Batman: The Telltale Series could have easily turned out to be a total disaster. Sure, Telltale rarely, if ever, puts out a bad game, but taking on The Dark Knight was a tall order, even for them. Yet it ended up being one of the developer’s best games, delivering a unique story within the familiar world of The Caped Crusader. A second season was announced rather quickly, once again stoking those fears that Telltale might have taken on too much. Now, two episodes into Batman: The enemy Within it’s clear that we should all stop second guessing the studio as they just delivered yet another amazing episode of this fantastic series.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 ‘The Pact’ kicks things off with a Gotham under siege and Batman worried about the secrecy of his identity. The Agency’s leader, Amanda Waller, has just revealed that she knows Bruce Wayne is The Batman, and she seems ready to use this information, if he doesn’t play along. Thankfully, playing along is exactly what Bruce wants to do, as a band of villains has begun attacking areas of Gotham all at the same time. While defeating The Riddler seemed like a triumph, it’s now clear that there is a whole lot more going on here than Batman first thought.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 1 was one of the best Telltale has put out in quite a while, yet it was just a teaser for what Episode 2 had in store. With The Riddler dead The Pact is now springing their plan and Batman is clearly not prepared for it. The events that follow will fit within the usual formula for this series and its six previous episodes, but in a more refined and interesting way. The new villains are some of Batman’s biggest and greatest, and Telltale once again has put their own spin on the characters.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 ‘The Pact’ is yet another fantastic episode in this series
I don’t want to spoil anything, because this episode deserves to have its surprises kept a secret, but Telltale did announce that Harley Quinn would arrive in this episode, so I will use her as an example. The relationship between Harley and The Joker has always been a fascinating one within whatever Batman story it is featured. That’s the case here again, but in a way that I haven’t seen before, and it’s clear that Telltale has not only been given free reign on how these characters are worked into the story, but they’ve taken it as well.
Joker, or John Doe as he’s called in Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2, is another standout by himself. His many relationships are interesting on their own, but the one between him and Bruce Wayne is the real star once again. Players come into the game with a lot of pre-conceived notions about the character, but by now those should have been whittled down as Telltale forces you to rethink how to approach him and how he might play into the events within the series.
Once all of Batman’s rogues have been revealed the story becomes a question of how to stop them all. This is still an early days take on the character, and with his recent family drama still lingering over his head, he’s not necessarily in the best place to take them down. This interconnection between the story of the first season and this second one will really please longtime fans, and it factors into Episode 2 in some very interesting ways. It’s clear that Telltale has a plan for where this series is going, and so far the ride is not to be missed.
The only issue so far is a bit of stretch when it comes to suspension of disbelief. We’re dealing with a world where a billionaire dresses up as a bat and terrorizes criminals, so some leeway is often given. Still, the manner through which Bruce entangles himself with The Pact is a tough sell, as are some of the interactions that take place within that environment. There also doesn’t seem to be too much player choice within the set narrative, though we’ll have to see how the whole season plays out to be totally sure.
Outside of the story Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 ‘The Pact’ delivers the same thing we’ve seen from this series before. The updated engine is still pretty antiquated in some respects, especially when compared to AAA developed games, but the art works really well here. Characters pop in a way that we rarely see in Telltale games, and the variety offered by the environments is a nice addition. Animation is still rather stiff though, so hopefully more work can be put into that in the future. Overall, if you’ve played through any episode in this entire series, you know what to expect visually so far and you won’t be surprised here.
Technically this was one of the best performing releases from Telltale. I retained a solid framerate and had no major bugs or glitches, which is in contrast to episodes released even just a few months ago. It seems that they’ve put extra emphasis on QA and polish and the results are great. They’ve even gotten the controls hammered out, which was a constant issue in the first season. Playing with Keyboard and Mouse or a controller works on PC, without any issues at all, which is much appreciated with the intricate and often quite fun QTE based combat featured in Batman: The Enemy Within.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 ‘The Pact’ is yet another fantastic episode in this series. It was going to be hard to top the greatness of season one, but if these first two episodes are any indication, we might be in for one of Telltale’s best yet. The action, drama, characters, and story are all firing on all cylinders and fans of Batman owe it to themselves to check this series out.