Making it Their Own...Jank & All
Batman is Telltale's own approach on the nearly 80 year old character. While developers like Rocksteady have given their own visual approach to the characters in that universe, Telltale actually decided to take some risks with the story while also offering their own unique take on some of the characters. While the story beats and action can be great the game is plagued by one nagging thing that all games from this developer suffer: its a Telltale game, bugs and all.
I won't divulge any serious story spoilers here but I will say most of the game's real revelations come in episodes one and two. Telltale could have taken the route of nearly every iteration of Batman: it normally boils down to "my parents are dead", punch bad guys in their face, stop a large scale attack, save Gotham, brood, and go home. Telltale, however, decided to flip the idea of what makes Bruce Wayne unique on its head. We've only ever gotten to play as Bruce in small little sequences that don't really matter but in Telltale's game I would say the split of Batman to Bruce Wayne is 60/40. Now, I think its pretty easy to guess up front that you would play as Bruce way more than the Caped Crusader himself, I mean it is still a Telltale game so there is going to plenty of gabbing and looking at items in the environment. However, what makes that split interesting is you can actually effect how often you go out and resolve a conflict as Bruce or Batman.
This divide actually made me pause and think how my Batman would do things, and just like with many other Telltale games you can have your game and decisions wildly change compared to another player's game. One friend of mine was playing through the game concurrent with me and we would discuss how certain scenes played out. We were floored when we found out certain well known characters never even appear depending on some decisions you may or may not have made. While I will not go back and play this game again it is always cool when that can happen. The characters are fully realized with great, but familiar voice acting. The visuals are hit or miss, however.
All Telltale games look the same and I would argue with anyone who says otherwise. Sure, the art design changes but their art style hasn't changed since at least the first season of The Walking Dead and I'm sure it looked similar before that. I love the Batmobile and the design of the batsuit this time around. Without a doubt it's my favorite batsuit in a videogame to date. Other character's designs are largely hit or miss even if I did think the direction they started in was interesting. The graphics and audio are great until the typical Telltale jank comes in.
I used to be able to forgive Telltale because I played their games on the PS3 but then I played them on the Vita and PC; it was then I realized that Telltale was either not in the business of caring about the technical state of their games or they were unable to do anything about it. I am sure it actually falls into the latter category as no developer wants their game to released in a negative state but every single Telltale game seems to come away with unacceptable bugs and crashes that can completely kill an entire episode's worth of storytelling. These games rely on their storytelling more than anything else: what little "adventure game" is left in Telltale games isn't good enough that they can fall back on that so it is either storytelling and presentation or go home. While playing episodes of this game I experiences missing sounds, missing music, ethereal character models displaying only their eyes and teeth, crashes, freezing, massive frame drops, and more. My friend also experiences some of these problems and I've had them in almost every Telltale game to date. That is simply unacceptable and I've started having these issues reflect in my opinion and scores for these games when I review them. I can only imagine it is some limitation of the engine, tools, or employees there (more inclined to believe the engine than anything else). I can play Uncharted 4 and never notice a drop from 30 fps but the Telltale games can hold up when two characters simply walk down a hall?
Overall, I can recommend this game but with caveats. If you hate Batman this will not change you on the character or concept but if you're a comic book fan or a fan of the character I think the story of this game will suit you well. I would personally say the caveat is be mindful that this game might crap out on you in spots so wait to see if they release a big patch to correct those issues...history says they will not. That being said, Telltale games always go on sale in the summer and near the holidays so if you wait you'll probably be able to get it for 50%+ off which is the best bet to take.
edit: I would have given this game a 4...maybe even a 5 had the issues I mentioned not been there in my playthrough. That is literally how terrible I thought those issues were. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.