Version reviewed: PS4
Following the now-familiar structure of other Telltale games, Batman: TTS is an episodic game telling a new story in a new universe. Players take the dual roles of Batman and Bruce Wayne. As Batman, action sequences are experienced through quick time events whilst slower paced cerebral sections require crime scene investigation skills befitting of the Dark Knight Detective. In between crimefighting, Bruce Wayne must deal with a multitude of issues which push him to and beyond his limits. It is the tense decision making which ultimately makes the game so engaging.
In Arkham City, towards the end – SPOILER ALERT – Batman must decide whether to save Talia al Ghul, Bruce’s love interest, or save Arkham City’s citizens. It is the choice which more than anything else in the game made me feel like Batman. In Batman: TTS these choices are a regular feature of each episode. In a great mechanic, choices as Bruce Wayne impact on Batman and vice versa. This helps create the fabric of an original story albeit one which riffs from the multitude of subject material on offer.
Without spoiling the plot, Batman: TTS treads familiar ground quite regularly. Early on in the story, Bruce meets district attorney-to-be; Harvey Dent. What happens next is obvious yet is played out in a previously unexplored way. Gotham the TV series, the Dark Knight trilogy and even Tim Burton’s 1989 film are drawn on as influences to the various threads of plot. When the game offers something original it is at its best but leads to some slight yawns when familiar elements show up. Reliving THAT double homocide again is a great example of this. There are only so many times we need to see those pearls hit the floor. However, a later detective scene at the site of a different double homocide leads to some thrilling revelations.
This game was recently on sale and can be found pre-owned for approx £15. It is possible to Platinum it in one run through though returning to see the way alternative choices play out is alluring. The game is great to play socially too! I played through it with my wife (who doesn’t play games usually). Additional players can join in on smart devices to select dialogue choices with the game going with the majority vote.
This game is essential for any comic book fans and thoroughally worth the price of admission. It feels like a greatest hits of Batman which is no bad thing. If you’ve never played a Telltale game before, this is a good place to start. Other series by the developer – such as Tales from the Borderlands – have been available on subscription services recently. I’m looking forward to giving them a go having had so much fun with Bats and Bruce. Maybe, she’ll play too!