In a week full of special events, one took place at the Hard Rock which you might have missed out on. Telltale Games converted the Legend room inside the hotel into the most fun theater to be on Saturday night at Comic-Con. all to celebrate the upcoming launch of their upcoming game based on the Dark Knight, Batman: The Telltale Series.
Troy Baker (who voices Batman), took the stage along with the episode’s director Kent Mudle and Telltale’s head of creative communications Job Stauffer. This group welcomed a fully dressed for the occasion Greg Miller from Kinda Funny. In his full Adam West Batman suit Greg warmed the crowd into a frenzy as he explained how a giant group let’s play of a Telltale game works.
If you’ve never played a Telltale game such as Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, or Minecraft Story Mode; all you need to know is they all allow the player to dictate major aspects of the story through choice. Certain moments of the game allow players to choose between different reactions to plot elements or choosing to let a character live or die in certain situations. Your decisions are pivotal to shaping story and character in these games and Batman The Telltale Series is no exception.
Not every game is made to be played with tons of people backseat driving, especially if it’s as intimately story driven as Batman. Being in the theater packed with rabid fans could have been out of control, what made it work can only be described as the electricity The Rock would talk about in his wrestling promos years back.
I won’t go into full review mode or major spoilers of Greg Millers crowd funded session of the series opening chapter, but we have to talk about some of the impressions the game gives fans.
Back at E3 we took a peek at the first 30 minutes, which here in the full game is exactly what we witnessed in June. Batman foils a tech heist only to be bamboozled by Catwoman. Throughout that sequence you’ll bounce back and forth between Batman and a conversation Bruce Wayne is having with Alfred which serve to illustrate the dichotomy of playing each side of the character. As Batman you’ll use wit and fierce moves to beat thugs while playing as Bruce you’re trying to clean up Gotham in a different way through social engineering and leveraging relationships with characters like Harvey Dent and Vickie Vale.
Comic book fans can probably name all the different incarnations of Batman in all his 75 plus years. Telltale manage to carve out a Batman you potentially have never seen. If you had to name all the ingredients, picture Frank Miller’s Dark Knight without the old man problems and more willing to be Bruce Wayne sprinkled with a grim levity found in Kevin Conroy’s version from Batman The Animated Series. Batman: The Telltale Series also gives nods to Bruce Timm’s vision of the character fans love. You’ll notice a very heavy Animate Series influence when we go from prologue to act I.
The story itself isn’t one found directly out of the pages of any comic of frame of film, yet one that taps into what Batman is all about. In the game, our hero needs to uncover the truth about the Wayne’s history as Bruce’s dead parents are accused of having ties to organized crime. While I’ve oversimplified that for the sake of writing during comic con, rest assured things aren’t as black and white as they seem. But who do you trust in a Gotham full of corrupt cops; lieutenant Gordon a possible ally who you still don’t have a full relationship with or Vickie Vale a reporter whose history with Bruce Wayne may come into question. That’s just one of the questions you’ll have to answer as you take down Falcone and a looming threat in the shadows.
This let’s play showed off even more characters in the game one of which hasn’t been seen in comics for a few years. New features such as being able to group play your decision making with friends while in game will debut with Batman: The Telltale Series. Going back and playing the episodes with decisions influenced by friends and groups will reveal how different these events could have unfolded.
Game’s like these aren’t for every gamer, but Batman: The Telltale Series is for every fan of Batman regardless of being a gamer or not. While it’s certainly not the first Batman game to be great, the Arkham series already took that cherry. Telltale bring you the first Batman game to let you play out your interpretation of the Dark Knight. If you want to be the brutal avenger of Gotham like Ben Affleck or Greg Miller on Saturday, you can. Should you want to be a cerebral focused detective who sticks to the moral code of the law, go right ahead.
Last night’s fun was a perfect climax to a week of SDCC events and you can bring home part of that fun when Batman: The Telltale Series episode one “Realm of Shadows” comes to game consoles and PC digitally on August 2nd.
We’ve also got something special for you who couldn’t be at SDCC. First person to find me on twitter and tweet @ me with “Selena will remember that @comicsbeat #SDCC2016” will get a Steam key code for Batman: The Telltale Series season pass. Which means not only are you getting episode one but all the remaining episodes as they become available digitally for PC.
I’m on twitter here