The first episode of Batman: The Enemy Within caught me by surprise. I wasn't surprised that it was good, I was expecting that after the general quality of the first season. Rather, I felt surprised by just how good it was. Of course, that's only a single episode, and The Enemy Within will need to carry this quality over several episodes to really be remembered. Episode 2, named The Pact, looks to continue the season to a tradition of excellence. Does it manage to keep the bar raised, or will it drop it a few pegs?
Picking up directly where the first episode left off, things are in a bad place. Lucius Fox is dead, Riddler is dead, and Amanda Waller knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. On top of everything, there's a new criminal organization in town known as the Pact. They're led by dangerous criminal mastermind Harley Quinn and looking to take over Gotham. Events continue in a downward spiral as attacks on several key areas in Gotham begin, all while John Doe tries to convince Bruce to join in the Pact's festivities. All told, it's about to be another long night for Batman.
The big draw to The Pact is getting some more classic Batman villains mixed into the plot. While Batman: The Telltale Series was mostly focused on a new villain named The Arkham Lady, The Enemy Within seems a lot more interested in bringing in classic Batman villains with unique twists. My favorite is Harley Quinn herself, who also sees the most radical departure from her comic version. In this world, Harley seduced her patient John Doe into a life of crime. Here she's the confident and insane criminal mastermind who has a lovestruck guy following her blindly with the potential to either be good or evil. It's a genuinely great inverse of the Joker/Harley relationship that I would absolutely love to see more of in future episodes.
Besides the aforementioned Harley, both Bane and Mr. Freeze show up here. While I didn't get to spend a lot of time with either of them just yet, both seem a bit closer to their comic counterparts. Bane is still the strongest strong man with an addiction to a muscle drug called Venom, while Mr. Freeze is still a blue man who's doing crimes to cure his frozen wife of a disease. I'm getting the sense that there's more to each character than I'm seeing here, and it's likely this will be expanded on later. In a way its nice to still see some classic characters true to their comic counterparts. These characters are classic for a reason and their personalities and histories shine through here.
While the story continues to keep my attention with its high quality, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of actual gameplay in The Pact. The game opens up with a rather impressive fight scene between Batman and Bane, and then Batman and all action promptly drop from the story. This is more of a Bruce Wayne episode, dealing more with the inner workings of the Pact and trying to figure out what their goal is. Despite this, there's also no investigation scenes. Outside of the opening fight, this is an entirely dialogue driven episode.
It feels a bit weird to complain about in a Telltale game, but once they were gone it was hard not to notice what was missing. The fight scenes and investigations have done a great job throughout the series in breaking up the dialogue, and it really felt like Telltale was making an honest effort to diversify their projects with interesting gameplay segments. Sure they're ultimately still just chains of quick time events and super basic puzzles, but they did a fantastic job showing off Batman's physical and intellectual powers while still keeping the player involved. It's not a deal breaker, but it does feel a bit strange that no such scenes show up here.
I don't want to take away from The Pact's excellent story and fantastic voice acting. Troy Baker is still doing great as Bruce Wayne, while Anthony Ingruber is seriously shaping up to be one of the better Jokers. I also want to mention how great Laura Post did as Harley Quinn, managing to feel both crazy yet in control of the situation. If the cast continues to turn in great performances like these then we may see some new regulars when it comes to animated Batman characters.
The lack of any real gameplay moments sure is disappointing, but it doesn't take away from the fact that Batman: The Enemy Within is still weaving one of the most interesting Batman stories I've seen. I've been greatly enjoying the characters, the breaks from traditional lore, and seeing what's going to happen next. At the rate it's going, The Enemy Within has a good chance of overtaking the first season in quality, and possibly even be Telltale's strongest series to date.
Our Batman The Enemy Within Episode 2 review was conducted on PlayStation 4 using a copy provided by the developer. The episode is also available on PC, Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices.
Batman: The Enemy Within's second episode continues most of the strengths from the first, with the lack of any real action being the only downside. Thankfully, the extremely strong story and characters continue to shine here.(Review Policy)
- New Villains Provide Interesting Twists on Lore
- Plot is Still Exciting
- Great Voice Acting
- Lone Action Scene is Cool
- Very Little Action
- No Investigations