- Platforms: Xbox One,PS4 (Reviewed), PC, Mobile
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
This review contains spoilers from Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 1
After rebounding with an all-around solid first entry to its second season, Telltale Games looks to keep up the momentum with their second episode of Batman: The Enemy Within, titled the The Pact. The Pact continued to provide a strong technical performance, while introducing a slew of new villains which has a varying degree of success.
Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 2 picks up immediately where the first left off, continuing the conversation between Batman and Amanda Waller after she drops the bombshell of knowing his secret identity. The chit chat doesn’t last for long however, as multiple attacks spread across Gotham occur and Batman must investigate. With The Riddler now out of the picture, a few new villains enter the fold, as both Batman and Bruce Wayne dive deeper into a criminal group known as “The Pact”, led by Harley Quinn.
The Pact consists of a handful of classic Batman villains, some that are introduced with more traditional origin stories, and some drastically changed. Harley Quinn, who gets the lion’s share of screen time in this episode, is much less of a cartoonish lunatic and more of a stone cold psychopath. Since John has yet to blossom into the clown prince, Harley Quinn’s origin story had to be modified to remove any of Joker’s involvement. As opposed to Joker’s manipulation, Harley is given a more tragic backstory dealing with the loss of her father. It’s a good fit for her new look and attitude. Trading in her her trademark mallet for a sledgehammer, she hands out orders to our soon-to-be Joker John Doe like he’s her little lap dog. It’s a complete role reversal from the traditional Joker/Harley relationship, and it will be interesting to see how it develops in future episodes. The character portrayal that seems to fall flat the most is Bane. He is introduced in the first chapter of the episode and his character design could be seen as a disappointment to some players. Rather than being a pupil of Ra’s al Ghul, Telltale’s Bane seems to be a roided out Luchador who decided to take on a life of crime.
Unlike the previous episode, The Pact is spent almost entirely as Bruce Wayne. There are long stretches with little-to-no player interaction other than dialogue choices, but there are a few moments when Bruce has to get his hands dirty and get in a scrap or two.
There are plenty of tough decisions to make during the episode, as Amanda Waller continues to drive a wedge between the relationship of Batman and Commissioner Gordon. For every tough player decision however, there are many questionable decisions made on the part of Bruce Wayne that the player has no control over. In one chapter specifically, Bruce is seen in broad daylight at Wayne Enterprises with John and Harley, as if he has no regard for his public image since regaining control of the company. This leads to a really awkward encounter in an elevator with one of Bruce’s co-workers, and really puts the player in a no-win scenario.
The second episode is a little on the short side, clocking in under the two hour mark and roughly half an hour shorter than the first. While the episode was fairly brief, the gameplay was once again very smooth with minimal framerate hiccups and no dialogue sync issues.
Overall Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 2 was a step back from the first episode, with some questionable storytelling decisions and some new villains that fail to make a good first impression. A small cliffhanger ending teasing the return of a character from last season does spice things up for the next episode, which hopefully will get the second season back on track.