You don’t need to be a video game player to appreciate the work of the various teams at Telltale Games. Ever since the studio adapted series like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones into a series of awesome, cell-shaded choose-your-own-adventure games, the developer has carved out their own little corner of the video game universe. Their governing rule — that story comes first — has helped the studio propel established franchise to new narrative heights. Now, it’s time for the Dark Knight to get the Telltale treatment.
Today, the studio announced that it would attend this year’s SXSW and will use that opportunity to unmask Batman, offering some of the first concrete details on the studio’s newest game.
Fans of Telltale have known for some time that the company was prepping a Batman game, but the studio had stayed mum. In fact, a teaser trailer for the upcoming episodic series was released last December:
Of course, the trailer is pretty vague. It radiates a Batman: Year One vibe, with scattered reports of violence in the streets and a rise in crime. In other words, it’s reasonable to expect a fledgling Batman battling street thugs. There’s little indication that the most popular rogue’s gallery in comics will be appearing (but, of course, they will).
Don’t expect a cell-shaded Arkham Knight situation, though. In a recent interview with Kotaku, co-founder and CEO of Telltale, Kevin Bruner explained:
Our Batman series is looking fantastic. I think it might become one of the best things we’ve ever done … It’s not like any other Batman game out there. This game really explores all aspects of Batman, not just the the “fighting in the suit” side of him. There’s a lot of subplots to explore and some really amazing choices that have a big impact on the story being told. I really think it might be the peak of the mountain for us so far.
Moving past all that unverifiable boasting, Bruner’s phrasing, “all aspects of Batman,” indicates that the series will follow Bruce Wayne closely.
Moreover, a smiling Bruce Wayne flanked by two women is our only real glimpse of the Dark Knight in the teaser. In its announcement, Telltale explained that part of the vision for the new game would be “to dive deeper into the complex life and mind of Bruce Wayne, the duality of his own identity, and the struggle of responsibility in saving a city overcome with corruption and villainy.”
So, from the scant information creators provided, we’re expecting a rookie Batman who’ll likely be taking on the mob more than his rogue’s gallery. While his future nemeses have to show up in some form, this portrait may be a smaller, more intimate one than we’ve seen in recent iterations. Given the studio’s professed desire to make the experience a “fighting in the suit” game, it’s also entirely likely that Telltale will deliver a complex, two-handed mystery for players.