Telltale's Batman series begins this Summer

Telltale Batman

Telltale is doing a Batman series, in case you'd forgotten, and har har Robin Will Remember That. Or maybe not—A few details about its latest episodic adventure emerged out of SXSW yesterday, and the "extended Bat-family" will be notable by their absence.

Firstly—and perhaps most importantly—the creative leads behind Tales from the Borderlands and The Wolf Among Us are leading this first season. You'll also be pleased to hear that we can expect a few technological advancements under the hood of Telltale's increasingly stiff game engine.

Telltale summarised the new info from their panel here, the main takeaway being that Batman's first episode will be out this Summer. It's a "fresh interpretation" of the Batman universe primarily concerned with The Caped Crusader and his millionaire playboy counterpart, although Alfred Pennyworth, Vicki Vale, James Gordon, and Renee Montoya are confirmed as appearing alongside him. The series' villains, meanwhile, are "tightly under wraps", but if they're sticking to the basics surely The Joker is a shoe-in.

A few other details: it's a "non-photorealistic interpretation" of Batman, and a "mature" one too. You'll be able to approach certain situations as either Batman or Brucie, with your actions having repercussions throughout the story.

Here are those details, taken from the Telltale site:

  • Batman is the perfect character for the studio to explore in a Telltale series, giving the team the opportunity to dive deeper into the mind of the man behind the mask. Each night, Bruce Wayne chooses to change Gotham for the better. The team wants to explore what the consequences are of the player’s actions when decisions made as Bruce have a critical impact on his nightly crusade as Batman, and vice versa. Certain key situations will give the player the decision to approach a scene as Bruce or Batman, with consequences for both sides.
  • Fresh interpretation of the universe set in current times, not tied to any existing iteration of Batman in games, film, or comics. Story will focus on Bruce and Batman, not an examination of the extended 'Bat-family,' (Robin, Nightwing, etc.) Fans can expect certain series staples such as Alfred Pennyworth, Vicki Vale, James Gordon, and Renee Montoya. Telltale is looking to keep the villains more tightly under wraps until closer to the premiere.
  • Certain characters will have a deeply personal relationship with Bruce in his private life, and decisions made as Bruce or Batman will affect their paths towards corruption or redemption.
  • The player's actions will help shape the Gotham that Bruce deals with during the day, as well as the criminals that Batman faces at night.
  • Team is committing to a non-photorealistic interpretation of the universe, enhancing engine and technology to deliver a more seamless living comic book art direction. Taking inspiration from the works of over 75 years of artists such as Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, and Neal Adams.
  • Like some other Telltale series, the game will be landing at M (Mature 17+) rating, and the cinematic approach will feel more akin to an R-rated film.

And here's our first look at the script:

Telltale Batman script

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.