How Telltale’s Batman Games Changed My Attitude Towards the Dark Knight

It’s no secret I love superheroes. The Marvel movies are some of the few films I actually go to the cinema for these days. I’ve posted before about how I’ve never really been into comic books, so my superhero exposure has mostly been through movies and TV series. Unfortunately for DC’s superheroes, what I’ve seen of them has not been all that flattering. Sure, I watched Smallville and Lois and Clark when I was a kid, but Superman was never all that interesting to me.

And unfortunately for the Dark Knight, my first experience of his world was Batman and Robin. Needless to say, I’ve never really taken Batman seriously. To me, he was just a rich guy with no superpowers creating problems for himself by letting all his enemies live. Many years later, I’m married to a huge Batman fan who I share many passions with. Batman just isn’t one of them.

Well, he wasn’t, until hubby convinced me to give the Telltale Batman games a try. As someone who values story and characters above most other aspects of video games, it’s a bit surprising I hadn’t played a Telltale game before. Since most of their games are about franchises I’ve little interest in (you know, like Batman), I suppose it’s not that surprising.

If you haven’t played one, Telltale’s games are like those Choose your own Adventure books, where you decide how to act and events unfold based on your choices. In the Batman games, there’s some combat and investigation, but mostly the games play like interactive storybooks.

What made Telltale’s Batman games different from the other Batman media I’ve encountered was the focus on Bruce Wayne. In many of the films it feels like Batman is the main character, and Bruce is just a mask he wears in the daytime. These games made me feel like it was the other way around. Heck, in the first game, there are several points where you get to choose if you’re going to solve a problem as Bruce or Batman. In the second game (season?), you actually spend the majority of your time as Bruce. This gave me a chance to see the Dark Knight as a person, helped in no small part by Troy Baker’s excellent voice acting. The game also shows Bruce’s intelligence, his personal code, his cool arsenal of gadgets, and the brilliant team that backs him up, and the constant struggle between wanting to solve things as Batman versus dealing with the consequences as Bruce. It even gave me more insight into Gordon, Catwoman and Joker’s characters. Actually, the only character who still leaves me scratching my head is Harley Quinn (seriously, by the end I was secretly hoping the game would just let me kill her).

So I finally know why my husband is such a huge Batman fan, and now I can take my future encounters with the Dark Knight more seriously.

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