Telltale’s take on the Batman universe has been one of the few shining lights in its portfolio of late, and The Enemy Within has successfully eschewed the sophomore slump with another sterling five episode series that turns everything you know about the Dark Knight on its pointy-eared head. This finale is far from perfect, but it’s packing some of the best battle choreography that the developer’s produced thus far – and it really wraps a bow around all your actions.
The developer’s made much ado about the emergence of the Joker in Same Stitch, and the reality is that (as always) the story’s going in the same direction regardless of the kind of villain you help to cultivate. But whether you end up with Vigilante Joker or Villain Joker, the reality is that you’ve created a monster, and it’s brilliant to see this realisation dawn on both Bruce Wayne and the people around them. The so-called Enemy Within is the person staring back in the mirror.
And that’s a really interesting topic for a Batman yarn to tackle: would the villains even exist in Gotham City without the Caped Crusader constantly egging them on? But there’s more to this series than mere existentialism; Wayne actually comes off as an almighty asshole. Throughout the entire series, he’s been manipulating the juvenile John Doe, and it’s fascinating to see other key characters challenge his subterfuge.
This particular arc involving the Joker is by far the strongest plot thread, but others are less compelling. There are some revelatory “twists” midway through which come out of nowhere and add absolutely no substance to the story at all, while The Pact of supervillains seem to act totally out of character. It’s disappointing to see the story only really effectively follow through with John Doe’s plot.
But if you shut your eyes to some of the flawed logic and narrative holes, there is a thoroughly entertaining tale here. Telltale’s still yet to effectively capture that magic of the first Walking Dead series, but its alternate take on Batman lore is genuinely entertaining. And while this season is still very much a roller-coaster where you’re colouring in the finer details, the developer’s undoubtedly the master of putting you in impossible situations.
A strong finale to another quality series, we’ve really enjoyed getting up close and personal with Gotham’s goons. Bruce Wayne’s “friendship” with John Doe comes to a thrilling conclusion here, and while the other villain arcs aren’t wrapped up nearly as convincingly, compelling questions are raised about Batman’s role in a criminal underbelly he’s trying to eradicate. Batman: The Enemy Within is some of Telltale’s best work since its previous DC Comics-themed season, and while that’s not exactly a high bar to clear these days, this is still a series well worth your time.