We are one episode closer to the end of Telltale’s second season of their episodic Batman series. So far I’ve been pretty impressed with Batman: The Enemy Within as I find it a huge improvement over the first season. Not only does it introduce some of my favorite members of Batman’s rogues gallery, but it’s also giving us one of the best performed Joker’s in the history of the character. In Batman: The Enemy Within’s penultimate episode, titled ‘What Ails You’, we pick up where the last episode left off. Bruce slowly freezing to death in one of Mr. Freeze’s tanks while the Pact set forth to do their dastardly deeds.
I really like what they’re doing with the characters, especially Joker of course. What I like is that they’re doing something different with a lot of these characters. Harley is definitely the most different from any iteration I’ve seen. She’s more assertive, dominant, and in control this time around. Usually, a role that Joker fills. Joker is still in his puberty stages of insanity at this point so to speak. This version of the Joker isn’t totally new as it sort of reminds me of his character in the graphic novel, ‘The Killing Joke’, where we see Joker as a meek sort of pathetic criminal in his early stages of insanity. This is a Joker we don’t see very often and I like it. Mr. Freeze is still creepy and not really contributing much to the story but we deal with him a bit more in “What Ails You’’ and in turn get to learn more about his convictions both criminal and personal. Bane’s not really different. He’s just big and angry as usual, but nonetheless a great character.
Batman: The Enemy Within sports a great voice cast, in my opinion, one of the best Telltale has put together thus far. My favorite has got to be Anthony Ingruber as the Joker. He gives such a great performance I’d have to put him up there with Hamill as my top favorites. Laura Post gives a classic but great performance as Harley Quinn, accent at all. JB Blanc does a good macho Bane voice, and Matthew Mercer gives quite the ‘chilling’ Mr. Freeze performance.
This episode was short. I usually take my time with these and even then it was short. Episode 4 was actually the shortest episode yet clocking in at around 70 minutes. While it’s not terrible that the episode is short, it would be nice if we could get some consistency from Telltale with the episodes. Why should an hour to hour and a half episode cost as much as a two-hour episode? When looking at it from that standpoint it’s a little frustrating.
As usual, I experience an insane amount of frame stuttering, frame rate drops, and scene transition freezing. Weirdly enough most of this happened in the first 30 minutes. Now that rumors are surfacing that Telltale may be swapping out for a brand new developmental engine, hopefully, my days of complaining about these issues are soon to be over.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Telltale’s gameplay, what draws me to the game are the stories and the writing. So far, Batman: The Enemy Within has been an incredible story, a definite improvement over the first series. This series has given me characters to care about (and have ripped away a couple too) and bad guys to hate to love. I’m appreciative to Telltale for doing such a great job with a property that is near and dear to me. They did the research, they know what they’re writing about, and they do a damn fine job doing it. They gathered a great voice cast to bring that writing to life, and in turn, has made a good series so far. I’ll be sad to see it end as the next episode is the finale.