A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Batman – The Telltale Series is a downloadable, episodic adventure game featuring the popular DC Comics superhero in the early days of his career. The game uses a point-and-click style combined with the occasional quick-time event to advance the plot. Players will make choices at key moments, which play out over the course of the entire series. This is a darker story for the Batman franchise and a far cry from the all-ages Caped Crusader that occasionally shows up in cartoons and comic books. Violence in the game is graphic, with plenty of blood and brutal imagery. The game also makes some use of profanity and sexuality, as well as references to drinking and drug use, to ground the story into the grittier side of Gotham City. It's also available as an app.
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What's it about?
BATMAN - THE TELLTALE SERIES is a five-part story set in the formative days of DC Comics' Dark Knight. Although this Batman has been fighting the criminal element in Gotham City for a while, he's yet to confront many of the more "colorful" members of his Rogue's Gallery … at least until a certain feline felon makes her move. What follows is a story of city-wide corruption, organized crime, and the rise of new, more dangerous threats, not only to the Caped Crusader but to Bruce Wayne as well. The game does more than just tell a story, though. It gives players a chance to truly be the man behind the mask, investigating crime scenes, interrogating villains, and balancing his two lives, all while struggling with the hard choices that come with fighting against the darkness without succumbing to it.
Is it any good?
For every comic book fan who once dreamed of growing up to be Batman, this is your chance. But being Batman isn't all about grappling hooks and Batarangs. It's about using your brain as the World's Greatest Detective. It's about making critical decisions at a moment's notice. And it's about making sure that the hard choices are the right choices and never becoming the very thing you're fighting against. That's what makes Telltale's take on Batman stand out. The choices you make in the game determine not only the fate of Gotham City but also the character and soul of the iconic superhero. Make no mistake about it -- this is a "grown-up" Batman tale for a grown-up audience. The game doesn't shy away from the darker side of the Dark Knight's world. Scenes from the game include a full-on fisticuffs between Catwoman and Batman, the bloody beat-down of a couple of muggers, and a brutally bone-crunching interrogation of an assassin -- and that's just part of the violence in the first episode alone.
Telltale's tried-and-true decision-making formula gives the game an extra layer of storytelling, as players quickly have to decide what to say or do, opting to follow what they think Batman/Bruce Wayne would actually do or even veering way off course to craft a different, more personal version of the Caped Crusader. The game's new "Crowd Play" feature lets friends get in on the action, too. By syncing up to three mobile device, players can cast their votes during the game's branching choices, with the majority decision being the one selected. Players can then give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote to how the decision plays out. It's definitely a fun way to get others to become more than passive observers. Of course, with this being a Telltale adventure, the story plays out over multiple episodes, and many choices you make at the start won't come to fruition until later down the road. It's a slow burn to start, but much like the first issue of a great comic book arc, seeing all the parts ultimately come together is what keeps the audience's interest. With Batman – The Telltale Series, Telltale Games and DC Comics have created a unique interactive experience with a story on par with or even beyond what could ever be accomplished on the printed page. This Batman is your Batman, and his story has become your story. The question is, what kind of hero are you going to be?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what defines a "hero." What are the qualities that make a character like Batman a hero? Do his abilities and gadgets define him or make him a hero, or is it his behavior and ethics that do this?
Talk about decision-making. What are important things to consider when facing difficult decisions? How can decisions made in the moment affect events in the long term?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Release date: August 2, 2016
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: M for Violence, Blood and Gore, Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.