I started writing this right after the final episode of Telltale’s Batman was released. While et geekera may have have gone quiet, I still owe you, the reader, and Telltale this review. It is presented as originally written in December 2016.
For four episodes, Telltale has been struggling to bring Batman to life in their trademark take on games and Bruce Wayne’s world. Announced following two critically acclaimed seasons of The Walking Dead and a much-loved Tales from the Borderlands along with the award-winning Rocksteady Batman: Arkham trilogy, gamers were excited about Telltale doing a story-focused Batman experience. After all, their success with adapting TWD and Fables indicated that a dark Batman story was right in Telltale’s wheelhouse.
Batman’s first four episodes (along with The Walking Dead: Michonne and Game of Thrones) showed that Telltale is a company whose ambitions are bigger than their abilities. Critics responded with a decided “meh” to the game’s story, Telltale’s familiar narrative tricks, their same old gameplay and broken engine. The finale is an improvement but it doesn’t save the series.
There are a long list of people who belong in Arkham Asylum. For example, Lady Arkham and the Penguin are good candidates to be locked up for being criminally insane. Perhaps the criminally insane are the folks over at Telltale who have been lacking in technical and creative drive when it comes to putting out a quality Batman game. Or maybe I’m the insane one for expecting The Walking Dead quality releases from Telltale every time.
While Batman: Episode 4 – Guardian of Gotham isn’t the worst episode that Telltale has released but it’s also not their best either. At the very least, it’s a promising setup for the concluding episode of the series.
It took me writing five paragraphs of this review to figure it out but I have come to the conclusion that Telltale’s Batman – Episode 3: New World Order is an alternate universe version of The Dark Knight Rises. Instead of Bane, Penguin is the face opposing Batman / Bruce Wayne and there is even a Talia Al Ghul-esque mastermind behind the whole operation. This revelation doesn’t detract from this episode so much as it explains what Telltale was attempting to do with this episode.
Telltale is very hit and miss with its many, may different titles. When the company is focused on putting all of its resources behind a particular game, it gets in the conversation for year-end awards. When they half-ass it, people worry that Telltale was nothing more than a flash in the pan and that it’s poor efforts of the past are more indicative of the company’s quality than its critical highs.
The Batman series finds an odd middle ground for Telltale. The story is largely compelling, even if the characters aren’t, but the actual execution of the game is so poor that you wonder if Telltale was taking notes on PC ports from Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight.
The latest in Telltale’s ongoing series of series based on licensed property is one that has a lot of fans excited. Even with the critical flops that were Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Knight on PC, Batman video games certainly generate quite a bit of buzz. Telltale’s take on Batman is very familiar to Telltale Games regulars but is a new take for Batman gamers as it puts as much an emphasis on Batman as it does Bruce Wayne.
Earlier today, we took a look at the history of the Batmobile. If you were Bruce Wayne, you would know that buying or developing the latest in gadgetry to become the great detective of Gotham isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s impossibly expensive to be Batman. However, nobody ever asks how much it costs to be Superman. Well, that’s probably because Superman doesn’t need fancy gadgets but just himself to dispense justice. So thanks to this handy infographic, let’s take a look at how much it costs to be both Batman and Superman.
How many billionaires that you’ve heard of are there that don’t love cars? Most of them like to show off their wealth by buying cars and leaving them in the garage to gather dust. It’s a perfectly cromulent use of the automobile.
Now, if you’re billionaire Bruce Wayne, your car of choice tends to need to be both stylish and functional. More importantly, your car says quite a lot about you. So ahead of the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, our friends over at Select Car Leasing have put together a handy infographic looking at the changes the Batmobile has undergone from the days of Adam West to the modern era of Batfleck.
The sequel to the Superman reboot is not only not a Superman-focused movie but Superman doesn’t even get top billing. The Man of Steel sequel is now officially known as “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Just when you thought that WB Games Montreal’s buggy and derivative Batman: Arkham Origins destroyed the Batman: Arkham franchise, the developer you need, rather than the developer you deserve, returns.
It hasn’t been a secret that Rocksteady was still working on projects for WB Games. It turns out that their next game is another entry into the Arkham franchise with Batman: Arkham Knight.
Poor WB Games Montreal. The rookie developer probably would have been given the benefit of the doubt before launch if they had taken up any DC franchise but the Batman: Arkham franchise. Rocksteady Studios did an amazing job with the first two Arkham games so they left a tough task for the devs who followed. In this case, the act was so tough to follow that Warner Bros. didn’t just embargo the game to release date but didn’t issue review copies to some prominent reviews including Jim Sterling. That’s gotta make you feel great about it.
While the reviewers felt that Origins was a solid effort, the recurring theme in most of the reviews was that WB Montreal played it fairly safe but not doing anything particularly new with the Arkham franchise apart from adding multiplayer to the game. If you liked the last two Arkham games, chances are that you’ll like this one as well. Just don’t expect this to be anything new or the big improvement that City was over Asylum.