TellTale’s Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 Review

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Posted October 13, 2017 by Chris Berto in Video Games

Developer: TellTale

Publisher: TellTale

Release Date: September 9th, 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

*WARNING – THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN VERY SPECIFIC STORY SPOILERS*

The 2nd episode of TellTale’s Batman Season 2, titled “The Pact” kicks off moments after episode one’s conclusion with Amanda Waller from The Agency dropping the knowledge bomb on Batman that she know’s his “true” identity. As Batman narrates the closing moments of the previous episode an explosion is heard in the distance at the GCPD Arsenal, and our hero is sent to investigate by the new law in town, Agent Waller.

Who truly wears the mask?

The ensuing scene is an intense and violent, opening where we get to meet the first of several key antagonists in the super villain group known as The Pact. Telltale has been known to take liberties when given free reign over various source materials, and while they never overdo themselves, the visual representation of Bane will take some getting use to.There is nothing inherently wrong with Telltale’s Bane, but seeing a towering mountain of venom and muscles capped off with a mustache/goatee combo that wouldn’t look out of place in an 80’s cop drama definitely caught my eye. It even acted as a distraction during moments where important dialog was taking place and all I could see was a taller, beefier Tom Selleck.

I was born with this mustache, Mr. Wayne.

After a fun fight with Bane and his goons, one where Telltale took the opportunity to tease the infamous “breaking the Bat” pose, we learn that the assault on the GCPD arsenal was just one of three separate and well timed attacks across Gotham. Each of the other attacks was orchestrated by one of the other members from The Pact, and after much discussion with Alfred, Bruce decides that after his brutal fight with Bane it’s time to lean on some of his newly acquired “friends” in the form of The Jok… John Doe.

Now THAT’S a trustworthy smile!

Through some careful conversation John is convinced to bring in Bruce and have him meet some of the other members of The Pact. Batman intends to play on his parents true identities as known criminal masterminds and use that as his way to infiltrate The Pact to uncover their end goal and prevent future attacks. Bruce is quickly introduced into my new favorite rendition of Harley Quinn.

Instead of taking the easy way out and oversexualizing the character, as is tradition as of late, Telltale instead took the classic red and black and modernized it to fit the aesthetic of the world in which the series takes place. Harley might have the best overall character model for a Telltale game to date. I might have to update my Harley tattoo to incorporate this look! The dynamic between Harley and John is fun, and seeing Telltale twist the power dynamic between the two leads to some moments of levity as Bruce gets tossed in the middle of John’s infatuation with Quinn.

Can I update my Harley tattoo to look like this? Wait… they’re PERMANENT?!

As Harley is apprehensive about Bruce’s sudden desire to join an underground group of bad guys, she puts him through a test in which he must break into Wayne Towers to steal a particular piece of tech that she wants to get her hands on. Bruce passes, though not without a few surprises along the way and the next few chapters involve Bruce being forced to prove himself to the remaining members of the Pact (Bane and Mr. Freeze) either through deeds or conversation. After some discussions it’s decided–not unanimously–to bring Bruce along on the next job where we learn that The Pact plans on hijacking a police escort to get something very important to their overall goals.

The Pact!

After a successful heist the group reconvenes at their underground hideout and Bruce is asked to open the sarcophagus-esque container that was stolen from the GCPD. After a rather anticlimactic camera-pan, we see The Riddler’s dead, frozen body tumble to the floor. Harley explains that he was needed for the next stage of the overall grand scheme (though we still don’t yet know what that entails), and a familiar voice in the background quietly proclaims “I’ve got what you need… for the right price”. One final camera-pan later and none other than Catwoman herself is centered in the frame with her eyes fixed on Bruce.

[Fade to black]

That’s it. That’s the episode. Overall…not that great. There are individual moments that stand out: the opening scene in the GCPD arsenal with Bane, any scene where Bruce is stuck in the middle of Harley and John Doe, and a few others, but overall, this episode simply felt too padded and slow. I don’t expect all action from a Telltale game as that’s rarely their formula, but even the final heist was little more than two or three QTE’s and a minor decision with no impact on the ending scene. The final moments left me more confused than anxious. I’m filled with questions instead of anticipation. Despite my concerns about Episode 2 I am still confident that Telltale will deliver another satisfying and unique Batman story, even if we have to pick ourselves up once in awhile.


About the Author

Chris Berto