One of the bigger Batman releases that Batfans can expect this year is Batman: The Telltale Series, by video game developer Telltale Games, known for fantastic episodic interactive stories.
What we know of the game thus far is:
- It will take place early in Batman’s crimefighting career.
- It will be a interactive story similar to other Telltale games.
- It will feature several Batman characters, but only Harvey Dent and Selina Kyle were announced from his famous gallery.
- The art style will be influenced by Neal Adams, Jim Lee, and Greg Capullo.
- The detective aspect of the character will be a very important aspect to the game, including recreating crime scenes.
At E3, they had an impressive booth, allowing fans to queue up to watch a hands-off demo of the game. Metro.co.uk reported back about how disappointed they were with the game shown thus far. The report criticized the dialogue, animation and graphics, quick time event gameplay, and story. The reporter seemingly upset over the direction of the game thus far, made his frustrations known during an interview conducted with Job Stauffer, Head of Creative Communications at Telltale Games.
The interview renewed his faith in the game. There were a lot of interesting tidbits that show, like most games, the team’s love and admiration for the character as well as their determination to make a great game.
The reporter seemed intent to compare their version of Batman to a pre-established incarnation. Stauffer made it very clear that their version is its own thing.
“[I]t’s completely our own iteration and our own canon. So it’s not tied to The Animated Series or any games or any film at all. We’ve been waiting years to really dive into the character of Bruce Wayne, and more so than any film or game or comic it’s really more about the man behind the mask and the billionaire. And how he’s really struggling with, and dealing with, being this man that’s putting on the batsuit at night. And the kind of Batman that he is, is really entirely up to you.”
Given the fact that Batfleck unfortunately a took a few lives in Batman v Superman, the reporter seemed to think that it inspired the Telltale Series, badgering Stauffer about how violent Batman will be. Stauffer remained mum on the word, simply reiterating that the player has the choice and those choices impact the entirety of the game. Stauffer said, “I think it’s really about putting the player in the shoes of Batman, where the results of his actions may result in larger chaos… or result in a situation… [H]e could make a wrong decision and that could have long-lasting effects over the entire series.”
While not a big fan of point and click games myself, there is apparently an ongoing trope in most mystery point and click games where players roam the screen looking for interactive objects, known as “window washing.” In the end, that’s always been my problem with that genre of games, but Stauffer made sure to address those concerns. He explained that the player will be Batman and with that comes very specific gameplay features not seen in other point and clickers, such as access to technology like the Batcomputer or Bruce’s confidante, Alfred.
The reporter eventually started asking for thoughtful questions. For instance, he asked what the Telltale Series will do for Batman, what others could not.
“We are a drama. And it’s a drama that’s full of action, and it’s full of crime, corruption, villainy… all the themes of Batman that are really key to the franchise.
But our games are really told through the language of cinema… and interactive cinema and character role-playing. And having that presented in a way where, yes, you are still running across rooftops and fighting different villains and having different confrontations, but it’s not an experience that you would have akin to a brawler or an open world action game. There are plenty of those, and they’re absolutely fantastic, but we’re telling Batman in the Telltale language.”
The reporter addresses the quick-time events featured in the game, with Stauffer explaining that it is the “fastest and most intense we’ve ever had action sequences happening onscreen.” And with that, there’s a cool little gameplay mechanic that’s sorta action-adventure-y. Stauffer points to a “bat icon that shows up on the left hand of the screen,” explaining that “that actually builds and enhances every time you hit cues on time and combining your actions in rapid succession.”
The interview goes in a different direction, away from the Batman part of it all.
Eventually, the reporter asks Stauffer about the possibility of working with other DC characters, to which he received a very diplomatic answer that doesn’t hint at nor deny anything, but I think I can read between the lines.
“The Telltale series is focused on the Batverse, if you will. But I think after The Wolf Among Us, and now this, our relationship with DC has been fantastic and just continues to grow. And I think hopefully the sky’s the limit. We love working with our partners, and DC and Warner are really at the top for us.”
What I’m getting from this is they have a very good relationship with DC and WB and that they are open to the idea of using other DC properties, but of course, he’s not going to be saying that any time soon, lest he gets in trouble for talking about an unfinalized deal.
What do you think? Excited for the game?