The Batman universe is so distinctly recognizable and universally familiar to fans that it's difficult to put fresh twists on the franchise in new and upcoming works. Even unique projects like Return of the Caped Crusaders still hearken back to previous versions like Adam West's '60s classic TV portrayal of the iconic superhero.
Telltale Games has risen to prominence in the gaming world for its interactive show-game hybrids that operate somewhat like your favorite "choose your own adventure" book from childhood, but in digital form. Their stylishly animated, uniquely structured interactive experiences have so far adapted The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and Telltale recently a Batman title to its resume with Batman - The Telltale Series, which premiered its second episode this week - and released a look behind the curtain.
The promo video offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the game was put together and how the voice actors approached the project. The stars mainly aim to put their own unique stamp on such instantly recognizable characters as Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Harvey Dent, and how they manage to balance the double-life associated with their secret identities.
"So many people have played Catwoman and they've all done amazing jobs, so you can walk down that path of looking at their performances and feeling like you'll never live up to it, or you can try to have a fresh take on everything," says Laura Bailey, who provides the voice for Selina Kyle and her feline alter ego, Catwoman. Troy Baker, who voices Bruce Wayne/Batman, explained how he tried deliver his own unique portrayal of Bruce Wayne without being trite:
"I have a tendency to overthink things and over-complicate things, and so for me the process is to not have a process. It's really to try to turn your brain off and just be open to the story that were telling, because it really is different. It's really about not pulling from and paying homage and tipping the hat to previous versions of this, but really trying to come up with your own version."
The group of three main actors, which also includes Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, also comment on how they interact with each other as part of the game and its choice-and-consequences structure. Batman - The Telltale Series' emphasis on the people behind the heroes could prove to be the defining feature for a Batman entry that has a distinctively strong focus on the real people of Gotham, rather than the superheroes that they become at night.
The game is certainly singular in its approach, offering a deeper narrative inside the lives of Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Harvey Dent than most other Batman games would offer. The game's ultimate success may hinge on fans' willingness to mostly explore the minds of the characters and take a non-linear journey based on their own decisions, rather than mostly beating up bad guys like a traditional Batman game may provide, and the performances of the voice actors will be pivotal for the game's appeal to audiences.
Batman – The Telltale Series episode 1, “Realm of Shadows,” is available now on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, OS X and compatible Android and iOS devices. Episode 2, “Children of Arkham,” premiered Tuesday.
Source: Telltale Games