Telltale Games have always worked with comic book licenses, but the release of the first episode Realm of Shadows of Batman: The Telltale Series seems to be their biggest endeavor in episodic storytelling yet.
I was pretty excited when I read about the announcement last year, but now that the first installment is finally here, it’s quite an eye-opener. not only because the comic book look is captured perfectly with the cel-shaded graphics and that the voice acting is as great as is to be expected, but that this could be another exciting adventure in the Dark Knight universe outside of Rocksteady open-world brawler action goodness.
I’m always careful about episodic content when the plot and character development can only come into their own after a few episodes, especially since the trailer seems a bit overloaded with characters. But as long as Bruce Wayne’s decisions aren’t as realistically boring as in Christopher Nolan’s overrated film trilogy, then this could be something very special indeed, with Batman trying to clear the streets of Gotham City from goons and political corruption.
What’s even more interesting is how the new Crowd Play feature is integrated, as it opens up the possibility to play local multiplayer. As crazy as it sounds, but people can watch an episode together on the same screen and then vote on the decisions, something that could either re-vitalize the concept of watching episodes or end up as a superfluous gimmick. With 4-12 people apparently in the same room, this can get quite crowded and why one should use the service instead of simply shouting out isn’t quite clear. Still, it’s an interesting experiment nonetheless, and who knows where this could lead to.
At the moment the first episode (of five) is digitally available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, but will soon be on Xbox 360, PS3 and mobile devices (iOS and Android). A season pass on disc can be bought in stores on September 13th in North America and on September 16th in Europe, although knowing Telltale Games, it will take more time for every episode to be ready by then, the end of this or beginning of next year being more likely.
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