Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 ‘Same Stitch’ Review
Telltale’s series of Batman games has already delivered some of the best stories the character has seen in the video game medium. The first season offered a new take on the Dark Knight and his past, while this second season was diving deep into his main nemesis: The Joker. This has largely been on the periphery though, with the focus of the first four episodes sitting squarely on The Pact, a group of Batman’s most dangerous foes. Now, with that story having reached its apex, The Joker takes center stage in an episode that plays out in totally different ways, depending on how you shaped your own version of The Joker. The result is Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 ‘Same Stitch’, one of Telltale’s best episodes in years, cementing this series as one of their finest, and delivering an amazing experience from beginning to end.
Depending on how you ended things in Episode 4, Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 will play out very differently. This isn’t the usual sort of difference for a Telltale game either. It’s not just that characters respond differently or have been swapped around. No, you will have a totally different experience with this episode based on the choices you made in previous ones. Thankfully they’re both great, offering unique takes on The Joker that has been built by your actions over the last few hours. It’s a more personal and impactful take on the character and players will struggle to make the right decisions in the situations presented here.
I don’t want to describe too much about the story, because it deserves to be played spoiler-free. In short, Joker has been born as either the villainous creature we’ve all come to expect, or a Batman clone of sorts who is trying, but mostly failing to bring about justice in Gotham. The former may be familiar territory for Batman fans, but the way it plays out is simply magnificent. Joker’s anger is palpable and you feel all the more responsible for the way things turned out having been the person making the choices that led to this outcome. From its first gut wrenching scene to its conclusion, the villain track is Batman and Telltale firing on all cylinders.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 is simply sublime
The “Vigilante” track as Telltale is calling it, is the more unique version, and you’ll probably want to experience it merely because of this. The Joker has taken on the role of a hero and The Agency is more dangerous to Bruce than anyone else. You’ll have to manipulate the situation and work through the feelings of Joker and everyone else involved as you figure out how to get out of the mess while stopping Joker from going too far in his efforts to “save” the city.
No matter which track you are on with Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 you are in for a good time. Each deals with tried and true themes of the franchise, while still putting its own spin on things. Throughout the hour long episode you’ll ask yourself questions like is Batman actually a hero, does he create his own villains, and was it right to use a mental patient to infiltrate The Pact. There were moments in the game where I looked back and genuinely felt bad about the choices I had made, or the actions I had taken. And as you look back the story keeps moving, putting even more suspense into the affair.
To sum things up on the story front, Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 is simply sublime. It’s true to its franchise while exploring new parts of its universe. It hits on themes that have been key to the success of the series, delving deep without necessarily providing its own answers. It will challenge you, it will frustrate you, and it will make you think about the things you’ve seen and done, both during the episode and long after. The series was building to this episode the whole time and the team stuck the landing better than anyone could have hoped.
Even beyond the plot though Same Stitch excels. The voice acting has always been stellar, but everyone seems to have brought their A game for this one. Anthony Ingruber is phenomenal as The Joker, mixing together the character’s anger, jealousy, hate, and somehow innocence to great effect. Troy Baker delivers another fantastic performance, as has become the expectation, but there’s more to this one than there has been before. And the various surrounding characters are all equally worthy of praise.
One aspect that hadn’t really come to my attention before this episode was The Enemy Within’s music. That was not the case for Episode 5 as many sequences featured excellent music to augment the action and storytelling. Key moments of the series were happening and the soundscape was so well done that it enhanced it, while also standing out as particularly noteworthy.
Some may think I’m over-praising the game, but there’s just no denying that I was glued to my monitor the entire time I spent with Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5. Its only flaws came in the technical areas that Telltale seems to always struggle with. I experienced a few random graphical and framerate glitches through the game, and audio syncing became an issue here and there. The amazing music I was just talking about was harmed by a couple of scenes where it cut in and out at odd times. These were rare, but they were all the more harshly felt because of how well everything else was handled in this finale.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5 “Same Stitch” is a near-perfect finale to an already fantastic series. Storytelling, voice acting, art design, and every other aspect of the series has come together here and delivered one of the best episodes in Telltale’s history. And all of these great achievements are made all the better by the fact that there are essentially two totally separate stories players can experience, based on their choices.
Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5
- Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile
- Published By: Telltale Games
- Developed By: Telltale Games
- Genre: Graphic Adventure
- US Release Date: March 27th, 2018
- Reviewed On: PC
- Quote: "Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5 "Same Stitch" is a near-perfect finale to an already fantastic series. Storytelling, voice acting, art design, and every other aspect of the series has come together here and delivered one of the best episodes in Telltale's history."