Review: Batman: The Enemy Within

I feel as if I have come full circle here. My first review for this wonderful site was on the first season of Telltale’s Batman and now I am here reviewing season 2. What a great game! I thought the first season was a fun Telltale game and season 2 took it up a notch. Over the past few weeks I have played three different Telltale games and this has been the best one. If I had to rate the Telltale games as a whole, this would be in my top 2, probably right after Walking Dead season 1. Where season 1 had some weird quirks and failed to hit the mark, season 2 excelled.

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Telltale has done a fantastic job of changing up the Batman mythos just enough while keeping it the same. Riddler for instance was similar to what I remember except a bit more gruesome however Harley and Joker share a different dynamic and the story arc for Joker is what makes this season so special. It gives us the origin of the Joker without revealing his identity. One of the most famous comics for DC is “The Killing Joke” which gives a back story for Joker. I have to admit that I don’t like getting his backstory there as I prefer to keep his life before a mystery. This version of his origin does that. We are introduced to Joker as John Doe in the first season. He already has the pale skin and green hair but he isn’t a maniacal killer just yet. He’s definitely nuts but in a different way. The journey from John Doe to Joker is one of the best experiences I have had with Batman and the Joker bar none. What makes it even more special is how your choices shape the character into being a Vigilante or a Villain. I personally chose to take the Vigilante route to see how it played out and it didn’t disappoint.

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Over the course of 5 episodes, Bruce/Batman goes on an amazing journey. As with the last season we are presented with times when to be Bruce and others when to be Batman. The season begins with Batman and Riddler facing off and evolves from there. Without getting heavy into spoilers we eventually meet up with ‘The Pact”  a group comprised of Riddler, Bane, Harley Quinn, Freeze and John Doe. This group is extremely fun to watch together. As you would expect, there is a lot of infighting and violence among the group and it is extremely entertaining. Harley is a strong character and her relationship with Joker is opposite from the traditional take on it. It works so well here with John Doe being a preface to the Joker and developing every step of the way.

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Batman has his hands full with The Pact and the hero takes his lumps often. He is most certainly the underdog and outnumbered significantly. It’s fun to see the methods used to take them down. One big wrinkle in the story is that of Amanda Waller. She is pretty typical of Waller but there are many ways the player can take her story depending on how you treat her. Where some Telltale games feel like choices don’t really matter that much, it felt much more vital here. Relationships change and evolve often and the players has to make some incredibly hard decisions. The game ends with one decision that tore me apart due to how invested I was in the story and characters. It doesn’t help that I have a large background of Batman story with games, comics, movies and TV.

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I tried for a while to find something to complain about in this game and the only thing I can think of is that I wanted to sprint instead of walk. This is an extremely minor gripe in a game that is meant to be a point and click adventure so I can’t justify it actually changing the score. Overall, this was an amazing experience with Batman. As the player, you get to shape the character of Batman/Bruce and influence a LOT of other great DC characters. After this season I really want to see the introduction of Robin or Batgirl as the threats are becoming too great for the hero to tackle alone. The development of the character, especially Joker left me amazed and slightly doubtful that they can top it with season 3. That said, I’ve never played a Telltale game that I didn’t enjoy so chances are high that a potential season 3 will be great! If you have any modern gaming system I implore you to play this series.

5 out of 5 Couch Cushions!!!

5 out of 5 small

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