Boy and I thought episode 1 was a strong start, talk about an even more solid follow-up.
Welcome to the Batman – The Enemy Within Episode 2 Review and allow me to tell you now why, if you have not yet decided whether to start this series, you should absolutely throw away all doubt and just do it.
In Episode 1 we followed the return of a classic villain and veteran in Gotham – the Riddler and sadly that didn’t really end well for him on the “being alive” front, and while my main concerns with that particular episode were indeed in the face of the Riddler, allow me to tell you that character development in Episode 2 is impeccable. Let’s talk a bit about story first.
Following the death of the Riddler and Lucius Fox at the aforementioned’s hands, we are joined by a new threat in Gotham and little do we know, it’s a whole pack of familiar faces. Alas, Batman falls at the hands of Bane and things are starting to look a bit grim. However, that doesn’t stop our favorite protagonist to do whatever he can to protect the innocent of Gotham, including infiltrating the villainous pact as none other than Bruce Wayne. Of course that will be no small feat, since we have to please 3 separate villains and then be allowed into their little group of operations, which we find out has been led by the Riddler. Also, our good buddy John Doe a.k.a the Joker is vouching for us and that makes things a bit easier … also can I just say that his personality is adorable … more on that later. After stealing the Phalanx key and an E.M.P device from our own corporation, we manage to impress Harley Quinn and she finally calls us to the gang hideout. I gotta say, it was easy pulling Freeze’s strings, however Bane is a whole other story of difficult. Can’t blame the guy, though, seems to have trust issues … another thing I can’t blame him for, given the fact, which is his line of work. For the finale of the episode, we are finally accepted and we go on our first big hit with our new best buddies. After retrieving the cargo, it turns out to be none other than the corpse of the Riddler (I can’t really imagine what they would want with that) and guess who makes her appearance … I am both thrilled and a bit concerned, because I swear to God I cannot handle Bruce’s puppy eyes when he is sad or disappointed and I have a feeling that Catwoman is not going to stick around this time as well.
The story of The Enemy Within is pretty solid, I’m not gonna lie, I’m loving it a lot. It’s consistent, interesting, manages to keep the player engaged and guessing and always, without fail, introduces a twist or two at the right time. I truly believe that it will only get better and better from here on out.
The thing I really wanted to talk about in this review are the characters, because we see quite the lot of new faces and returning once, who we all know and love from the original Batman Universe and I have to say, Telltale’s incorporation of them is quite interesting.
First off let me say a few words about Bruce Wayne and Batman – in the flesh. We can see great character development when it comes to both personas and also, right off the bat from season 1, we have kept a tight balance between both. Even if Bruce Wayne is behind the mask of Batman, the choices we make as both gentlemen are quite different and for every situation there is a varying solution. Batman handles things a certain way, Bruce in another and we can clearly observe this distinct line, between the two. This is further enhanced when we have to infiltrate the pact in episode 2 of season 2 and we have to, in a way, show a more violent side to Bruce, lest our new friends get suspicious of us. I still love how he manages to balance out his criminal persona, while abiding by his own code of honor. And while the game does present us with more brutal choices of handling things, players are in no way pressured to follow them. We can still play nice and be liked by most of the team. Also … Bruce’s puppy eyed expression. Can I just say that I cannot handle that ish. Like whenever he does that, I feel like I just want to hop into the game, give him a hug and beat up, whomever is giving him a hard time. Yeah Wayne … talk about knowing how to melt a girl’s heart … damn those 3D artists.
John Doe … can I say that he cracks me up big time. He is the most lovable, innocent, adorable and entertaining personality I have ever seen in a villain (I just adore when he puts in those 😀 in text messages to Bruce). However, at the same time, the Joker has the most in depth personality layers there can be. Indeed, while we have not yet seen his true colors and as Harley says, he is still growing, I think that there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. Indeed we are best buds with him and I think Bruce will always be that way, however, I have the feeling that the Joker will emerge in future episodes and finally face off Batman. John Doe, though, is like a puppy wagging its tail … for now.
Speaking of John, next up is Harley Quinn. I’ve always adored both the Joker and Harley and can I be the first to say that I love this adaptation of her. Visually she looks stunning as always, with her black and red, goth look, dyed funky hair and face paint. However, there is more to Harley that I love here. Every time she talks we can see both sides of Harley clashing together, but mixing so well at the same time. She jumps from one to another and as she stated, does so to keep people guessing her next move and that is indeed correct. When I was talking to her as Bruce, I had to pay attention and pick my words carefully because there is no right or wrong choice with Harley Quinn – there is only the choice which will f*ck you up the least. Character development between crazy and serious Harley is amazing and I would love to see her in future episodes. Fun fact: at the end of the episode, whomever you decide to fend off, the other one gets left behind. Naturally I thought Bane would be the one who could do the most raw damage and Harley got left behind … so because of that and me refusing to leave her, I had to replay the whole episode, just so she can be with me at the end (plus, John gets so upset when she is left behind). I was thinking, yeah. In this adaptation, we kind of see the opposite thing … for now. You know how in Joker and Harley’s complex relationship, the Joker is the more dominant one and she always follows around. Here we see the exact opposite, with John, exhibiting his crush on Harley and wanting to impress her and stick to her good side. I am definitely interested in how their relationship will develop in the future and if Harley would fall for the Joker if and when he finally emerges from the depths of John Doe.
Next up, we got Freeze. If I have to be fair, from the shaded out poster of episode 2, Freeze was the only villain I was not expecting and he was a positive surprise to me. I’ve always enjoyed Batman’s villains, more than Batman himself and I always love observing them and see how they are being portrayed in different franchises. Freeze is, well Freeze, always ever so obsessed with curing his wife Nora and basically she, as a subject, is a double edged sword. You can either go right or wrong and I found that out in the episode, the hard way. We haven’t really seen much of Freeze yet, however I truly hope we do so more in future episodes.
Bane. Bane has been a lot of things in different franchises – from a solo villain to Poison Ivy’s hired muscle, but he has always been one thing – a brute force to be reckoned with … add in the toxin and you have a recipe for destruction. Here they gave him a more macho, wrestler kind of vibe, further complemented by his accent, whose top values go down to brute power and loyalty and anyone who dares cross the line with him and gets on his doubtful side, well he can kiss his ass goodbye, just as we saw in episode 2, with the henchman we had to face off. I like Bane’s personality, because he might be a brute and the type to just engage combat head on (which is another thing I like), he remains loyal to those proven to him and hates dishonesty … the more worried I get for my lying self in the face of Bruce Wayne and now that I chose to leave him behind in place of Harley, I cannot imagine he’d be happy about it … in my defense it was technically she that drove off and he does the same thing to her so … yeah. On another note, I am curious if anyone else caught the Braum (League of Legends) vibe from the line “Don’t worry my friends”. I’m so good at catching voice actors … yeah I’m looking at you Laura Bailey …
The Agency. Boy, do I hate their guts. On one hand we have the agents themselves, who are faceless, noble warriors, doing their duty. There is also Agent Avesta and her partner, who obviously has something for her and they are nice people, I like them a lot. However, on the other hand we have Waller … I feel like I want to rip her intestines out through her throat. And it bothers me even more that she is right about some things, but I do not like the feel I get from her. It’s like I am forced to stay on her good side, just cause she knows Batman’s identity. She is the typical dominant lead agent, who will use any means necessary to get what she wants. Only thing I didn’t get was why she backlashed from the plan we had when the pact was retrieving the Riddler’s Corpse. I have a feeling this will backfire on me later, however we shall see. I guess she is more of a neutral character, she can be viewed as both evil and just and to be fair, maybe this is the kind of development that had to be done for that other lady in The Walking Dead season 3, I forgot her name … was it Joanne or something, idk. Well done, Telllate, ya got that feeling right.
Which brings me to Gordon. I view Gordon as Batman’s bff to be honest. It comes naturally for me to want to be loyal to him, just cause he shows the same kind of support and trust in Batman as well. So I try to fill him in as many times as I can, and I pray I stay on Waller’s neutral side at least, cuz I ain’t as hell gonna kiss her ass. So far I am succeeding, and I hope it stays that way. We can clearly see the journey of Batman and Gordon’s trust and can correlate to how it was in the beginning of season 1 and now.
Alfred. He is the father persona to Bruce and the one always to worry whether or not he will get to see him coming back home safely. I guess it’s nice to have someone like that and I always try my best to encourage him and show him how much he means to Bruce, given events that happened in season 1 and if I have to be honest I am glad that my Alfred is not one-eyed. No regrets on that choice of mine. Other than that he is always kind and compassionate and we have seen him go a long way from season 1. He managed to get through a lot and deserves all the support he can get from Bruce.
Tiffany. I kind of dislike her, but I get her and why she is mad and digging for info. I do think she deserves to know about Batman, hence why I have been honest with her from the start and she can be a valuable asset, now that Lucius is out of the question, however, I’m not sure she can handle all the Batman stuff yet. I mean, as we saw, working for the batman is life threatening and I hate to see her follow her father’s end at the hands of another villain. However, her actions are very naïve and she doesn’t even realize, in her anger and distrust, the danger she is putting herself in and sabotaging my plans and efforts. I would love to see how she progresses further in the series though, and I think she will handle the information that Bruce is Batman well.
All right, so Batman is one of 2 reviews that gets the privilege to test the new scoring system, so let’s give it a try, shall we.
With all above said, 10/10. What can I say, this season is turning out to be one hell of a journey and I am loving every bit of it. I can’t really think of anything negative I want to whine about or something that would stop me from giving this episode a full on 10, which is not something often occurring. It had a great balance between action gameplay and story dialogue (which was amazingly written as always). Keep up the good work Telltale and I absolutely cannot wait for episode 3 to come out. Also I’m itching to get some action between Bruce and Selena again … 😀