Realm of Shadows - Review
Spoiler Free Review
When you play a Telltale game you get used to the pressure of making split second decisions that often have big impacts on the story being played out in-front of you. When you put those mechanics into the Batman universe it's a little different. Batman is already a complete bad-ass and very rarely do we see him regret any decisions he makes. So how do you give the player control of the character but still stay true to the essence of a 'choose your own adventure' story?
...you let the player play as both Batman and Bruce Wayne with the decisions you make as either Bruce Wayne or Batman impacting the wider story! (spoiler, they're the same person).
There have been a number of Batman games over the years, but this one manages to do something quite different. 'Batman, Realm of Shadows' is part one of five, so it's very much focused on setting up the sandbox you're going to playing in, introducing you to key characters and demonstrating what its like to be both a billionaire playboy and a vigilante.
What seems to work really well is that you can play both characters however you see fit. I personally played my Bruce Wayne very suave and arrogant. Whereas I played my Batman very dark and broody and wasn't above using violence to get the 'right' outcome (look, I needed information and a lot of Gotham cops had already died).
The game is beautifully visualised in Telltale's traditional cell-shaded graphic art style. The voice acting is top-notch and the action scenes do a great job of making you feel like you're actually Batman - even if they are mostly quick time events (QTE).
My only complaints would be that Alfred, a character who I normally find a very likablemost Batman movies and games, is a little plain. And when you play as Bruce Wayne I can't help but think I'm looking at Stirling Archer ('Archer' animated TV series).
Realm of Shadows only takes about 2 hours to complete, so it's worth doing it in one sitting if you can. I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into episode two - 'Children of Arkham', which is due out mid September 2016.
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If you've ever dabbled in pick-a-path-adventures then the Telltale games are probably something you should check out. Realm of Shadows does a great job of putting you in control as both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
- Getting to play out an (R) rated Batman adventure
- Making decisions as both Bruce Wayne and Batman
- Seeing new interpretations of classic characters like Harvey Dent and Oswald Cobblepot
- The story so far...
- QTE Combat
- Alfred's character design
- Batman looks too much like Archer