Batman is a fairly popular superhero thanks in large part due to his diverse and long history in various forms of media. He is a part of some of the best action games with the Arkham Knight trilogy, and has also received a great trilogy of movies by Christopher Nolan – so when TellTale Games announced their own take on the Batman series, most were skeptical because even though they have created some great games, majority of their recent output has been rather lackluster.
Batman: The Enemy Within is the second season from TellTale Games based on the Batman franchise. While the first season of Batman was fairly decent, it never managed to reach the heights of their past work. The second season had a steeper hill to climb but now that all the episodes are out, what can we expect from their most recent work? I think without getting into story spoilers, I feel like this is easily one of the best written games from TellTale Games after the The Walking Dead so it says something about quality of this season.
Batman: The Enemy Within story kicks off strong with a rather solid episode 1. It is largely a continuation of the events from the first season so of course it is recommended to finish the first season before jumping in with the second one. The game also gives you the option to continue with your choices from the first season in case you have a completed save for it. Another thing that is immediately evident with this season is that unlike the disastrous performance of its predecessor, there are some technical improvements here that have improved greatly enhanced the experience.
The story deals with the life of Bruce Wayne both in his social circle and as Batman. It creates for an interesting narrative that helps develop his character. While as Batman, you will get crime scenes that have to be investigated, Bruce Wayne segments play a little differently. There are certain sections in the game that will give you the choice of continuing the story either as Batman or Bruce Wayne. This helps in creating a branching narrative and while there is the ability to import the choices that you have made from the first season, you can also start off from scratch in case you don’t have a save and let the game pick up a default set of choices for Season 2.
The Enemy Within introduces ‘The Agency’ which is led by Amanda Waller. Fans of DC comics might remember her from the creation of Suicide Squad as she was the main driving force behind it. This season features many fan favorite Batman villains including Riddler, Bane, Mr. Freeze and Harley Quinn, however I think the villain that gets the best character development is none other than the Joker. The final episode is specifically focused on Joker with a strong emphasis on his character development that leads to a great season finale. It is one of the best episodes produced by TellTale Games and it makes up for a rather middling mid-season after a strong start.
Even though the story deserves high praise, the gameplay elements still feel a little undercooked. Quick-time events are the star of most the action sequences and they can often feel clunky in execution that can break the immersion. This is something that TellTale needs to improve on for their future games because as it stands, even if they have a great story, the gameplay can often drag it down. This doesn’t mean that The Enemy Within is not a good game, because it still has an excellent story that is well worth playing especially if you are a fan of the Batman universe.
Coming to the conclusion, I will say that after having played almost every game developed by TellTale Games so far, it is easy to rank The Enemy Within among the best of them. If they can keep the same level of quality for their future projects while polishing up on the gameplay and action sequences, there is no doubt that they will be able to get the same critical acclaim that they achieved with the Season 1 of The Walking Dead. I am personally excited to see what they have in store for us in the near future.
Batman: The Enemy Within Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Batman: The Enemy Within is an episodic point-and-click graphic adventure video game developed and published by Telltale Games and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment under its DC Entertainment label.
A great story and strong character development for Batman and the Joker makes The Enemy Within one of the best efforts from TellTale Games since the end of Season 1 of The Walking Dead.