Telltale Games, known for their episodic adventures, has had a mixed year in 2015. While Tales from the Borderlands was a hands-down success, Game of Thrones gave an epic journey but a disappointing destination and Minecraft: Story Mode was an unnecessary slow-paced, unemotional tie-in. However, the company has been eager to promote their big 2016 project- a Batman game. With that in mind, here are five things I want to see from Telltale’s take on one of DC’s most iconic heroes.
- A strong cast of actors
Telltale are known for great ensemble casts in their games and, much like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, a strong cast is needed to really bring Batman to life. Personally, I’d love to see Troy Baker take on Batman/Bruce Wayne; Dave Fennoy give Commissioner Jim Gordon the smooth voice of reason that made us fall in love with Lee in Telltale’s The Walking Dead and maybe a few more voice acting heavyweights thrown in for a good measure. It might do Telltale good to use actors who voiced characters in the wildly popular animated Batman shows from the 1990s and early 2000s. However, it is pointless to assemble an awesome pool of voice acting talent if you don’t have…
- A strong cast of characters
The average Telltale game provides between 10 and 20 hours of gameplay, split across five or six episodes. This is the perfect format to include an array of characters from the Batman lore (I will come to integration in my next point). Both allies and villains should be included to garner that real Batman feel. I’d love to see Robin or Nightwing make a substantial appearance as well as characters such as Oracle. They could face off against the classics- The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Riddler and another, who I will bring up next point. Telltale will do well to avoid major JLA intervention, as this will merely clutter the game. But how would one integrate the vastness of the Batman universe?
- Give an overarching story
It would be very easy to give an episodic Batman game the stand-alone treatment, with each episode seeing the Dark Knight face off against a different enemy. However, the best experience would come from an overarching story, where seemingly random slowly piece together. While Telltale will most likely going with an original story, to see a great example of how this works, they should turn to the Batman comic Hush, in which the seemingly random actions of a handful of Batman’s Rogues Gallery are found to be profoundly linked. Batman works best a slow-burn, neo noir concept and with their trademark story heavy game design, this plays right into Telltale’s strengths.
Now let’s talk about some potential mechanics/gameplay features
- Multiple pathways
As well as Telltale’s trademark episode defining choices, a new mechanic introduced in Tales from the Borderlands gave the player a little more customization in certain aspects of the game. This could be easily applied to Batman, giving the player multiple ways to complete the story. Choices could be between a fear-inducing overt attack and a methodical stealthy covert takedown. This would not only increase replayability but would give a much more personal feel to individual playthroughs. But who would be play as in this game? Well…
- Give us both Batman and Bruce Wayne sections
An important part of the Batman story is the dichotomy (or lack of one) between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Being able to play as both sides of the Dark Knight gives a deeper perspective on the psychology of the Batman. Furthermore, harking back to my previous point, Bruce Wayne could be used as an alternative method of investigation- a social stealth option compared to the Batman stealth of, um, Batman. This would particularly be interesting, given Telltale’s preference for story-driven content. The Arkham series from Rocksteady Studios had a lack of Bruce Wayne so being able to play as the billionaire playboy would be fun.
Are you excited for Telltale’s Batman game? What do you want to see?