Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode Three Out Now!
Batman’s Favorite Cat-burglar Returns in Episode Three: “Fractured Mask”
Now that Thanksgiving’s leftovers are out of the fridge, it’s time to chow down on another episode of Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within! We last saw an undercover Bruce Wayne narrowly escape from the authorities with a bizarre Agency asset. In episode three, “Fractured Mask”, Wayne and the remaining Pact members barely step foot in their hideout before a familiar face joins this league of villains. After everything Bruce and Selina went through in the first season, will Catwoman unmask the caped crusader, or take his secret to the grave?
In some of their previous series, Telltale has struggled with balancing the natural ebbs and flows of storytelling with the demand for action in games. As the third segment in a five-part season, developers might feel tempted to ease up on the gas when it comes to excitement; that way, they can establish the groundwork for another portion of the grand finale. While “Fractured Mask” definitely hints that Telltale is saving the best for last, it still gives the player tons of exciting options to choose from.
Even the slower moments, like John’s interactions with Bruce and his first meetings with Batman, have an almost uncomfortable sense of weight behind each decision. John Doe has met his idol, and the way that Batman treats this future nemesis will determine the season’s final battle.
The uncontested best part of “Fractured Mask” is the return of Selina Kyle. Those who played the first season of Telltale’s Batman series know that Catwoman plays an essential role in the story’s plot and whether you part ways as friends or enemies determines a huge amount of “Fractured Mask.” Of course, that’s not to say Bruce can’t make peace with his burglar enemy or stab his former lover in the back, but the five episodes of history these two characters already have makes this reunion beautifully satisfying. You don’t need to spend an entire episode dedicated to fleshing out Selina’s character, like episode two did to Harley Quinn. You’ve already spent hours developing this character, now it’s time to cash it all in!
If “Fractured Mask” brings up any complaints, it might be the hassle with the Riddler’s laptop. Much of the episode surrounds the Pact’s need to uncover what the Riddler knew about their big heist; a remarkably odd objective since it suggests that Freeze, Bane, Quinn, Catwoman, and John all agreed to join this team without fully knowing why. The only way to find out is through accessing the Riddler’s encrypted laptop, but there are so many obstacles in the way that Bruce (and even Batman) needs to make deals with two different Pact members just to unlock the stupid thing! While it makes sense story-wise for this goal to be so well guarded, the gameplay can become confusing if you’re not careful. Miss one detail and you might end up making a decision so wrong that the game needs to intervene. You know you’ve gone down the wrong road when a character walks up to Bruce and says “I swore not to help you, but now I’ve changed my mind!”
Episode three of Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam.
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