Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1
I wish I'd been given the chance to actually solve more of The Riddler's puzzles on my own – adventure games are traditionally all about that, after all – but the tension and drama that permeate The Enemy Within's first episode make it a winner. This strong start also leaves me very excited to see how John Doe's inevitable transformation into The Joker plays out, and morbidly fascinated to see what scars this version of Gotham City will leave behind on its inhabitants.
A mild improvement on the season one debut, but while the first episode offers some shock value it still lacks depth in both storytelling and gameplay.
Some of the brief teases point toward a more meaningful story, but this episode mostly hangs its hat on an underwhelming and surprisingly violent Riddler tale
In addition to shaking up old ideas, The Enemy Within also introduces some new things to its mechanical and narrative tool belt. The Riddler makes an early and violent debut in the game with an interesting new backstory, and with our new big villain, there's a new big ally ... maybe. Amanda Waller has brought her mysterious government task force, known only as The Agency, to Gotham on a hunt for the Riddler. Indeed, we are in something of an Amanda Waller renaissance these days, with her featuring in no less than three concurrent franchises in television, movies and games.Batman: The Enemy Within makes incremental improvements on a successful formula — and the introduction of a new, relationship-focused choice mechanic was a big hit. It might drag here and there, but it sets up for big things to come in further installments. If Enemy Within is anything like its predecessor, a little patience will pay off.
Telltale starts strong with new characters and a charismatic villain.
In one of the stronger starts to a Telltale season, Batman: The Enemy Within builds on the new mythos Telltale has created for the classic DC Comics hero. Villains are still villains, but Telltale gives them enough twists to feel new. Great pacing, good tension, and what looks to be an improved engine make for a great Batman adventure. Hopefully they can keep the momentum up for the whole season.
Anyone who isn't a fan of the "Telltale interactive story" style will find nothing at all here to change their mind on the genre, but fans of previous games will find themselves thrown into yet another adventure filled with questionable loyalties, tense confrontations, morally-grey decisions and that ever-nagging thought that maybe, just maybe, you should have turned left instead of right.
Aside from improvements to the story overall, the first episode looks and feels much better than other Telltale Games I've played recently, with a marked upward shift in dialogue choices, graphics, and quality.
Batman: The Enemy Within opens with a fantastic episode, turning the world of Batman on its head once more with new foes and new allies that you'll have to work with. It drags Bruce and Batman further down into the murky grey area that he inhabits, keeping players constantly guessing as to whether or not they're doing the right thing and bringing relationships new and old into the foreground.
The Enigma (both the episode and the villain) is a good addition for this promising second season in which Telltale should make Bruce Wayne's sections more enjoyable and less static.
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