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I've long been a fan of Telltale Games' work, although I recognize and accept many of the criticisms used by their detractors. Yes, they have much less in common with the point and click games of old than Telltale Games would like you to think, and are much more closely related to the (much maligned) FMV games of the 90's. You're not going to end up sweating over your keyboard or controller with something from Telltale Games and you'd have to die in real life mid-way through an episode in order to not complete it. What the games lack in challenge, they more than make up for with their writing and I'd heartedly recommend reading Schwartz's take on their Game Of Throne series if you haven't already. Basically, the studio knows how to tell a good story and, on the basis of the two episodes I've played so far, I'd say they've largely succeeded again with their Batman series.



I say 'largely' in the previous paragraph, as the first episode had a few bumps. With their Batman games, Telltale Games are creating their own continuity for the character, the city, and the criminals who rise to threaten it, and the first entry into the game universe takes some time setting everything up. Some of the changes are pretty bold but I embrace them due to the story possibilities they present to both the players and the storytellers.



I'm sure there will be a few players who are aggravated by the decision to focus more on Bruce Wayne than Batman, but it's a decision that harnesses the unique format of these games to present you with obstacles that would be impossible in something like the Arkham series. Do you visit a suspicious friend as Batman or Bruce, knowing that whilst the former may be able to use violence to get them to talk, their trust in the latter may cause them to give up more information than any amount of broken fingers might elicit?



This brings me to what I like most about the game. You are allowed to be exactly the Batman you want to be. If, like me, you favor the Batman of the Nolan movies, then you can be the hero that Gotham needs right now, but that doesn't stop those potential Batflecks out there from throwing their batrangs into eyeballs and dropping gangsters from buildings.



With all of that out of the way, let's get talk about Episode 2 which has just dropped.  I guess I should probably Spoiler Box this, just in case anyone reading this hasn't played the episode yet?



I really like the fact that they're playing with Batman's origins, by suggesting his father was as bad as the criminal elements Bruce now fights against. I'm sure a few people eye-rolled at Telltale Games turning the random mugging into an assassination but it worked for me.



I've seen a few reviews comment that the episode was dull but I was fully engaged for the full 90 minutes. I was particularly taken by The Penguin's redesigned outfit, probably because his mask reminded me of the plague doctor look; something I've always found to be wonderfully creepy.



Anyway, my decisions went like this:





I'm putting all of my eggs in the Harvey basket; something that will undoubtedly come back to haunt me. Still, I couldn't let the big lug be beaten half to death by Oswald; especially as he's the White Knight of Gotham. Sure, it was a risk but I figured that Selina had enough training to save herself and it looks like I was right (although I'm sure she'll have a few digs at me over this).



And, no, I couldn't kiss her. Despite what she may say, she's Harvey's girl. Bros before hoes and all that.



The Joker's definitely going to turn out to be either one of the Children of Arkham or its leader, isn't he?


                                                                                                                                                                           


I need to pick this game up.

Didn't realize episode 2 had dropped.  Better get on that.

I wish Bart was a gamer. As That Comics Guy, it would be as interesting to hear his take on this game and it's new continuity as it was to hear yours, Schwartz, with Game Of Thrones.

So Saxy! Game sounds intriguing, and I did really enjoy the two Walking Deads, but I've fallen out of the habit.



Babies make it difficult.

Sad



Hey, I know someone who would love to take your first born off your hands for you, Bart!



AThese types of games aren't giant timesinks. And I can't imagine you won't dig the first episode at least, Bart. Do it for the chewers.
AI played the first ep, which was my first experience with Telltale. For a lot of the reasons you mentioned, Saxon, I wasn't wowed-- I can only imagine that their other games must be planes above Batman, given the praise I see them get. But when a game is comprised mainly of cutscenes, the writing better be really top-notch, and I didn't find that the case here-- it seems a very middle-of-the-road Batman story to start, anyway.

I found my attention drifting during particularly long dialogue exchanges only to be caught up: "Shit, I'm supposed to hit a button now." And then, even when you're as lousy at games as I am, to find those moments without challenge, it's not a good mix. I understand the approach they're taking here; I just don't find it super successful so far.

On the comic nerd tip: I don't especially like these new takes on Harvey Dent and the Penguin; I do love the Catwoman stuff and the way the dual relationship with her is developing.

Also like the design, and the action when it does unwind is very cool to watch. The detective stuff is neat. I don't see why people don't like the focus on Wayne-- a game like this is one of the few instances you can make it work as an experience. And I really do want to see how the central mystery plays out.

So, I'm on board, with reservations. The nice part is that it's not a big investment of money or time, so there was no way this wasn't going to be worth either of those. I'll be playing Episode 2 tonight. Hopefully things will improve as they go forward.

Yeah, Penguin is probably the most unlike any iteration of the character I've seen elsewhere, although you might warm to this version a lot more in Episode 2, as I did.



I don't have a reading on this version of Harvey yet, although one of my complaints with the game's version is that the relationship between him and Bruce feels very one-sided. The dialogue options and Troy Baker's performance suggest Bruce has a great deal of respect for Gotham's White Knight, whereas Harvey seems (at least to me) to only regard Bruce as a means to an end. Of course, we're only two episodes in, but I very much doubt we won't meet Two Face by the end of the series, and it'll be a lost opportunity if they don't do a better job acknowledging the friendship between the two men before it's destroyed by madness and disfigurement.

AThere's that, and also that Harvey seems like more of a sleazeball in general than usually portrayed... Which is more true to life for a politician, but seems like it would lower how far he has to fall when he does.

The Penguin thing I found really irritating. He's Cobblepot in name only-- and granted that he's a classic Batman rogue who hasn't had a lot going on. Maybe there's a good payoff for that, but I ain't feeling it so far.

It's still says Episode 2 is Coming Soon for me.  Does it drop for Steam before the Xbox Marketplace or something?

That's odd. Everything I've read seems to suggest that all three platforms (PC, Xbox, PS4) received episode 2 on the same day (20th of September).

A[quote name="MrSaxon" url="/community/t/155862/batman-the-telltale-games-series#post_4138803"][CENTER]
[/CENTER]

[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]
I really like the fact that they're playing with Batman's origins, by suggesting his father was as bad as the criminal elements Bruce now fights against. I'm sure a few people eye-rolled at Telltale Games turning the random mugging into an assassination but it worked for me.

I've seen a few reviews comment that the episode was dull but I was fully engaged for the full 90 minutes. I was particularly taken by The Penguin's redesigned outfit, probably because his mask reminded me of the plague doctor look; something I've always found to be wonderfully creepy.

Anyway, my decisions went like this:

[Image: E84E365065E81AB11E33DBFA1BF25E995CE3161D]

I'm putting all of my eggs in the Harvey basket; something that will undoubtedly come back to haunt me. Still, I couldn't let the big lug be beaten half to death by Oswald; especially as he's the White Knight of Gotham. Sure, it was a risk but I figured that Selina had enough training to save herself and it looks like I was right (although I'm sure she'll have a few digs at me over this). 

And, no, I couldn't kiss her. Despite what she may say, she's Harvey's girl. Bros before hoes and all that.

The Joker's definitely going to turn out to be either one of the Children of Arkham or its leader, isn't he? 
                                                                                                                                                                             

[/SPOILER]
[/quote]

Haha. I ended up choosing the opposite on all but one of yours, Saxon. I think Catwoman on this game is totally rad, so that shows where my loyalties lie.

Regarding that final choice, I assumed that

[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!] some things, like Dent becoming Two-Face are bound to happen no matter what the player does, so my reasoning was, oh, here's the origin of Two-Face; so save Selina. Sounds like I was wrong here?

Agree also that it's a bold move, really committing to the corruption of Thomas Wayne. That is a spin on the Batman mythos I don't think I've seen before. [/SPOILER]

So yeah, this escalated quickly, didn't it? Allowing that the first ep was a lot of rote table-setting, I'd say the story is keeping me on my toes now. It's a iteresting take for sure. I even came around a bit on this iteration of the Penguin. I have my own ideas about the new masked enemy we saw, but I'll keep my powder dry for now.

I watched a Youtube video where the player took the other choices and thought it was interesting that...



..players such as yourself who saved Selina will have a fully-formed Two Face in their game whilst I'll still have pre-disfigurement Harvey Dent. Of course, you'll probably get to do some kissin' with Selina whilst she'll probably stab me in the back later.

I guess my one concern is that they'll make EVERYTHING connected to Thomas Wayne. What's that Joker? My father ordered you to receive electroconvulsive treatment in Arkham as a child and it drove you insane?!


I hope they don't go that route.


By the way, what kind of Batman are you? I'm very much Nolan Batman. Minimum force and  a no-kill rule.



I guess it would have been too much work but it's a shame you couldn't define the look of your Batman along with his tech. Imagine being able to choose between costumes based on the various television and movie Batmans? Would have been pretty awesome.

AI got a little rougher than I meant to last episode and I've kind of been making up for it this time. Except with Falcone-- that guy just pisses me off.

I think you're right, unfortunately, that they may be going with an "everything's connected" route with Batman's rogues.

It'll be interesting to see how the Harvey thing unfolds now-- that's a difference that seems like it should really change the whole shape of the story. Since this is my first Telltale game, I honestly didn't know how much major variation there could be. But I've now begun to agonize over my decisions, so they're very good at conveying the illusion of choice if nothing else.

Can't belive more guys around here aren't playing this, the way everyone's always going on about Batman.
AHow on earth could you guys decide to save one character who's been proven to be totally capable and on your level of competence with somebody who has had no training? I took it as "that person can take care of them self and will probably be alright, this other person is helpless." Watching the second choice I'm glad I did what I did.

Hate penguin. Love his mask though. I also hate the retconning of the Wayne's. Leaning so heavily on retcon is annoying.

Love batman himself though. Great suit cool eyes small ears. My batman is heroic and always does the right thing, but he has a hard edge. I was relatively rough with the mayor for example, opting to scare him a bit. Torture goons if I feel like it.

It's reasonable to hate Troy Baker, right? The guy is handsome as fuck in real life and can perfectly voice a heroic figure like Bruce Wayne/Batman as well as a full range of iconic villains.



I just want to punch him in his perfect teeth.

I just loved the Selina/Bruce Bar fight. Made me think of this as well.



AI love troys joker!!!

He sounds a LOT like Hamill when he does Joker. Is he the only actor to play both Batman and his greatest nemesis?

AThe bar fight was so much fun.

I'm with Freeman on the Harvey/Selina choice. She could hold her own while Harvey was in a tougher spot,

I'm definetly a no-kill Batman.
AAll the stuff with Selina has been great, the bar fight in particular, which goes to my choice at the end-- I just like her more.

But, out-of-the-game reasoning, I guess I was getting too cute with things, or was suspecting the game was getting cute with me.

[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]I honestly thought he was bound to get messed up and become Two-Face no matter what, and if I went for him, I would have failed. Clearly I was wrong about this.[/SPOILER]

My Batman, I guess, is still figuring shit out. Which is my in-game excuse for not playing him with a whole lot of consistency. I've been no-kill as well, although I guess people could have potentially died from the damage I've dished out.

But that's one of the things I wonder about as far as your behavior affecting the course of the story. Like:

[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]Does Falcone end up in hospital needing morphine no matter how you treat him at end of episode 1? Or do you interrogate him here under different circumstances if you went easy on him?[/SPOILER]

Ah the "Man Of Steel" defense.  My 33 year old hero still hasn't learned the difference between right and wrong!  Yeah!  That's my excuse!



I suspect Falcone would be in the hospital no matter what.  Telltale games offer the illusion of significant choice, but often times it's not a Harvey/Selina thing.



I was extremely shocked to see


That a large majority of people saved Selina.  Yes, I get that she's your super hot and sexy fling and you've got a thing with her and stuff and you totally want to hit that, and I get that lately Harvey hasn't been the white Knight Dent we're all used to.  But one thing clinched the choice for me before I even made it.  When Harvey is drugged with that stuff.  Mayor Hill tells his true feelings, that he hates the poor and wishes they were all exterminated.  Harvey?  He has a sincere speech about loving Gotham flaws and all.  It was such a moving heroic moment and it was off in the background.  He might be under a ton of pressure and having to make hard choices re Bruce and our friendship, but underneath it all he's the well meaning good man we all know.  I'm sort of shocked that SO many people thought with their dick in that moment instead of basic hero logic of right and wrong, because it struck me as a remarkably UNBatman thing to do.

Either way, it looks like in the next time preview Selina is still going to fuck with my head and get on this Bat dick, so it's win win for me!
AI expect you're right on all points, Freeman, and I will have deserved all the bad consequences I have coming to me.

In my defense, you have to understand, see, my Batman, he's just starting out. He's still learning. It's really "Batman Begins".

Wait. Shit. That's already a thing,
Quote:

Originally Posted by Slim View Post

I expect you're right on all points, Freeman

Oh gawd, say that again but slower...

I'm waiting till all the episodes are out before I get on this. My experience with playing GoT and Tales From The Borderlands is that playing these as they are released really throws my groove off and I start blanking on decisions I made in the previous ep.



Looks fucking great though.

Boo, Codey! As much as I like the Netflix style of binging all the episodes in one go, it's fun to play them as they're released and speculate on what's coming next.



Bingers are mingers. (I'll check Urban Dictionary later to see if I just made that word up.)

minger

ˈmɪŋə/

noun

BRITISHinformalderogatory


  1. an unattractive or unpleasant person or thing.



Sad

You can change things by joining us on this wonderful episodic journey, Codey.



DO IT

This is definite proof that insulting someone and stating something in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS is a valid way of getting what you want on the internet.



I was thinking, on my way home from work today, about whether applying too much violence as Batman might have consequences in later episodes when it comes to the GPD, and particularly Gordon. I've been a very nice Batman but is it possible that someone else, who has been breaking arms and impaling people in the name of justice, might end up getting hunted by the GPD as a criminal?

That bar fight and the dialogue between Bruce and Selina was superb stuff. Goddamn I love Telltale!

Just bought this, gonna play this afternoon before diving back into Luke Cage.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

Just bought this, gonna play this afternoon before diving back into Luke Cage.



AWell, crap, I'm gonna buy this too then.
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