Review: Batman: The Telltale Series (Nintendo Switch)

Batman: The Telltale Series: Official GBAtemp Review

Nintendo Switch 2,635 views 3 likes 7 comments
Reviewed by Christopher Otero, posted Dec 4, 2017, last updated Dec 4, 2017
Dec 4, 2017
  • Release Date (NA): November 14, 2017
  • Release Date (EU): November 11, 2017
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Genres: Graphic Adventure
  • ESRB Rating: Mature
  • PEGI Rating: Sixteen years and older
  • Also For: Android, Computer, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
Batman: The Telltale Series for the Switch is a port of Telltale Games' 2016 title of the same name. You assume the role of Batman and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, trying to save Gotham and learning dark secrets of your own past.
Christopher Otero
Set early in the Batman universe, you must make decisions as both characters that affect not only how the story progresses but also how other characters interact and view Batman/Bruce. As a new player on the scene, Batman is feared by both criminals and police alike. Bruce Wayne, Gotham's golden child, witnessed his parents murder in Crime Alley at young age which forever changed him. 20 years later, he creates Batman in order to fight the the wave of crime and corruption that has taken over the city. Supporting his best friend, Harvey Dent, in his run for mayor, Bruce must balance both the world of politics and his vigilante activities as Batman. The story paces pretty well but can drag on, particularly in the lengthier parts as Bruce.


The Man. The Myth

If you have never played a Telltale game, it plays like an interactive comic or choose your own adventure book, usually released in episodic format. The Switch version, as it is a port of a year old game, contains all five episodes. They rely heavily on storytelling and the choices that you make help to tell that story. At times its just dialogue and choosing what to say, which often times people will remember. At one point in the story, as Bruce, I told Harvey Dent that he was my best friend, regardless of everything that was going on. He remembered that and when I had done something that betrayed him, he was not all too pleased, bringing up what I had said previously. Its not just choosing what to say, but also choosing what to do and how to approach a situation. Often times its just choosing if you go as Batman, whose very presence is intimidating or Bruce, using his words to appeal to whomever it is you may speaking with.

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It's not all talking, however. As Batman, there are action sequences when you fight criminals and the like. These quick time events involve pressing the button displayed or moving the control stick, using many of Batman's arsenal of weapons and tools. There are also point-and-click segments, examining crime scenes or plotting out the course of action, which are done well and feel just how Batman would do it. Alternatively, when playing in tablet mode, you can use the Switch's touch screen to play the game entirely. The touchscreen was wonderfully responsive and enjoyable to play with, more so than using the joy-cons which at times didn't register my input, leading to a few game overs. You can easily switch between both control options by simply touching the the screen or moving the joy-con. No menus, no options, just change on the fly as you play.

Graphically, the game looks like most every other TTS game, cell shaded and comic book style. Nothing crazy or anything, but it really fits Batman quite well. All the character designs fit pretty well in the Batman universe, matching what I would expect Bruce Wayne to look like. Docked, the game maintains a steady and solid frame rate but drops considerably when playing handheld. It doesn't ruin the game at all, but it is noticeable when it happens. Characters clapping very slowing, and animations that look a little bit more choppy all around. One of the best parts of the game is the soundtrack, beautifully composed and usually fits the scene perfectly, it really helps to pull you into the story. Whether you are talking as Bruce or kicking butt as Batman, the music gives it a cinematic feel to it all.

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Sadly, it is by no means a perfect game. The Switch version has its share of issues, some more severe than others. The least of all is a few graphical problems; textures not loading properly, such as a wall just being flat and blue or the screen going almost completely dark in a scene that takes place during the day. A few others are models moving oddly, such as Bruce's head being locked in a very odd position or Selina's eyelashes blinking when her eyes are open. Nothing terrible by far, just takes away from the experience. Additionally, load times are can be pretty long; at one point I was waiting for almost 2 minutes on the loading screen.

Another problem is that the game occasionally doesn't properly register the decisions you make, which is pretty frustrating considering that is a key part of gameplay. In a scene where Batman is trying to gather information from a mercenary, you can choose to physically harm him or just intimate him. I had chosen the latter, scaring him but not hurting him, with Gordon finding the man and noting my nonviolent approach. The next scene, however, Alfred was scolding me for beating the man half to death when I didn't lay a finger on him. I wasn't too pleased with that outcome, luckily it only occurred a few times at not too critical points in the story, but it was still rather annoying to have happen.

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The biggest issue, by far, that I hope they patch out, is a game over crash. I was nearing the end of the game; the final episode, and had gotten distracted. Sadly, it was a bad time because Batman got shot in the back of the head. I had selected "Try Again" and then the screen went completely black for a few minutes before I had to hard power off the Switch. When I went back to the game to restart the fifth episode, everything was different, what I had done and the situation I was in. I went back to the episode selection screen and it had wiped out my entire save data. Everything was gone, forcing me to start from the beginning again. Hopefully this will be patched out soon as it is pretty game breaking to lose hours of game just to start over. Thankfully it only happened one time, even when I tried to do it again.

The Dark Knight

Despite some of its issues and shortcomings, Batman: The Telltale Series offers a pretty enjoyable story, taking shape based on how you play it. With about 10 or so hours, fans of Batman and Telltale games should be pretty pleased with with this port. The touch controls are responsive and certainly the best way to play when undocked, if you don't mind a bit choppier frame rate. If you haven't played a Telltale Series game, this would be a good place to start.
+ TTS style fits well
+ Good story and soundtrack
+ Batman
- Bugs
- A few dull moments
7 Presentation
The cell shaded graphics give that comic book feel and Batman: TTS has a great, mature story that moves at a pretty good pace, even with the game sometimes forgetting what you did previously.
7 Gameplay
Pretty simple but in a good way; point-and click, lots of menus and your choices affect the story. A few bugs and occasional lack of input response from the joy-cons can be frustrating at times.
6 Lasting Appeal
With a nice variation in the story based on how you play, should have you coming back every now and again to try a different approach.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Batman: The Telltale Series isn't the best game for the Switch or the best port. If you can look past the few issues present, it offers a pretty good story that fans of Batman or Telltale games will enjoy.

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