Telltale Games’ narrative take on Batman is a refreshing one; the man beneath the cowl takes centre stage in a battle with corrupt politics and organised crime, whilst maniacal villains take somewhat of a back seat.
Through being exposed to the consequences of Batman's vigilantism, as well as his reluctance to engage in it, the image of an invincible hero dissipates.
The game engine also finds itself lacking, even after an upgrade, as Telltale’s well-established technical hitches remain present and accounted for. They may occur less frequently, but we’d expect noticeable frame drops, momentary pauses, occasionally limp - even entirely missing - sound effects and distracting jagged edges to have been ousted.
Whilst the series is entirely Telltale’s own, tying directly into no established arm of the franchise, the detective scenes lean heavily upon those from Batman: Arkham Origins. You’ll analyse clues within a crime scene and make physical links between the evidence in order to build a picture of what happened - once it’s fully fleshed out, the scene will play back in full. It isn’t particularly mentally taxing, but playing as the World’s Greatest Detective is engaging nonetheless.
The same mechanic is later recycled to formulate a plan of attack, which will go off without a hitch whatever approach you might choose (provided you hit the QTEs in time, of course). This illusory choice is something you’ll have to learn to live with in order to glean the most from the experience, but it does become slightly egregious when characters spout total inaccuracies. After interrogating a goon through the sole means of intimidation, Alfred chastised us for having “gone too far” in “beating him half to death”. Finally gone senile, eh?
Despite its problems, through employing a grounded cast of recognisable characters - whom you can read up on in the Codex, should they be unfamiliar to you - that span shades of grey, the seeds of an intriguing and unique Batman story have been sewn. Its a reinvigorating take on the franchise and its characters that left us questioning who and what we know, as well as eager to uncover more in the coming episodes. That's the sign of an opening done very right.