Telltale Games is best-known for adapting popular properties into unique gaming experiences, which they release in a series of episodes. The developer has turned existing properties like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and even Minecraft into their own style of "choose your own adventure" games, where the player has the ability to make decisions that ultimately impact the outcome of the game. Though the games do follow a roughly pre-determined storyline, the player has some control over how it turns out.
The first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series is finally available for download today for both Xbox and Playstation consoles and mobile. The new series was officially announced at The Game Awards in 2015, giving fans a peek into the new game featuring Gotham's Dark Knight. The game itself is visually stylized with same signature animation as other Telltale releases, but seems to be more of a gritty psychological thriller compared to anything they have done before.
The world game focuses on Bruce Wayne's internal struggle with his alter-ego, Batman, during the Harvey Dent campaign in which Dent transforms from Gotham’s beloved District Attorney into the criminal known as Two-Face. Alfred, Bruce's most trusted friend, offers some sound advice in hopes of helping Bruce through these troubled times - reminding him he doesn't have to choose. “I know you’re trying to create a myth," Alfred says. "Just remember: There’s room for Bruce and Batman inside that suit.” The trailer above (and game) goes on to feature plenty of blood-splattering, violent action that we would expect from a Batman game, including appearances by Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman, and Vicki Vale.
This thematic element of duality, that Telltale chose to highlight in the game, is the heart of classic Batman lore. As Telltale describes it, that will, in fact, be the driving mechanism of Batman: The Telltale Series:
“Enter 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.
Decide the fate of Gotham City. Determine the fate of Bruce Wayne and his dark persona, Batman. Your choices write a fascinating new chapter in the complex and dangerous lives of the playboy industrialist and the vigilante detective.”
This maybe be one of Telltale's most exciting releases yet, considering Batman has been a beloved property for many years and, while there have certainly been some great Batman video games, none so far have put player choice and Batman's characterization front and center. It sure will be interesting to see how certain choices play out the rest of the season.
Batman - The Telltale Series episode 1 is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.