Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within Ep. 4 – What Ails You Review

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Posted January 29, 2018 by Chris Berto in Video Games

The 4th episode of Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within, “What Ails You,” continues the polarizing trend of putting the cowl and cape to the side in favor of more work in the shoes of Bruce Wayne. It works to move the story forward and thanks to some shocking revelations towards the end of the episode this decision pans out, but I can’t help feel a little disappointed that overall I’ve spent more time as Bruce than as the Caped Crusader. The one scene in which I did get to play as Batman was a fantastic fight scene with the remaining members of The Pact, and while entertaining, it served as a reminder that the best parts of Batman are in fact, Batman. 

Telltale continues to subvert expectations through their unique twists on established characters in the Batman mythos. In fact, the character development is the standout of this episode as actual gameplay took a noticeable backseat to story beats and dialogue trees. While story-impacting decision trees are Telltale’s bread and butter, I felt that this episode was short on the rest of the gameplay package. I didn’t necessarily miss the abundance of QTE’s, though I did feel like this episode played out more like a visual novel than an adventure game. Thankfully the story is a good one, even if the episode does clock in at only around 75 minutes compared to the 90-120 minutes of most chapters in Telltale stories.

The biggest surprise (depending on decisions made throughout the series) is how the episode ends for both Amanda Waller and John Doe. I won’t spoil anything here, but let’s just say that I’m looking forward to how this story wraps up and it’s not because of some tantalizing cliffhanger at the end of this penultimate episode. Instead, my curiosity stems from the character development of one of the greatest comic villains in history and I really can’t wait to see how it ends. My fingers are crossed that the payoff for these alterations to the Batman canon remain memorable for the right reasons, although I still can’t wrap my head around the volume of characters that now know Batman’s true identity. The Batman I know regarded this information as his deepest, darkest secret yet almost a 3rd of the cast in this series is aware of who he is and he doesn’t seem to mind overall. It’s a little off-putting, but I’m curious to see how it all pans out.

The episode ends with The Pact fractured, Freeze in custody, and Harley on the run with what she believes to be the answer to all her problems. This season has had its ups and downs, and coming off of a less than stellar 3rd episode, episode 4 is definitely a step in the right direction. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time as Bruce this go-around but I do hope that the season finale puts us back in cowl for more than just a brief combat mission. I have faith that Telltale will deliver and I’m excited to see where they end up and just how different the various endings will actually be. If you’re a Batman fan and you’re still on the fence about getting into this series I think you’d be denying yourself an intriguing spin on everything you know about Batman and his troubled city of Gotham.


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Chris Berto