Telltale Batman

If you were Bruce Wayne or his infamous alter ego, Batman, what kind of person would you be? What kind of hero? Those are the questions Telltale is asking with its upcoming Batman game, which lets you craft your own character through the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Telltale's E3 2016 booth was set up to look like the study in Wayne Manor. A nice little touch, the grandfather clock slides away to grant access to the Batcave, where I was invited to take a gander at the first chunk of gameplay from the upcoming episodic romp, Batman. Leading the tour was Head of Marketing Richard Iggo, who said the plan is to have Episode 1 out this summer, with all five chapters of Batman available by the end of the year.

Iggo explained that, in Telltale's Batman game, you'll be playing the part of Bruce Wayne just as much as the Caped Crusader. Your choices in each section of gameplay will have an impact on the remainder of the game, a hallmark of the developer's games.

What's unique about Batman is that your choices will craft you into the type of character you want to be. There are dozens of years' worth of Batman stories to pull from, each one offering a slightly different version of the Dark Knight. Telltale was given lots of freedom when it came to creating their own take on Batman, so Iggo said to expect some surprises along the way, as well as characters and events that don't play out how you might expect.

Traditionally, Bruce and Bats take on a number of different personas. Bruce is often portrayed as a playboy, a straight businessman or a brooding wet blanket. Your dialogue options while playing as Mr. Wayne reflect all of those personalities, allowing you to stick to one archetype or mix and match to your heart's content.

The same goes for when you're playing as Batman. Along with all of that grapple-hooking and punching, you'll occasionally engage other characters in conversation. Are you the stoic hero type or the revenge-seeking growler who can't stop talking about "justice" and "the law?" Again, your choices will reflect that in the game, and the villains will respond in kind.

During my eyes-on with the game, I got to watch Batman take on a group of robbers who have decided to visit Gotham City Hall after traditional business hours. You'll be given several fast prompts during these sections of gameplay, allowing you to dart between shadows when baddies aren't looking or hoist them up to the rafters by their ankles.

Batman made short work of this particular band of crooks only to discover that Catwoman had pulled a heist in the same location. You have a rad rooftop battle with her before heading into an extended scene as Bruce.

The combat sequences are what you expect out of Telltale games, mixing button presses and directional prompts in order to pulverize your opponents. If you succeed in four specific combat moments, you'll fill up a gauge that lets you unleash a finishing move.

Once you slip into Wayne's tuxedo, though, you'll be trading the fisticuffs for a lot more social interactions. Bruce is hosting a rally for old pal Harvey Dent at his manor and, wouldn't you know it, criminal mastermind Carmine Falcone and reporter Vickie Vale show up. Will you shake Falcone's hand? Partygoers will remember whether you do or not. Will you try to be charming or noble with Vickie? Again, she'll respond differently depending on how you behave.

Look to create your own version of Batman when the first episode of Telltale's game rolls out this summer. If you prefer to keep things physical, a disc containing all five episodes of _Batman _is also in the works.

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