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.
I disagree about telltale not doing anything better than walking dead season 1 which I feel is slightly overrated. The wolf among us,tales from the borderlands and both seasons of batman have been better imo.
@dark_knightmare2 You have the same tastes as me. I think TWD is overrated due to the fact most people experienced it way before the formula got so obvious, and before it was so widely known that choices have far less impact (if any) than you'd hope.
I've loved this series so far. It actually triggered me getting into a Batman phase again. I bought some comics, the PS4 Arkham remasters (sadly they haven't aged too well gameplay and structure-wise - I absolutely loved them back in the day), Batman VR, rewatched the Nolan films, etc.
@Matroska @dark_knightmare2 I like all of those games you mentioned. What I said is that they haven’t captured the same magic, which is true IMO.
The Walking Dead: S1 was a huge smash hit which won tons of awards; nothing they’ve done since has hit those same highs, even if they’ve done some good stuff.
They should bring their Sam & Max back catalogue to PS4 considering they're all on Steam and iOS. Now they're real adventure game classics.
@get2sammyb Nothing has won as many awards for the reasons the other two posters mentioned.
have too agree with others, season one of walking dead is overrated, Wolf among us is still the best game for me, just wish they would give another season
@naruball Right. Almost like they haven’t captured the same magic, which is what I said. 😅
I was hoping for a higher score and a more elaborate separation of the two divergent Jokers; that said, my adoration of anything Batman will likely add a few more stars to the seven awarded here. Thanks for the review!
@Get2sammyb I think what you and the 3 posters mean is fresh? Walking dead S1 had that new freshness, haven't played anything like this before. Whilst The wolf amongst us and Borderlands still recaptured the magic but didn't have the freshness due to following Walking Dead S1. Both games are as good as if not better but they weren't first! IMO Borderlands is the best Telltale game.
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