on Twitch.tv/JojoTheNinjaGaming. You can also check out his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCExyOMK798p7mCXwSayD2hg.