As one of the most famous superheroes ever created, Batman spends a lot of time in the spotlight, not only in comic books but also in movies, TV shows and video games. But while there have certainly been some excellent games that put players in the shoes of Gotham City's Dark Knight - Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City being perhaps the most famous examples - the action-oriented gameplay usually means that there isn't much room for the man behind the mask: Bruce Wayne.
Telltale Games has set out to change that in Batman: The Telltale Series, using the studio's trademark choice-and-consequence gameplay and narrative focus to give player's first-hand experience of Bruce's struggle to maintain his dual identities. In the first episode, "Realm of Shadows," Bruce found himself at the center of a delicate political situation - campaigning to get Harvey Dent elected as Mayor of Gotham City, but confronted with the decision of whether to get his hands dirty (by dealing with mobster Carmine Falcone) in order to get a good man on Gotham's throne.
With elements of action, mystery and complex morality, "Realm of Shadows" left Batman fans eager for more, and fortunately they won't have to wait long. Telltale has just announced that episode 2, "Children of Arkham," will release for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on September 20th, with release dates for other platforms to be revealed later this month. Telltale has also released a new image for the upcoming episode - check it out below.
"Children of Arkham" will find Bruce struggling with his convictions after uncovering some disturbing information about his beloved parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, but how he chooses to react to these revelations is up to the player. While Telltale titles tend to follow the same general story path regardless of player choices, decisions made in the game can dramatically impact the characterization of the player character, as well as their relationships with other characters in the game. For example, in "Realm of Shadows" the player was faced with the option of showing restraint when dealing with criminals, or brutalizing them to get results. It will be interesting to see if future episodes offer the option to kill - a controversial topic in the Batman fandom.
We can probably expect to see a new trailer for "Children of Arkham" soon, as well as hopefully more images from the upcoming episode. Can Bruce save Harvey Dent from becoming Two-Face? Is the good name of the Wayne family tarnished forever? And what exactly is Bruce's old friend Oswald Cobblepot up to? We'll find out in just a couple of weeks.
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," will release on September 20th, 2016.