We’ve talked before about Telltale Games and how they put you in situations where they give you a choice to make and the choice feels momentous but, when you think about it a little later, it turns out to not really have done anything when it comes to the plot.
Well, we’re going to talk about it some more.
In the first Telltale Batman game, there’s a scene where you are holding a fundraiser for Harvey Dent’s political campaign and Carmine Falcone shows up to the party. Hey, it’s Wayne Manor. It’s a political fundraiser. Dent asks you to play nice with Falcone despite the whole “mafia boss” thing. You walk up to Falcone and the game asks you this:
DO YOU SHAKE FALCONE’S HAND?
There are a dozen reasons to shake Falcone’s hand, after all. You’re Bruce Wayne. This is a fundraiser for Harvey Dent. There are reporters around. This is *YOUR* house.
There are a dozen reasons to not shake Falcone’s hand. You’re Bruce Wayne. This is a fundraiser for Harvey Dent. There are reporters around. This is *YOUR* house.
So… what do you do?
As it turns out, well… it doesn’t matter. The plot is going to go where the plot is going to go and the stuff that happens does not have whether you shook Falcone’s hand as a lynchpin event when the excrement impacts the oscillator.
But in that moment… man. This isn’t about the lynchpin event.
This is about what has precedence over what. Is this about honoring the request of your friend? Is this about honoring the memory of your parents? Is this about what it will look like if you don’t shake his hand? Is this about what it will look like if you do?
Even if the handshake changes nothing with regards to the plot, it changes *EVERYTHING* with regards to how you *FEEL* about the scene.
And so that’s why Telltale Games make games that work (through the first playthrough, anyway). They make you feel things about the story you’re in. Even if you can’t change anything.
And, so, with that said, I’m really looking forward to the *NEW* Telltale Games Batman story currently coming out. Batman: The Enemy Within has released Chapter One (and if this is like the last handful of games, one chapter every two months until all five are out).
Of course, it drives me nuts to be left on a cliffhanger so I’ll only be getting the new game once all of the chapters are out.
But I loved the previous one (even if the choices were somewhat obviously orthogonal to the plot) because they were working with a universe that is absolutely perfect for the medium they’re using to tell their stories. I’m on tenterhooks already.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))