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Batman: The rest of the dreadful mess

05 Jan, 2017

The things I've learned from this little Batman escapade:

Thumb There's very little to get excited about here.
  1. Bruce Wayne does have a case on his phone.
  2. He also has a pretty mean Bluetooth headset.
  3. For being playboys and leather fetish queens, Bruce and Selina manage to deliver the most awkward sex scene I have seen in a video game. And that says quite a bit.
  4. Telltale really phoned this one in.

At this point it feels like Telltale equates dark storytelling to adult and serious , and Batman makes Zach Snyder seem like a downright cheerful man. That's probably not something most would say after having watched Batman v Superman, and the tone here is just dreadfully dreadful.

Toss aside the pitch blackness, and the actual story is just predictable and mediocre. The whole tossing Bruce out of his own company has been done to death, even in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Here this drama takes an additional turn for the ludicruous when Penguin takes over the reins of the company. I mean... what? Why? Why would the board appoint some random guy who just showed up in town and who has no idea about the company's dealings? Because the Wayne family had been mean to his parents? The drama is forced to the point of being a soap opera, and by the time Bruce is sent to Arkham -- of course he is! -- you can't help but wonder if anybody even tried to come up with anything remotely original or different here.

Of course the Joker makes an apperance. Why? Other than the fan pandering, who knows?! He adds nothing to the story, and is a whole lot more Dennis the Menace than Heath Ledger or Jared Leto.

The thing is, at this point, you can't just make an at best average story if you're Telltale. The gameplay is the same as every other game they've released over the last five years. You have some dialogue -- "character X will remember that" -- a few button mashing action scenes, and the big twist in Batman is some Arkham-series detective-ing which adds nothing to the gameplay. These aren't puzzles; this is gameplay on rails. And that is starting to get old.

By now, maybe I've just played too many Telltale games, I don't know... It is getting to the point where they really do need to do something new, otherwise I don't know if I can sit through another experience like this.

With a perfectly predictable story and perfectly predictable gameplay, it's hard to recommend Batman to even the most hardened fan. Or as it is, particularly to the most hardened fan. There is nothing here to make you care for the characters, and there is no joy to be found in the same repetitive button mashing Telltale has bet the company on. I see little point for anyone to sit through this.

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