Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Realm of Shadows Review

Batman: The Telltale Series could become Telltale’s best franchise yet.

By Grayshadow, Posted 03 Aug 2016

It’s strange, after playing Rocksteady’s amazing Arkham series I thought I had already become the Batman. It was not until I started playing Batman: The Telltale Series that I realized I was simply a handler, but now I’ve truly become Batman and it’s up to me to decide what path The Dark Knight should take. Despite technical difficulties Episode 1: Realm of Shadows opens the series with a bang; asking me to make choices that will define Batman and Bruce Wayne.

This isn’t an origin story, instead it takes place years after Bruce Wayne took the mantle as Gotham’s savior the Batman. The episode opens with the cape crusader demonstrating his martial art and stealth skills against a group of robbers and one trained Catwoman. After the episode grows even darker as Bruce Wayne attempts to repair Gotham’s reputation from being a criminal cesspool to a city of hope.

Familiar faces from the franchise continued to sprout up as the episode continued, delivering strong performances that remained loyal to their notorious personas. Harvey Dent still trying to save Gotham from a desk, Bruce attempting to purpose in both of his lives, and Carmine Falcone laying waste to anything that threatens his position of power. 

Despite the notoriety of each character the experience felt fresh, this because I wasn’t limited to pre-determined dialogue. I was given full control of what to say as Bruce Wayne and how Batman acted. I could be a generous Bruce who listened to reason or acted out of anger. As Batman I could to be more like a ruthless monster or an ally to Gotham’s law enforcement. The choice was mind, I was the Batman.

Batman: The Telltale Series,Telltale Games,NoobFeed,

As Bruce you’ll talk to a lot of characters, each attempting to convince the billionaire to act a certain way. Whether its Harvey attempting to explain the importance of dining with the devil or determining Vicky Vale’s honestly, choices are abundant and relationships are determined here. As Batman things become more violent, with incredible fight scenes, torture segments, and use of a tone-downed version of detective mode to solve minor puzzles. Both offered distinctive perspectives of each persona.

It’s a shame that the most enthralling parts of Realm of Shadows, the fights involving Batman, are hampered drastically due to sound breaking. At times I was truly immersed in the fights, only to have the sound cut out entirely. Seeing Batman throw one of Falcone’s men over a balcony only to hear nothing as he hit a table completely destroys the immersion. For other titles from Telltale’s library this wouldn’t be a large issue but for a Batman game hearing Batman deal out punishment is just as important as seeing him break bone.

Like other Telltale games player’s will make choices, between 2 to 4. Some choices are timed while others offer branching paths that determine how the story will progress. Action scenes are conducted through a series of quick-time events that require specific button inputs. 

Batman: The Telltale Series,Telltale Games,NoobFeed,

Episode 1: Realm of Shadows is an outstanding opening. The story, fights, and tension in Bruce and Batman’s lives. The first episode does an excellent job of building a foundation that not only concludes with a satisfying ending but a cliffhanger that will have you yearning for the next episode. This could become Telltale’s best franchise yet, but we’ll have to see.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): Telltale Games
Developer(s): Telltale Games
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Narrative
Release Date: 2016-08-02

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