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RUNE WORKS ON GAMING: BATMAN: A Tell Tale Series Ep 1: Realm of Shadows is Telltale Games latest entry in episodic gaming—continues to succeed in what the developers do best: story telling through immersive interactive gaming.
While Telltales’ BATMAN follows the same core mechanics that have made Telltales games wildly successful—critical decision making and a mild gaming style.
Episode One: Realm of Shadows bundles well known iconic heroes, anti-heroes and villains integral from Batman DC Comic Universe. However, it is the minor cameos of a surpassingly variety cast of characters that enriches the story with key conversation points; and ensures that the player will be sure to encounter them in future episodes.
BATMAN is scheduled to have a total of five episodes to be released monthly, with its next installment to be released in September 13th.
The first episode, finds the player donning the role of Bruce Wayne, while he continues his one-man vigilante crusade against Gotham’s criminals. Most of Realm of Shadows’ plot revolves around Carmine Falcone’s criminal dealings with a new mysteriously volatile and deadly substance that will hit the streets of Gotham and Bruce’s endorsement of Harvey Dent as mayoral candidate.
Classic lines delivered by Alfred Pennyworth, “a myth can be killed,” echo those mentioned in by Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne regarding the importance of Batman being a symbol; to insight fear, hope and most importantly morph into an icon of what Gotham needs him to be.
These instances in dialogue serve as a type of homage to earlier iterations of Batman films and comics.
Yet what is most enjoyable from Realm of Shadows is its visually gratifying in color and illustration that reminds any dedicated comic book fan of Jim Lee, Greg Capullo and Neal Adams, comic art style. Players will be thoroughly relish stepping into the role of Batman.
Telltales showcases one of Batman best known traits: the analytical detective; through the use of puzzles and exploration of crime scenes. Also going as going as far as planning your plan of attack against opponents while infiltrating crime dens.
As CEO Kevin Bruner, the game's narrative does indeed offer a "fresh interpretation of the universe set in current times, not tied to any existing iteration of Batman in games, film, or comics"—and so far it delivers.
Add masterful story telling and it’s truly a winning first entry to the Telltale games take on BATMAN.
BATMAN: A Telltales Series is now available on all next gen consoles and PC; as well as Xbox 360 and PS3.
By Maria Sumoza @mcsumoza
Lead Staff Writer (and Avid Gaming Nerd)
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Zach Snyder did two things that have long been impossible: with Man of Steel Superman transcended the far-fetched, simple minded, bright red and yellow cheesiness that were the previous poor attempts to bring the Kal El of the beloved books to the silver screen and TV; and he made the guy’s existence on earth plausible.
The acting, writing, effects, costumes, designs, and music were all top-notch.
It is not an exaggeration to compare Christopher Nolan’s Batman series with this fresh new Superman flick. Batman Begins was not perfect (though it came really close) and is a classic film, and on the Metropolis side of the world, Man of Steel proves likewise.
As great as the comic book rendition of Tim Burton’s Batman is, and I think it will always be one of the single best live-action depictions of the caped crusader, no one can deny the much more complex and realistic world that Nolan delivered to us in terms of a trilogy thrill ride that could happen.
Similarly, Man of Steel reaches out to a Krypton where politics have blinded a people from seeing their own impending extinction, and Russell Crowe is a phenomenal Jor El that steels the show from the start.
And Zach Snyder has delivered an all-star cast – Henry Cavill is perfect and Amy Adams is a Lois Lane that is not an obnoxious reporter (like most since the original black and white TV show), but more of a strong, smart woman next-door figure.
Everyone working on this was at the top of their game, and Snyder wonderfully revamped a destitute D.C. Comics movie franchise in the 75th anniversary of Action Comics Number One blowing the world’s minds.
Hitting home are this movie’s real world themes, gritty fighting in an all-out brawl-for-survival style, and interesting character depth.
Without invoking spoiler alerts, General Zod is very conflicted and has contrived warped views, actions, and brain patterns based on society’s actions (watch this to learn the true horror within).
Lois Lane might seem pretty straight forward, but her character undergoes a series of changes that leads her to decide upon whether to follow her normal system of beliefs or abandon them.
And our good friend Superman loses the Jesus-like pretty boy goody-two-shoes that does no wrong – as nearly all prior depictions cast him in live-action pieces – and he messes up, he gets dirty, and he becomes a more haunted being – is he human? – than has ever been gotten across on screen.
The decades of great comic book storylines have tackled some of the most controversial, real world, and ordinary human traits where extraordinary things and people emerge day to day. We can look back to the comic books breaking of racial boundaries, vying for peace in Vietnam, and pushing for the US intervention in WWII long before the mainstream media sympathized with those marching down south, those burning draft cards, and anyone that felt the US should end its official neutrality during WWII.
I have always been dumbfounded when the directors of many comic book movies dumb down the messages, lines, and conflicted characters to make them a virtual televised parody of the actual heroes that we’ve fallen in love with in the books. Superman is now real!
Man of Steel is the Superman film that fans have dreamed of seeing. The dark, gritty settings, the creepily alien suits and the insect-like ships all blend wonderfully to take the viewer to Metropolis, Kansas, Krypton, and beyond. I only wonder how Lex Luthor will feel about all this.
Impulsive Review Grade: A+
by R.J. Huneke