Batman: The Telltale Series is an episodic graphical adventure game based on the Batman comic series and not any previous adaptation. It is the second Telltale adaptation of a DC Comics franchise, following The Wolf Among Us and it uses a similar cel shaded visual style. The game mixes moments controlling business man Bruce Wayne and his superhero alter ego Batman with an even split. The game is set in Gotham City a few years after Wayne decides to become Batman. He is already fully equipped with gadgets and the batmobile, assisted by his butler Alfred Pennyworth, but no one knows his real identity yet. Both criminals and the police are however already aware of his actions. The game starts with a robbery at City Hall. Batman is there to fight the criminals, but a superhero Catwoman he has not encountered before turns up as well. At the same time, as Bruce Wayne, he endorses District Attorney Harvey Dent to become Gotham’s new mayor, much to the chagrin of the current mayor Hill. Other important characters are the mob boss Carmine Falcone, reporter Vicki Vale, police lieutenant James Gordon and childhood friend Oswald Cobblepot. The event at City Hall sets a lot in motion that involves all the different characters.
The game consists of five episodes released over time:
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 1: Realm of Shadows
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 2: Children of Arkham
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 5: City of Lights
This game entry either serves as a compilation of all episodes (X1) or as the only release of the game (PC). Depending on the platform, episodes two to five can be purchased separately, as a single season pass, or both (PS4).
The game uses many familiar elements from previous Telltale games. A large part consists of cinematic sequences with no interactivity, and with dialogues between characters. At certain moments the player needs to choose a dialogue option from a small selection, or let the timer run out to use silence. There are other types of choices as well and these impact the consequences of events and relationships between characters. Choices are carried over to the next episodes and can be compared to those of players worldwide. At certain moment Wayne or Batman can also be controlled freely to explore small environments and examine items. There are also many Quick Time Events where quick reflexes are needed to win fights and get out tricky situations. In certain sequences shooting or throwing needs to be done by moving a target in a circle. If these are not done properly and in a timely fashion, the main character dies and the section needs to be replayed. Certain action scenes allow the player to control Batman’s drone.
An entirely new element takes place at crime scenes. After examining different clues these can be linked together to establish the events. This is done by dragging items so they are connected. When completed the entire event is played out. The same technique is used to establish an attack plan for a fight, with different options to take out opponents. At the start of the game the player can choose between four colours for all bat technology. Crowd Play is an entirely new feature. It allows several additional users to participate using a web-enabled device such as a mobile phone. After entering the game using a unique code, all players can vote on choices so the one with most votes is chosen for the game. The same can be done to express emotions using a thumbs or a thumbs down. Participating users do not need to be in the same room, this can for instance also by done through Twitch streaming. The feature is available for both PC and consoles. Other elements are unlockable development videos, trailers, and a codex where all characters all gradually unlocked with background information.