Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 1 — Review
If there is anything players of the first season of Telltale’s Batman game should have taken away, it’s that no one is ever safe in these games, no matter who you are. The second season of Telltale’s Batman story is likely to be the same, and the first episode has hit the ground running.
The ability of Telltale games to flip conventions is what I liked about their attempt at a Batman game. The dynamic created by not necessarily doing the expected was what kept me going during the first season and it looks like the second season is going to try and continue that trend.
The game picks up a year after the events of the first season. It’s a welcome back to a world I didn’t realize I’d missed so much, but when I started up this second season, I quickly began to recount the events of the first season.
Bruce Wayne is still missing part of his ear and Alfred is suffering from PTSD, but who can blame him? If you played the first season you’ll understand why Alfred is suffering so much. If you haven’t played it, then go do it and come back.
The Extremely violent central villain for this story is the returning Riddler. After a noticeable from Gotham for many years, the man with a huge ego and an even bigger brain have returned to inflict even more psychological pain on Gotham City.
Unfortunately, I found this portrayal of the Riddler not very compelling, to say the least. He seemed under developed and the first encounter you have with him felt somewhat under developed and lackluster. We never get to see a psychological battle between a genius and a man plagued by his past and that’s one of the biggest disappointments.
On the Gameplay side of things, you get what you come to expect from a Telltale game. Much of the same mechanics and quick time events have returned from the previous season of Batman, but there seemed to be far fewer puzzles this time. This is such a shame as the Investigatory puzzle’s where one of my favourite parts of the previous game.
The pull and hook of The Enemy Within comes from the same place a lot of other Telltale titles do; its supporting cast. The performances of characters other than Batman himself are both convincing and intriguing. There’s a great deal of tension, both personal and in the wider scope that resonates off screen.
Returning characters and familiar faces from the previous game outshone the performance of The Riddler and shadowed him to a lesser part of a larger story. Amanda Waller, Alfred, Luscious Fox and John Doe all return in this first episode, reminding players of their choices and the events of the first season.
The character of John Doe, who we all know is going to be The Joker, features a fair amount in this episode. Blossoming from the events of season one, the inevitable snap is bound to happen soon. It’s just a matter of when and how he does it. John’s pact made with the devil is mentioned throughout the episode making me think that this is likely to feature heavily this season. At times his performance made me feel slightly uncomfortable and nerves, the way The Joker should.
Alfred’s suffering continues from his trauma during the first season and the returning Amanda Waller shows how she is both friend and foe to Batman. However, the star of the show goes to Luscious Fox whose arch in this first episode goes to show how important he will be this season.
We are introduced to Luscious’ daughter in this episode. A smart and interesting character who I have no doubt will be a major player this season. The scenes with Luscious and co seem to drive many of the key decisions you’ll have to make this episode and it had me geared up looking forward to the next.
Overall this is a great start to the next season of Telltale’s Batman story. After finishing the episode the game left me feeling like I wanted more and drove me to think about the consequences possible fallout from my actions. Ending the episode on a cliffhanger is probably a major factor in how I’m feeling, but I’m really excited about this upcoming season.
Telltale is off to a good start and with some more character development and hopefully some slight tweaks, this season could turn out better than the last.