Batman: A TellTale Series: Episode 1: Realm Of Shadows Review

Publisher:  Telltale Games

Developer:  Telltale Games

MSRP: $4.99

Rated:  M

Release Date:  August 2nd, 2016

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

Rating: ★★★★☆

When TellTale Games first announced they’d be taking on the caped crusaders story, we all took a sigh of relief. With Batman’s story being almost as old as time itself, it’s a wonder what new and interesting ways we can learn more about the Dark Knight himself still. TellTales take on the masked is aiming to do just that.

The first episode of this 5 part series revolves around Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent. Harvey Dent is trying the best he can to be elected the new Mayor of Gotham and he’s partnered up with Bruce, the richest man in Gotham, to help him out. Bruce gets introduced to Carmine Falcone, who as we all know as the biggest scumbag/gangster in Gotham. Without giving any spoilers away, let’s just say Bruce and Falcone’s first meeting goes surprisingly well, at least according to the choices that I made of course. Which is why TellTale is so great. They leave the entire fate of Gotham up to us, the players at home.  As with all of their games, your choices matter in the story and really makes you feel as though you have the burden the caped crusader deals with balancing Batman and Bruce Wayne.

Now the story kicks into high gear after Bruce’s family legacy is called into question. Bruce must find the answers as to who is targeting him and why while also dealing with a new nuisance, that being Catwoman.  As with any retelling of Bruce Wayne’s heroic and sometimes questionable alter ego, we always get the origin story of a young Bruce Wayne watching his mother and father being taken away from him. TellTale makes a slight change and waits until nearly half through the first episode before giving us a reenactment via silhouettes.  When they include it, it feels right and more importantly, is done right.  TellTale are masters in storytelling and once again make smart choices throughout the first episode, so even seeing the Wayne’s die in yet another format feels organic and keeping with the pace.

Episode 1 does a fantastic job at diving deeper into the mind of Bruce Wayne and Batman, as well as depicting a close to accurate Gotham City that takes from several visions to feel like a right fit.  Of course it is a much different style than any Batman game before, but one that really makes us feel like we are fully taking control of the character.  He is not just the dark knight, but Bruce Wayne as well.  And damn, we never thought taking control of Bruce as himself could be so good.

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