BATMAN - The Telltale Series - Episode 1: Realm of Shadows
Telltale’s Batman is an unpredictable, multi-faceted adventure told through Batman the brawler, Batman the detective, and Bruce Wayne the politician. The three almost entirely separate characters and play-styles keep the familiar Telltale formula feeling fresh and inviting. While some of the dialogue does feel overly expositional, it’s hopefully only there to provide concrete padding for future episodes, and the gorgeous, high-action combat sequences and creative detective work provide the right amount of contrast.
Realm of Shadows indicates that it might tell an interesting Batman story, but takes time to get there and suffers from Telltale’s tired design and engine limitations.
A disappointing start to what should be a potential rich concept, with an overfamiliar storyline and bland presentation.
A few points of political intrigue are quickly washed away as the story adopts a greater mystery. Many of the sequences are surprising slow with little in terms of character or plot development
Batman: The Telltale Series is still packed, like any of the developer's games, with conversational social roleplay choices. This episode alone asks you to give a press conference and multiple speeches. And though the game begins with kicking butt as Batman, the front half of "Realm of Shadows" does drag a little.
Telltale begins breaking down Bruce Wayne with a strong first episode.
Telltale wastes no time in establishing its Batman and the surprising thing is the studio is spending an equal amount of time on Bruce Wayne. The elements are familiar, but the focus is rarely this evenly split. An strong premise, sold takes on familiar characters, and great fight scenes bring this first episode to a strong conclusion. Looking forward to see what's next.
I would be remiss not to mention just how gorgeous this all looks. Tales from the Borderlands was a colorful delight, but the challenge here, to use mostly blues and greys, seems doubly impressive. A simple setting like a PR event in the park can feel lovely hosted by Harvey Dent and is both serene and ominous. This is the best first episode since Borderlands for Telltale Games. I can’t wait to see where Batman: The Telltale Series goes next.
Batman: A Telltale Games Series: Realm of Shadows is a nice setup. It's not as strong as some of Telltale's other work, but it manages to honor the legacy of the series and throw in a few curveballs to keep things interesting (thank God there's no Joker yet).
This game is as much about the man behind the mask and the problems that Bruce Wayne faces, as it is taking on crime bosses, meeting familiar faces in new and interesting ways, and unravelling mysteries. Telltale’s Batman series is off to a great start, giving us a fresh view into the character that goes well beyond beating up criminals in alleyways.