BATMAN: The Telltale Series - Switch

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BATMAN: The Telltale Series (Switch)
Also for: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure: Point and Click
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Telltale Games Soft. Co.: Telltale Games
Publishers: Warner Brothers (GB)
Released: 17 Nov 2017 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
Features: Handheld Mode, TV Mode, Tabletop Mode


'What's it like to be a superhero?' is a question that Rocksteady finally started to answer convincingly in games with Batman: Arkham Asylum and its follow-ups. Rather than have you pile into any given combat situation and start throwing punches it had you approach them methodically, making decisions about how best to tackle a given scenario based on its own merits. Telltale Games, as you would expect, is taking a different tack with its episodic Batman series. It's still got that core question squarely in its sights, though: what's it like to be Batman?

Batman: The Telltale Series is all about the bigger decisions you have to make when you're an obsessive billionaire with a predilection for fighting crime, and here more of those choices are made with your mask off than on. The game features some quicktime-powered action, sure, but the focus is squarely on the decisions you make in conversation and your ability to piece together evidence at a crimescene.

The game drops us somewhere near the start of the Dark Knight's career. Jim Gordon is still a police lieutenant, Catwoman's unknown to Bats, Harvey Dent still only has one face and Oswald Cobblepot is yet to pile on the pounds and start waddling around the underworld. Batman's not green around the gills, but he's not the seasoned crimefighting vet we tend to meet in the comics yet, either.

Dent is running for mayor with the backing of Gotham's first son, Bruce Wayne, and it's around this that the intrigue centres. In an apparent bid to sabotage Harvey's campaign, someone is intent on dragging the Wayne family name through the mud.

The narrative draws heavily on comics material such as Year One and The Long Halloween and the game benefits from it. This younger Bruce Wayne's inexperience leaves some room for the player to make decisions. Interactions with the Gotham characters feel genuinely tense and the decisions feel weighty. There's rarely an obvious right or wrong decision. The crimescene investigation sections are another centrepiece, with Batman piecing together clues using an augmented reality display in his cowl.

Telltale also deserves a tip of the hat for the visual design. The clean, thick lines nod to the game's comics roots without ever feeling slavish to them.

This disc contains the first episode on the disc, as well as season pass access to the other four as they're released. It's a must for Batman fans!