6 min read

Telltale’s Batman Episode 1: Realm of Shadows (PC) Review

Telltale Games is the master of episodic gaming with games like The Walking DeadWolf Among UsGame of Thrones, and many other stories under their belt. The company is diving in with their first attempt at a superhero franchise with DC’s Batman, and it doesn’t disappoint. Telltale provides a fresh look at the Batman universe while still holding onto that Telltale feel that we have all come to know and love. 

Title: Telltale’s Batman
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One (reviewed), PC, Android/iOS
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Price: $4.99 per episode/$19.99 for season pass

Gone Batty

Obviously, you play as playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne who is also (Spoiler alert!) Batman. By day, you spend you’re time helping Harvey Dent’s campaign for mayor of Gotham. Your nights are spent kicking ass and slinging bat-a-rangs. In the first episode, we are introduced to future villians such as Harvey Dent, Oswald Cobblepot, Catwoman, and Falcone. Harvey Dent is running for Mayor of Gotham, and Bruce Wayne is providing most of the funds. Bruce really believes in Harvey until mob boss Falcone is introduced, and it’s all down hill from there. Family secrets, psychotic drugs. and a catty acquaintance keep you pretty busy in this first installment.

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So What Happened to the Waynes?

My favorite thing about this game so far is how different it is. It’s very obvious from the start that Telltale really wanted to make its own version of Gotham. It feels like you’re rediscovering Gotham and its biggest players; which by this point, I didn’t think was possible. And thank god it doesn’t start with Batman’s origin story. Trust me, the game doesn’t let you forget about the fate of the Wayne Family, but it starts off with a different kind of energy. Even some of the villains have different back stories. For example, Oswald Cobblepot (a.k.a The Penguin) is a childhood friend of Bruce’s. Cobblepot also loses his parents at a young age and provides an excellent parallel of how Bruce could have ended up. Everything feels new  while still keeping it feeling familiar, and Telltale pulled it off beautifully. 

This is the first Telltale game I’ve played where you play as a well known character. In Game of Thrones, they created new characters to interact with the well known Westerosies, but not here. Bruce is a really likable character, and I think he is really well done. I totally played him to be heroic as possible, but the game definitely gives you options. Sadly though, even when you make a good, right decision; it’s like the game is programmed to all the bad choices. 

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Taking Care of Business

One of my praises and complaints is the combat. When the game first begins, I thought the combat was really well done and fun. They have incorporated using all the buttons on the controller, and I think it was really smart. Since this game is more combat heavy than some of the other Telltale games; I really appreciate the developers making the gamer really work to win. Along with new combat style, they’ve also added a combat meter. When this meter is full Batman can use his finishing attack on the baddies. I was totally on board until I realized, the fight is kind of rigged. There were a few times when I know I missed the QTE, but Batman delivered blows none the less. It’s sort of disappointing because it takes you out of that mindset of having all of the control. Yes, I am aware that your decisions don’t have as big of an impact as we think they do in these games, but even the fighting? After I noticed this, fights weren’t as much fun because I knew I could win either way. 

*Review copy provided by Telltale Games. All reviews posted on the site are subject to our Review Policy.*

  • Better than Ben Affleck

Summary

Telltale really knocked it out of the park on this one. I really hope that the rest of the season provides the same, refreshing look at Gotham that "Realm of Shadows" provided. They have introduced lots of interesting characters, and I am really excited to see where they take them all. Keep an eye out for episode 2, "Children of Arkham" releasing in September!!

Pros:
New take on a classic
Great Characters
Great balance of Bruce and Batman

Cons:
Unfulfilling combat

4

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About The Author

Shelby Royal

Shelby has a deep love for gaming, anime, literature, margaritas, corgis, and all things nerdy. Her earliest memories include playing Super Mario World on the SNES with her aunt. Since then, her love of gaming has grown and she has come to accept all systems as equals. She is so excited to combine her two greatest passions: gaming and writing. Shelby is working towards an English degree at THE Ohio State University, and enjoys playing games like God of War and Uncharted when she isn't writing essays. Fun Fact, I didn't play Pokemon or read Harry Potter until I was 16; 16 was a good year! Stay Gold! <3