Batman: The Enemy Within Sets Up Big Things For Season Two

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2017-08-08
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Batman: The Enemy Within releases on Aug. 8 Telltale

Batman has returned to Gotham to deliver more justice in Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within with the release of the first episode, The Enigma. Picking up after the events of the first season, the Caped Crusader has new villains to fight, while Bruce Wayne must pick up the pieces of his life after learning his parents were not the shining beacons of goodness he remembered.

This time around, it’s the Riddler who steps into center stage. While as psychotic and devoted to word puzzles as ever, the Riddler in Telltale’s Batman universe is an older escaped convict, returning to Gotham to sell big missiles to unsavory men.

Of course, there’s plenty of drama for Bruce Wayne when wearing a business suit instead of the Batsuit. The biggest angle involves the return of John Doe from Season One. As you may recall, John is the Joker, but hasn’t had his breaking point to officially become the iconic villain just yet. John and Bruce had previously met when Bruce was put in Arkham Asylum. In fact, the way you interact with John throughout the episode will impact the kind of Joker he will become.

Like every Telltale game, the story relies on player choice, so I won’t spend too much time talking about it. Just know the story is as engaging as ever, with twists and turns just like before. The last two words of the episode had me gasping at my screen, wondering why the second episode isn’t available to play yet. Also, because this Telltale Batman story doesn’t have to exist in a greater world of comic books, know that no character is safe.

The story also is both nicely contained as a stand-alone game while opening up threads to a much greater threat for later episodes. There are a huge number of ways this season can play out, so I’m excited to see where everything is headed.

There are a number of changes to Batman from the previous season, and a few changes to the overall Telltale formula in The Enigma. The most interesting is the introduction of relationships. Instead of making a choice and having a character be either happy or mad as a result, characters now get assigned moods depending on a number of choices you’ve made. This allows the game to be more than just black or white based on your decisions.

One big change that doesn’t feel as fun is a tweak to the combat. In the first season, players could map out many combat encounters, picking how to take out enemies before jumping in. This time, those decisions must be made in the middle of all the action. While it does add some extra flavor to fights, I prefered the pre-fight strategizing approach instead. It made Batman feel more like a strategic fighter than an improviser.

The first season of Batman was also marred by terrible framerates and seemingly countless bugs. I wish I could say all that has been fixed for season two, and most of it has, but I still experienced one game crash playing through the episode. This is way better than the situation surrounding the first season, but still shows Telltale needs to work on their QA a bit more.

Everything else remains largely the same. If you’ve played any Telltale game before, you know what you’re getting into. Most of the game is devoted to conversations, and deciding how to reply or act in situations. Outside of talking, there are also minor puzzles to solve and small areas to explore. Again, nothing really new here.

Batman: The Enemy Within - The Enigma releases for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac on Aug. 8. The game will also be coming to iOS and Android devices in early October.

So what do you think? Did you like the first season of Telltale’s Batman story? Are you excited to see the new surprises found in The Enigma ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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