Telltale has continued to entertain and impress me as they churn out each new idea and title. The Walking Dead, Minecraft, The Wolf Among Us, to name a few, have been superb series with their own design and feel. What Gears of War creator, Epic Games, did to revolutionize cover based shooting, TellTale has done for the Adventure Game genre. But many, such as myself, wondered if they could possibly work their “point and click” magic for a comic book character. Especially the Dark Knight. After playing through the first episode, Realm of Shadows, I can gladly say, I had nothing to worry about.
The first thing that may come to mind is “how on earth can this genre pull off combat scenarios?”, considering how Rocksteady made their mark on their respective genre with engaging combat for the Bat. Shortly after beginning the episode though, you realize there is more to the Batman than hand to hand combat and gadgets. Bruce Wayne plays as much of a role in the preservation of Gotham as Batman does. Decisions have to made and a certain image has to be maintained. But, in true Telltale fashion, these decisions fall on your shoulders. While it may sound like a chore as well as a bore, it isn’t. The two personalities will make some tough decisions and the consequences will affect both Bruce and Bats.
For those who would prefer to see Batman doing what Batman does, then there won’t be disappointment…..unless you want a lot of combat all the time. If that is the case, it would be better to play the “other” Batman game. But that isn’t to say that this is a game where you sit back and watch the brawling. As expected, the action is QTE based but it works well mixing the action up in a way that allows you to execute the commands while watching what is taking place on the screen. There is even a “multiplier” of sorts that will build and allow a strong move to take place either to turn the tables or end a situation completely.
As mentioned though, there are decisions that have to be made that can have an impact on a single individual or many more. Do you decide to get brutal with a thug to get information or intimidate him? TellTale is not only giving us their version of the hero and his trials but they allow us to shape the kind of Caped Crusader we would want hiding in the shadows of Gotham. Many questions will rise as you interact with the varied cast and allegiance is paramount throughout the first episode, that’s for sure. So, all in all I was worried for nothing and I am very excited to see what other comic book characters may be considered for future games from TT. The length may disappoint some but it is a solid introduction to what will no doubt be an interesting take on a hero we have come to love and admire.