Batman: The Telltale Series Ep. 1 – Realm of Shadows Review

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The caped crusader is back like you have never seen him before. In the first entry of the newest Telltale Game’s series, Batman – Realm of Shadows lets players not only control the action, but make rippling decisions that could have dire consequences for all of Gotham. Are you the hero we deserve or the one we need?

Read our review to find out

Over the last few years Telltale Games has been adapting a number of IPs for the video game industry. Each formulated into their unique tried and true episodic stories, whose outcomes are driven by the decisions that the player makes. Now, Telltale have taken on their biggest franchise yet with Batman. The first game to use their updated engine, which pushes the visuals and mechanics to make this one of their smoothest experiences to date.

Having been a big fan of just about every Telltale game to come out over the last few years, even I was starting to see just how dated some of their titles were starting to look. Thankfully, their rendition of Batman is by far the best looking entry into their library of existing titles, not only based off of the character models, but also including animation and cinematography. Being a Batman title there is a great deal of expected action, which is something that normally wouldn’t go well with the game’s Quick Time Event dynamic, but thankfully fits it quite well with the improved engine.

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Working like a double edged sword, Telltale’s Batman integrates on-screen prompts into the action as it slows down between each moment. This is both great for immersion and keeping with the expected format from a Telltale title, but I did find it a bit more difficult to understand when a prompt was required of me. At times I was starting to look more for prompts than what was actually occurring in the scene. Also, I found myself accidentally entering the wrong input before hitting the right one, and was still able to proceed as if I was responding flawlessly. This level of hand holding did take a bit away from any tension of having to be on-point, and forced many cut-scenes to feel more staged than any video game touting player decisions should.

Keeping with the issues found, at one point one level of the game’s audio cut out. Leaving a fight scene to only allow voices. While the issue did correct itself after a restart, it was something that came up and did detract from the overall experience and flow of the story, as I had to redo a segment just to get it with sound.

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With all of that said, Telltale’s Batman is still a fantastic experience that is both well acted and written. When it comes to what has been drawing fans to both the Batman franchise and Telltale games, Telltale’s Batman hits everything right on the head. The first episode, Realm of Shadows, introduces players to a much more troubled man, one who needs to balance being behind the cowl and the billionaire playboy stuck in the public eye. This is a genuine look at the life of a Bruce Wayne, and while this is only first of five episodes, there are already a number of consequences that could have drastic effects for the future.

Realm of Shadows is not quite a perfect entry for Telltale’s Batman series, but it that doesn’t detract from it being a fantastic experience for fans of all types. The key elements that have been making the character so intriguing over the last few decades persists here, with enough of a new spin and focus on elements that haven’t been touched up on in a Batman game before. Making this a must play for fans if Telltale can brush out some its minor issues and keep the pacing it has already started.

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