Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 1: Realm of Shadows
Realm of Shadows is the first of five episodes of Batman: The Telltale Series, an episodic graphical adventure game based on the Batman comic series and not any previous adaptation. The game mixes moments controlling business man Bruce Wayne and his superhero alter ego Batman with an even split. The game is set in Gotham City a few years after Wayne decides to become Batman. He is already fully equipped with gadgets and the batmobile, assisted by his butler Alfred Pennyworth, but no one knows his real identity yet. Both criminals and the police are however already aware of his actions. The game starts with a robbery at City Hall. Batman is there to fight the criminals, but a superhero Catwoman he has not encountered before turns up as well. At the same time, as Bruce Wayne, he endorses District Attorney Harvey Dent to become Gotham's new mayor, much to the chagrin of the current mayor Hill. Other important characters are the mob boss Carmine Falcone, reporter Vicki Vale, police lieutenant James Gordon and childhood friend Oswald Cobblepot. The event at City Hall sets a lot in motion that involves all the different characters. The Wayne business is smeared, Carmine threatens both Dent and Wayne, Vale wants to help Wayne clear his name, Gordon investigates the Wayne family history, Catwoman challenges Batman, and it is not clear why Oz suddenly turns up. The relationship between Wayne and his parents also is an important theme.
For most platforms this first episode, released separately, serves as the base game where the remaining episodes are bought separately or as a season pass. For the PC platform the first episode is not available separately, all five need to be bought in one go. The game uses many familiar elements from previous Telltale games. A large part consists of cinematic sequences with no interactivity, and with dialogues between characters. At certain moments the player needs to choose a dialogue option from a small selection, or let the timer run out to use silence. There are other types of choices as well and these impact the consequences of events and relationships between characters. Choices are carried over to the next episodes and can be compared to those of players worldwide. At certain moment Wayne or Batman can also be controlled freely to explore small environments and examine items. There are also many Quick Time Events where quick reflexes are needed to win fights and get out tricky situations. In certain sequences shooting or throwing needs to be done by moving a target in a circle. If these are not done properly and in a timely fashion, the main character dies and the section needs to be replayed. Certain action scenes allow the player to control Batman's drone.
An entirely new element takes place at crime scenes. After examining different clues these can be linked together to establish the events. This is done by dragging items so they are connected. When completed the entire event is played out. The same technique is used to establish an attack plan for a fight, with different options to take out opponents.
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Game added by Sciere.
Additional contributors: MAT.
Game added August 16, 2016. Last modified February 22, 2023.