Batman: The Enemy Within Review

Telltale’s second season of Batman, The Enemy Within is full of action, surprises, tension, and heartbreak. We break it down, episode by episode, and deliver a final season verdict.

Please note, there will be spoilers throughout

Episode One: The Enigma

Telltale’s first go-around with Batman was decent. They nailed a dark and dreary tone, gave the player some difficult choices, found a proper balance between the worlds of both Bruce Wayne and Batman, and gave the supporting cast plenty of time to shine. It’s not the companies finest work by any stretch, but it was a respectful adaption that ticked the right boxes.

What I like about The Enemy Within is that Telltale have found their stride with Batman. The Enigma throws people right into the heart of the action, pitting you head-to-head against The Riddler, the original costumed criminal in this version of Gotham. What Telltale have proven is that they’re not afraid to tweak and adapt known Batman lore and mix it up with their own. This version of Riddler pre-dates Batman. He was terrorising Gotham while Bruce was still in diapers.

But now he’s back, and for what reason? That’s the crux of this episode and serves the foundation of the 2+ hours of content you wade your way through. It’s vintage Telltale with the usual dialogue choices and decision-making, but with some slight differences. For one, there is more of an emphasis on relationships. When you complete this episode, the choices you make shape a bond with each member of the central cast. Did you leave someone sad by ignoring their pleas for help, or did you leave them traumatised by not acting quickly enough in a tense situation? These tie into the main choices you make through the episode, but also the way you interact with each character on a one-to-one level.

Also different is the way you attack people as Batman. In certain situations, you’re given a choice on how you want to fight and approach combat. Could be you attack from above, could be you ask for a distraction from an ally so you sneak in and wipe enemies out when they least expect it? It’s a nice touch and adds another layer to both the Telltale formula, but also distinguishes it as more of a Batman game.

The Enigma sets up an intriguing narrative with some major twists and turns, though some of puzzle-solving and decision making was a tad frustrating and unremarkable. On the whole, it’s a mostly solid debut for the season and it really feels like Telltale are beginning to understand the IP they’re carting around. The season can only improve from this point forward and that’s an exciting prospect.

Episode One: The Enigma

7 out of 10

Tested on Xbox One

Episode Two: The Pact

After a mostly strong season premiere, the plot really starts to open up in The Pact. Where Telltale have gradually drip-fed villians into the Batman-verse, here we’re introduced to three of the biggest, and each has been given slight quirks to differentiate them from what we’re used to.

Harley’s wielding a sledgehammer for instance. She’s less of the dizzy, quirky woman she’s been portrayed as in films and TV, and is more of a firm-hand. Meanwhile, Bane has a wrestler’s background.

That said, I’m not sure I fully get this relationship with Bruce Wayne and John Doe. There’s a real Gotham TV show-esque vibe to it all , and it almost doesn’t fit into the world TTG have built. Of course, we all know that this is being setup for a third and final season where Batman and Joker go head-to-head, but we’re biding our time until that, I guess. To be honest, though, the tension between the two is being offset by a desire for them to just get on with it.

But the direction of the episode offers some smart design choices and some intriguing narrative possibiilities. It’s also nice to see some new characters like Waller really step up in this episode. Waller and her team really come into their own here and you’ll definitely be presented with some big decisions, but it’s the impact of those on the entire cast – physically and emotionally – that makes sure this episode packs a heavy gut punch.

The Pact is a great second episode that makes you wonder what could be coming next.

Episode Two: The Pact

8 out of 10

Tested on Xbox One

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