Review: Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 ‘The Pact’
Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within is back for Episode Two. The second season started off strong with an INCREDIBLE premiere episode, ‘The Enigma’. This served as the first appearance for many characters that I believe will play big roles in the episodes to come. We meet Amanda Waller, who many may remember from the ‘hit’ Suicide Squad movie last year. We’re also introduced to her team including Special Agent Avesta. Later on in the episode we meet Lucius’ daughter, Tiffany, a gifted young tech geek starting her career off in Wayne Enterprises. But of course, the most important new character we meet is Edward Nygma, but you may know him as The Riddler.
After the amazing first episode and how it ended, I went into episode two all hyped up and ready to go. While the second episode was not as good or impactful as the first, it was still good in its own right. ‘The Pact’ is played almost entirely as Bruce Wayne which actually isn’t a bad thing. As he makes some less than ideal friends, you as the player are forced to make some less than ideal choices, choices that can have some really dark consequences.
The second episode of the season adds more than a few familiar faces from Batman’s Rogue Gallery. Batman, or Bruce Wayne really, is pressured by Amanda Waller to infiltrate Riddler’s ‘friend group’ to find out what they’re up to. This group consists of Harley Quinn, Bane, Mr Freeze, and John Doe (or the Joker). The introduction of these villains seems somewhat forced but I’ll let it slide because I think they were all done extremely well. Bane is the villain we meet first, and he’s actually properly South American this time. His outfit is Luchador-esque and injects himself with venom via a syringe. Harley Quinn is quite different in this iteration. She has a more classic take on the voice, but her outfit is totally different with Quinn sporting a shorter haircut, red and black still taking a predominant role in her outfit. What I found really interesting about this version of HQ is how her and Joker’s roles are completely reversed. In most mediums, Joker is an abusive partner to Harley Quinn, taking advantage of her, leading her on, and showing almost no love towards a the woman who absolutely adores him. In The Enemy Within we see Joker is the one who is head over heels for Harley, while Harley doesn’t seem to be giving him the time of day and is more or less just using him for her own gain. Lastly, we’re introduced to Mr Freeze. This guy is terrifying. The first time we see him he’s pissed off to no end, sprinting down the hall towards us and ya I was a little creeped out. He’s just about the same as most other iterations of him, focused on one thing and one thing only, his wife-cicle (he has his wife frozen in ice to stop her from dying, but he can’t fix her).
This episode suffers from some things that the first episode did so well. For starters there’s no investigation prompts. ‘The Enigma’ had everything balanced pretty well between Bruce Wayne/Batman so ‘The Pact’s unbalanced, Bruce Wayne heavy episode may through players for a loop, but when it’s a game about Batman, you’re gonna want to have some Batman to appease the masses. I’m finding the issue that I find in a lot of Telltale game’s these days, where a dialogue option comes out in a way that’s different than what you chose. For example, you can choose the ‘I agree’ prompt but then it could be delivered in a way that sounds cold and totally opposite than what you meant.
My biggest issue with this episode is one that no one else has seemed to have had, and it dives a bit into spoiler territory so be aware. At the end of ‘The Enigma’ I made some bad choices and ended up getting one of the Agency agent’s killed, Agent Blake. I also saved Detective Avesta from going deaf so that’s good. Anyways, near the beginning of episode two, I’m approached by Agent Blake! What! He’s recovered well from his recent decapitation. He begins to mention how Avesta is in the hospital (which she wasn’t in ‘The Enigma’). I remember the ending of episode one well, when Avesta was crying about her fellow Agents dying, and now they’re alive for some reason. What must have happened is that Telltale messed up and reset my choices from episode one, which means everything I chose doesn’t matter. This is something that just can’t happen in these sorts of games where choices matter greatly. The whole season is already messed up.
So far I’m loving the new season of Telltale’s Batman, a whole lot better than the first season. Episode Two, ‘The Pact’ did take a bit of a dip in quality, but I’m sure with the remaining 3 episodes left we can get back to how good the first episode was and keep it consistent. I just hope my game’s not TOO messed up thanks to some game-breaking glitches that occurred.