Batman: Episode 1: Realm of Shadows REVIEW
Telltale's latest episodic Batman series is here, and it delivers an experience that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of your knowledge of the world's greatest detective -- even with a fairly rocky PC launch. This latest series brings a darker, fractured Batman into the gaming fray. So, why don't we get started by discussing the gameplay?
As it is a story-driven game, aside from dialog selection, the gameplay is largely based around QTEs and environmental scanning. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it allows for Telltale's story to truly shine. The detective sequences in this game could even rival the Arkham Series' investigative segments, if you like a slower game, filled with more attack planning and story building, it does both of those things very well. I won't go on too much about the story right here, because... That's what the next segment is about!
As with most episodic games, the story is where Batman truly shines. It delivers a very nice balance between the development of Bruce's character. The game shows us that Batman is Bruce's real personality, and that the Bruce Wayne the people of Gotham know is the true facade.
WARNING: PAST THIS POINT, THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.
The story in this episode is largely based around Carmine Falcone's crime ring in Gotham. After showing up uninvited to a dinner party for Harvey Dent's campaign, he hits the Wayne family, and all of Gotham with a shocking allegation. He suggests that Gotham's shining family, could have been involved in the underworld from the very start.
This directly sets the stage for the next episode, which I assume will be based around the people of Gotham coming to terms with the possibility of their heroes being... not so heroic. I also would like to see more of Bruce and Harvey's relationship, so that Dent's eventual turn into Two-Face will affect us just a bit more.
Another thing that could use some work is Oz' character in general. As it stands, he is just sort of there, with no clear purpose. His talks about a "revolution", though purposefully mysterious, just seem a bit odd.
SPOILERS END HERE.
All in all, Batman is a fun and engaging game -- was there any doubt about a Batman Telltale game not being great? It is definitely worth the $5 for the single episode, and if the next episodes are of the same quality, $20 for the season pass is a very good price for. Thank you for reading this review, and I hope it helps you with your decision in buying the game.