Batman: The Telltale Series Xbox One Review

For fans of Batman, Telltale, or great story-telling Batman: The Telltale Series succeeds on all fronts, if only it ran smoothly

By Grayshadow, Posted 20 Dec 2016

Back in 2009 Rocksteady changed the video game industry by introducing one of the most refined and accomplished superhero game ever made, allowing you to become Batman and see the world through his eyes. Now Telltale Games seeks to do the same with The Dark Knight by providing their own take on the acclaimed franchise with Batman: The Telltale Series. The 5 part series gives players ample control to shift the story based on their own decisions while maintaining true to the series original lore. Technical issues ranging from sound tearing to graphical issues become more frequent at the game progresses and puzzle sequences are reduced to simply dull connect-the-dots situations create vexing gaps between the more memorable moments. However, Batman: The Telltale Series remains one of Telltale’s finest works.

Batman: The Telltale Series,NoobFeed,Telltale Games,

Batman: The Telltale Series isn’t an origin story but centers on an identity crisis with Bruce Wayne attempting to find resolve in newly discovered and troubling information. In an attempt to clean up Gotham’s corruption from the inside and outside Bruce endorses his friend Harvey Dent for political office against Mayor Hill who has known ties to organized crime. Batman has become a recent, but notorious, addition to Gotham and Bruce is having trouble trying to balance the two in order to ensure stability within his city.

As the story progresses the player will make choices both as Bruce and Batman that will shape the story. Bruce acts as the hand of reason but can quickly become voice of violence if the player chooses so. Batman can become a blood thirsty vigilante to the eyes of the public, according to the player’s decision, or a beacon of justice. You’ll have up to four choices to choose from in specific situations, most of them timed, and depending on your choice the people around you will react differently encouraging multiple playthroughs. Most episodes end with a difficult decision that will shape the entire season, these are the choices that truly make you feel like Batman or Bruce Wayne.

Characters feel new but rooted in their original lore. Harvey still demonstrates swinging emotions and Selina Kyle is still smooth and deceptive. However, what made these encounters novel is how Bruce or Batman acted towards them. Instead of choosing what the Batman or Bruce Wayne from Rocksteady’s games or Christopher Nolan’s popular The Dark Knight trilogy I was free to make the choice, and given multiple options. I didn’t have to care about supporting Harvey nor did I have to act righteously, if I wanted I could pin a felony onto a hook. Batman and Bruce Wayne were what I made them and the characters around me would simply have to accept that.

The experience is further amplified thanks to excellent voice-acting and a complimentary soundtrack. This isn’t surprising given Telltales reputation with The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Tales from the Borderlands but I was caught off guard with the soundtrack, especially during Episode 5: City of Light

Fights scenes are the best portions of Batman: The Telltale Series. These choreographed situations as simple eye candy, whether you’re playing as Bruce Wayne or Batman. As Batman the fights are much more diverse as it gives players the choice of how to handle the enemies around you. Once executed you simply input button commands and watch as Bruce or Batman perform some extraordinary feats. The only issue with these fight sequences is that the sound sometimes tears.

It’s hard not to take about Batman: The Telltale series without discussing the technical issues. For those who’ve played a Telltale game these issues are usually isolated incidents that rarely hamper the experience, however that’s not the case in Batman. Here the issues become more frequent as the episodes released with issues popping up every portion of the episode. It was so bad that in Episode 5: City of Light the opening sequence’s frame-rate dropped to single-digits on Xbox One.  

Batman: The Telltale Series,NoobFeed,Telltale Games,

Batman: The Telltale Series is another wonderful addition to Telltale’s growing library of games. The fantastic story is fully realized thanks to a wonderfully constructed soundtrack and excellent voice-acting. However, the technical issues are far too frequent to be given a pass here and it prevents the entire series from reaching the same acclaim prestige as other Telltale games. For fans of Batman, Telltale, or great story-telling Batman: The Telltale Series succeeds on all fronts, if only it ran smoothly.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): Telltale Games
Developer(s): Telltale Games
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Interactive Drama
Release Date: 2016-08-02

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