TellTale Batman: The Enemy Within Released With A Bang!
Early last week, Telltale released the second season of their celebrated Batman series. Batman: The Enemy Within marks an impressive step towards improving not just Telltale’s notorious action sequences, but its signature storytelling as well. Season one explored the darkest corners of the Wayne family’s history; now that he knows the truth about his father’s legacy, Bruce must face old and new enemies to save the city corrupted by Thomas Wayne.
Episode one of Batman: The Enemy Within is appropriately titled “The Enigma.” The episode features the return of one of Gotham’s most infamous criminals: The Riddler. Like almost every other Batman villain in season one, TellTale takes the Riddler’s campy concept and throws it straight in the trash. Instead, the player must face a dark, cruel, and sinister foe both respected for his brilliance, and feared for his power. To push this gritty threat further, TellTale brings in some questionable allies to back Batman up. Those familiar with the DC universe will know that the words “Amanda Waller is here to help” mean that Batman’s job just got a lot harder!
Season two’s graphics and rendering seem like the most obvious improvement to its predecessor. Telltale has made some marvelous progress in making the action sequences more fluid and connected. After playing through the entire first season to prepare for The Enemy Within’s release, Stack-Up could see that the difference in fight sequences was like the difference between night and day. Telltale deserves praise for turning one of its most troublesome portions of gameplay into one of the most enjoyable!
Playing against the Riddler at the start of the season gives Telltale a great chance to challenge players with puzzles. One of the more vocal complaints about the first season was the lack of challenge in Batman’s detective segments. In order to progress in the game, the player had to piece together evidence at a crime scene. These segments had the format and difficulty level of (almost literally) connecting pairs of obvious dots, which made them rather dull. While the detective segments in “The Enigma” still don’t reach Arkham Knight levels of intricacy, they at least force the player to think a bit before making a decision.
Of course, no Telltale game review is complete without mentioning the plot and character development. A year has passed since Batman brought the Children of Arkham to justice, but not everyone has moved on from the brief reign of Two-Face and Lady Arkham. Bruce has grown jaded and resentful of his father’s legacy; Alfred suffers from PTSD after surviving a violent kidnapping; even the recently-appointed Commissioner Gordon has grown tired of his caped comrade’s secrecy. The Joker has yet to turn his sights on Batman, but the fact that Waller and the Agency want him in custody raises some questions about what Bruce’s friend “John Doe” has been up to behind the scenes. Something big is happening just out of Batman’s sight, and it looks like some of Gotham’s most infamous criminals are preparing to strike.