Today, Telltale and Athlon Games launched The Telltale Batman Shadows Edition. Shadows Edition brings a sinister new look to the Telltale Batman Series adding a noir-style visual makeover and graphical upgrade to the critically acclaimed and much-loved games.
The Telltale Batman Shadows Edition, which includes the Batman: The Telltale Series base game and new noir style DLC, is available for players to purchase now on Xbox One and Steam, Epic Game Store, PlayStation 4 in Europe and Nintendo Switch in the near future, from £23.96. Players who already own the base game can add Shadows Mode as stand-alone DLC from £3.99.
Earlier this year, Telltale and Athlon Games struck a publishing agreement for five popular Telltale Games back catalog titles, including Batman 1 & 2 and The Wolf Among Us, which are currently available for fans to purchase. A leading creator of interactive storytelling, Telltale Games titles represent a collection of unique and powerful story driven narratives that invoke fond memories for fans worldwide.
“We’re excited to be able to build and continue the legacy of this iconic Telltale Games franchise by launching The NEW Telltale Batman Shadows Edition today,” said Brian Waddle, Chief Revenue Officer at Telltale. “For the holiday season, we wanted to offer fans old and new a fun twist on the series with the first of many planned initiatives. All of us at Telltale are working hard to build a great studio, delivering great content. We hope everyone will stay tuned for more announcements in the coming months and, for now, enjoy playing in the Shadows.”
Batman: The Telltale Series cast players into the fractured psyche of Bruce Wayne in a dark and violent original story and challenges players with discovering the powerful and far-reaching consequences of choice as the Dark Knight. As Batman, players will encounter classic allies and adversaries, and will learn the true meaning of what it means to be the man behind the cowl as Bruce Wayne.
After Batman Arkham Knight there were rumours of a Batman Beyond game and most reports said that WB Games, the devs behind Batman Arkham Origin would be working on it. Well, it was happening until it got scrapped. But, we’ve got concept art of what the game would’ve looked like.
The game would’ve followed Damian Wayne with an Older Bruce being his mentor. It would’ve been heavily inspired by Batman Beyond but there seems to be no sign of Terry McGinnis, the actual Batman Beyond.
It would be set in a run-down Gotham which seemed to have been overrun by villains. Two-Face would have returned, this time as a Judge. Poison Ivy and Penguin would also return along with a new Female Black Mask while Gorilla Grodd would also show up.
In terms of allies, Dick Grayson who is Nightwing was also supposed to be in the game but we don’t know in what capacity. For transportation, Damian would use a Batbike to travel across a Gotham that looks way worse than it did in Arkham Knight.
Something that was interesting and something that people did want from new Arkham games was the Nemesis System from Shadow of Mordor which was confirmed. In this cancelled game, if Batman lost to a group of enemies, the Batwing would pick him up and the enemy would gain notoriety in his gang.
All of this, however, was scrapped but they also tried a Superman and Suicide Squad game. They are working on some sort of a Batman game which people seem to think is going to be based on the Court of Owls storyline. This rumour has slowly gained popularity because devs and people working on the game have been teasing images with Owls and even going as far as putting up a post with a Court of Owls logo t-shirt.
All of the information about “Project Sabbath” comes from a poster on 4Chan who also posted the images so take it with a grain of salt but it does line-up with previously known information. You can check out the full album here or on the link below.
Over on Twitter, WB Montreal’s Assistant Producer has been talking about how awesome her job is lately and posted a picture of a t-shirt with a very familiar logo a few days ago. Some pointed out that it was not Batman related but a Harry Potter teaser, however, the logo is extremely similar to the Court of Owls symbol. There’s been a lot of rumours about the next “Arkham” game and this might be the biggest hint as to what it is even if it isn’t being made by Rocksteady.
For those unfamiliar with The Court of Owls, it’s a somewhat recent but critically acclaimed storyline that is part of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion’s new 52 run. The story focuses on a secret society known as The Court of Owls who have secretly been in Gotham City since the colonial times and are now out to get Batman and Bruce Wayne. It is one of the best new additions to the Batman mythology and is a must-read for every Batman Fan so I’m not going to spoil more.
WB Games Montreal previously made Batman: Arkham Origins which was quite a good game and a very good prequel to the series which had its fair share of bugs at launch but has since been ironed out and is a lot of Arkham series fans’ favourite out of the four titles.
… We’re not doing the glamorous part of the job just yet. We’re headed down to meet with our WB partners and showcase the team’s hard work and share our excitement. I know how anxious the fans are to hear something… Please be patient! (2/2)
Sadly, it seems like WB Montreal won’t be at The Game Awards as tweeted by Patrick Redding whose Twitter is also filled with teases for an upcoming project. He also tweeted an image of an owl but that could just be coincidence but hey, we’re scrapping to find any info we can about their upcoming title which could very well be a Batman: Court of Owls game. We hope the meeting goes well with the execs because last time they had a meeting, they were poised to announce a Damian Wayne Batman game but that got rebooted after the Execs didn’t like it and this upcoming game is probably what they’ve been working on since. He also liked a tweet about an Arkham game announcement coming sometime in 2019 but take that with a grain of salt.
With this announcement, both Rocksteady and WB Games Montreal won’t be at The Game Awards which is a damn shame if you ask me because everybody is so excited to know about their upcoming projects.
The Batman: Arkham Collection is officially available for users to purchase for the Xbox One.
This new bundle features all the Rocksteady Arkham games with all the DLC. This means that Arkham Origins is not included in this collection. The collection is also said to be “Xbox One Enhanced” and according to user reports, as of this moment, there is no Enhancement patch for Arkham Knight while the Return To Arkham titles have the same Enhancement patch as it did when it first came out and has the weird 45 framerate cap.
For the price of $60, you get both previous games plus the premium edition of Arkham Knight which features all the story packs, skins and story DLC for the game which is a good deal if you haven’t played these games. The lack of an enhancement patch for Arkham Knight is a disappointment as we expected that with a bundled release as such, they might also push a patch for the last release in the series. We could have expected something along the lines of 4K @ 30fps or 1080/1440p @ 60fps since it is doable on the horrid PC version which has been patched a lot and has decent performance now.
Arkham Origins has been left out of this bundle though which is sad to see. It does, however, receive Backwards Compatibility support if you have a physical copy of the game. Arkham Origins was not developed by Rocksteady but instead by WB Games Montréal and released to a mixed review due to how buggy it was on launch. However, as time has passed, many hail it as one of their favourites of the series. It would have been nice to see it with an Xbox Enhanced Patch because it had a very unique aesthetic that was close to Arkham Asylum’s comic book style of characters.
Telltale Games, the studio behind beloved episodic titles like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us may not be with us for much longer.
Last week, the publisher laid off a major bulk of its employees, which came to light when the said employees announced on social media that they were no longer employed at Telltale. Soon enough, it was made official. Telltale released a statement saying that they were indeed shutting down the studio partially, laying off all but 25 employees.
The news came as a shock to fans as the final season of The Walking Dead just came out earlier this year and is just a few episodes from its finale, and the studio had some highly anticipated titles in development, including the second season of The Wolf Among Us and a series based on the Netflix show Stranger Things. Now, according to a report by Game Informer, it seems like we won’t get to see how The Walking Dead will end. Apparently, the small team left at Telltale is currently working on the Netflix Minecraft project. All other planned projects have been cancelled.
Telltale Games has been struggling for a while now, laying off 90 employees back in November 2017. And it’s only gotten worse with time. The studio rose to critical acclaim with the success of The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead, making story-focused, choice-driven games based on popular IPs. But that didn’t mean that all games did well. According to reports, only Minecraft: Story Mode and the first Walking Dead games were financially successful. All the other games lost money, and Batman: The Enemy Within was the worst performing Telltale game ever.
While it’s understandable for one to wonder why a publisher working on games based on franchises like Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy would have issues selling these games, but we need to realize that working with such big names comes with its own set of problems. As evidenced by a USGamer report, employees faced severe crunch when it came to working on an esablished IP. Sometimes, the studio would revert with rewrites for as much as 80% of the game, often at the last minute. Another problem, as cited, was inconsistent feedback. One source said, “So much effort was spent reacting to reactions, and the notes would be wildly different every time. So a lot of time it resulted in schizophrenic [game] episodes cobbled together via contrary notes.”
As if this wasn’t enough, even the fans had issues with the games, thanks to an abundance of performance glitches and bugs. Not to mention that the Telltale engine was laughably ancient, as Waypoint covered earlier this year. Here’s an excerpt from the article: “A source told me that even as the company was riding the success of The Walking Dead, their engine didn’t have a physics system. (Telltale has their own proprietary technology, it doesn’t use Unity, Unreal, or something else off the shelf.) If a designer came up with a scene requiring a ball to roll across the floor, or a book to fall off a shelf, it had to done by hand, an enormous time and resource commitment.” What perplexed most fans and critics alike was that Telltale never switched to a different engine, or tried to improve the existing one for that matter. Couple that with the long loading times, not-so-occasional stutters and audio issues, and you have a perfect storm.
The employees have certainly fallen on hard times. According to online posts, the people who were laid off were only given 30 minutes to vacate the premises after the announcement. Reportedly, they’ll be allowed back in the office for three hours today, allowing them to collect their belongings. Naturally, fans and critics alike are wondering lies in the future for these talented individuals, and studios similar to, or even bigger than Telltale, this wasn’t the only studio shutdown news to hit us recently. Only a few days ago, Capcom Vancouver, the studio behind Dead Rising series announced it would be closing its doors as well.
Fortunately, the industry is quite sympathetic towards Telltale and its employees, with many studios, including Valve and Ubisoft, inviting them to apply for jobs. A lot of the crowd has taken to social media as well, showing its support for the former devs. Some Walking Dead fans have even started petitioning Netflix in order to save the studio. We can only hope that the amazingly talented people who gave us some amazingly engaging stories can continue to fuel their dreams as well. Nevertheless, even if the studio closes down, we’re sure that Telltale will go down as one of the better game studios in the history.