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Review of Batman – The Telltale Series: Season One – “Gotham Sleeps Peacefully Again”


Almost everywhere there is such a thing as “canon”. And this applies not only to comics, films and TV series. The word “canon” usually takes into account certain facts officially recognized as true for a particular work. But more to the point, right?

If you look at the recently completed creation of the Telltale Games studio in the form of the game Batman – The Telltale Series: Season One, then this is clearly not canon – there are too many discrepancies in this project with the original creation. However, take it as something bad is not worth it, because these developers have presented players with a completely new story about Bruce Wayne and Batman, which no one has yet told.


An old legend in a new history


Finally, the fifth and final episode of the first season of Batman: The Telltale Series was released, which put all the points in their key places. It turned out that this is not exactly the game that deeply respected bat fans have been waiting for – this is something completely different. The game turned out to be special and in a sense it can even be original. The new Batman has strayed too far from the Christopher Nolan film, and even more so from the Zack Snyder film. The story is completely different, therefore it is related to the original only by characters, although even here, even thanks to the proprietary interpretation of the developers, it is hard to recognize them.

→ The game engine is old and therefore technically the picture is useless. However, the developers still have a sense of style.

The first episode with the interesting title “Kingdom of Shadows” ended with an incredible intrigue, which consisted in the secret affairs of the murdered parents of Bruce Wayne – a very pretentious Mr. Falcone, under severe pressure from the Dark Knight, said that it was the Wayne family that was at one time the main gangsters of Gotham. Naturally, such a stunning news and turn of events could not fail to cause a deep spiritual dissonance in the familiar to all the main character.

Of course, the young, influential billionaire and the world’s greatest detective of all time and peoples could not leave everything as it is, so they decided to sort out this rather complicated case. In the second episode, titled “Children of Arkham,” the couple are sent to the hospital to see Falcone. The Telltale Games studio in its repertoire at this time plays out another stunning scene in which Falcone – the leader of the Gotham underworld – is killed by a policeman, pumped up and down with some kind of drug.

→ You will not be able to ride the Batmobile in person. However, what can I say if even Bruce and Batman can be controlled only in strictly designated moments, which will not be so many.

At the same moment, everyone (and you cannot blame it in any way) suspicions fall on one of Batman’s old enemies – the Scarecrow. But not everything is so simple – you never manage to see it. For that, another no less famous villain appears – the Penguin. And at the end of the second episode, the players are generally faced with a tough choice – to save Silena Kyle (aka the famous Catwoman), or Harvey Dent (the elected mayor of Gotham and the future Two-Face).

Although even the word “choice” is too loudly said. Yes, it will be possible for Harvey Dent to save the other half of his face, but he cannot avoid madness, so he will still become Two-Face. So freedom of choice in the case of Batman: The Telltale Series is a relative concept.

On the other hand, there is still a choice. So, for example, at the end of the fourth episode (“Guardian of Gotham”) you will have to make a serious and difficult decision, which will greatly affect the beginning of the final – the fifth episode. Otherwise, the answers in the dialogues, if we judge in general, do not change much in the game. Unless, in the corner of the screen, the painfully familiar inscription “He will remember this” / “She will remember this” will appear. This, in fact, is all.

→ In the course of the passage, it is striking how Batman protects the interests of Bruce Wayne, and none of the villains will ever think of drawing a parallel between these two characters.

However, this does not negate the fact that Bruce Wayne can still be made into such a hero / character that the player wants to see. In the third episode “The New World Order, which seems to be already hinting at something serious, Bruce Wayne loses his corporation, power over which passes to his enemy – Oswald Cobblepot. Of course, the main character has no choice but to temporarily leave his favorite post for now, although before that, with just one button, the impudent competitor can “go” on his pretty face so that next time he knows how to encroach on someone else’s business not good.

And can still show the most real miracles of restraint and peacefully disperse? In any case, it is up to you to decide, but thanks to such little things, over and over again you will associate yourself with the billionaire Bruce Wayne, even if you, in fact, do not control him, but only influence certain decisions and answers in dialogues …

→ Yes, John Jow (Joker) looks not at all intimidating and intimidating. Maybe it’s all about the eyes? There is no spark of madness in her that is so strongly inherent in the real Joker.

In general, the third episode turned out to be quite eventful in terms of the number of events. There is nothing in this episode. A novel by Batman and Catwoman. Bruce Wayne’s family corporation confiscated. They will even reveal the identity of one of the cult villains. So after such a series of events, it seems that the developers got all their trump cards and simply cannot surpass themselves. And in general, everything happened like this, but the scriptwriters at Telltale Games know their stuff, so they know how to skillfully intrigue the players, so a couple of minutes after the start of the passage of “Guard of Gotham” on the screen flaunts with a smile … John Jow.

To put it bluntly, and openly, this is the old Joker. However, in the first season, he is not properly revealed. However, even he plays here a far from villainous role. First, he saves Bruce Wayne, who, in turn, finds himself in a rather difficult and desperate situation, and then even behaves adequately and tries to somehow make friends with the main character of the game. Nevertheless, the illusion of deception works 100% and therefore the Dark Knight and the main clown of the city cannot become friends in any way.

→ Victor Zas is a psychopath known for Arkham Asylum. Moreover, the character of the hero was transferred without changes, so that in the new product it is the same “correct” hero from the point of view of the canon.

Then the plot follows quite predictably: a happy ending, an epic fight with the main villain at the very end and with a huge, incredibly bold hint of a further mind-blowing continuation of the story. And what is most important in this game – even if there is no full-fledged gameplay, you want to wait for the second season, at least, in order to see how exactly the authors will be able to “replay” rather familiar characters from the universe. And yes, I especially want to see the Joker one more time.


Pushing the plot


Well, since I have touched on the topic of the gameplay, then I will delve into this detail a little. First of all, I want to note that each episode has a couple of obvious types of “detective” moments in the tasks. Such moments pass in 5-10 minutes, so you should not count on the fact that you will be able to stumble upon any clever puzzles there. Batman: The Telltale Series is primarily an interactive movie, during which time should fly by.

→ And here is the Penguin on the left side – now it looks exactly like this. Yes, you got it right: the screen is no longer an evil and disgusting shorty, but a young guy in a rather ridiculous mask. I’m afraid to imagine how disappointed the fans were with this detail …

And let Batman: The Telltale Series position itself as a film, but it looks clearly not cinematic. Graphics, as usual, leaves much to be desired. Character animations – 3/9 lands from ideal. The battles do not look very impressive as we would like in such a game. On the other hand, there is again the same “comic” style of the Telltale Games studio, which looks just right in a couple of ways.


Eventually


The new Batman turned out to be extremely unusual. The bottom line is that this is not exactly what many were expecting, because the Telltale Games studio succumbed to novelty and made an appropriate plot. Batman’s story is known even to those who don’t really know it, so the developers decided to dilute the already tragic life of Bruce Wayne with new, still unfamiliar details. Moreover, surprisingly, the Americans managed to release a rather successful project. So now it remains to wait for the second season, which promises to be much more interesting, because it is in this season that the main villain of Batman will finally reveal his true essence of the villain.



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