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Games : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: August 2nd, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2016

Batman: The Telltale Series - Realm of Shadows

Overview -

DC Comic's 'Batman' is the most recent license to receive the Telltale treatment, after such entries as 'Minecraft', 'Game of Thrones', and my personal favorite 'The Wolf Among Us'. It is set in the early stages of Batman's career and has a dark, adult theme. 'Realm of Shadows' is the first of five episodes. This review is for the Xbox One version, but as with most Telltale releases, it can be found on all current and last gen consoles, desktop platforms, and mobile. 

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
August 2nd, 2016

Video Review

Ranking:

Telltale stated that their engine, the Telltale Tool, received an upgrade to provide for a smoother experience in 'Batman'. Any enhancements in the tech have been lost on me. The stutters are still there, as are the audio syncing issues and long load times. The visuals otherwise look much the same as 'Borderlands' or 'Michonne', not ugly but also terribly familiar.

Editor Note: The PC version is more demanding than past Telltale titles. It was unplayable using a Intel HD 530 (in Win 7), but ran well (55-60fps) using a Nvidia GTX 970 (2560 x 1440, Win 10). This was after the post-launch performance patch. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck using Xbox One controllers (Lunar White, Elite, and the new Bluetooth model) either wired, wireless, or in one case, using Bluetooth. For wired and wireless, the RT isn't mapped correctly. The Bluetooth connected controller wasn't detected at all. Ultimately, I used a wired 360 controller.

Audio Review

Ranking:

The audio struggles right along with the framerate. Lip syncing is not perfect, and many scenes just have no sound effects, diminishing their cinematic quality. The score retains the thematic sound of Batman at least, being both brooding and heroic.

Final Thoughts

In 'Realm of Shadows' we see the usual monolithic monument of Telltaleness, wrapped up in a cape and cowl. We also see the shadow of something different, something new. It's not ready yet, not fully formed, and could die by the end of the series or even by the second episode, but it could also bring their craft to a new level. Either way, I don't see a need to wash my hands of it just yet.