*Please Note: This review may contain some very brief spoilers for Batman: The Enemy Within*
Batman: The Enemy Within
Developed by Telltale Games
Published by Telltale Games
Batman: The Enemy Within takes place approximately one year after the events of Batman: The Telltale Series. After defeating the children of arkham; Batman is now known to be the protector of Gotham City however a legendary criminal known only as The Riddler returns to the city of Gotham after many years with a plan to take over the city. While Batman fights against his new nemesis; Bruce Wayne is also facing some disturbing troubles as he loses one of his closest allies in a tragic accident aswell as having to rebuild his reputation after everything that was revealed with the children of arkham. Both also face a new threat as a mysterious agency lead by Amanda Waller comes to Gotham with the the intention of blackmailing Batman into helping them take out a new crime organization forming in Gotham. Left with no other options; Bruce must get in close with an old friend to infiltrate this new crime ring before Gotham falls into the wrong hands.
That’s all I want to put under the story section of this game since I feel it’s important to make sure this game doesn’t have any of it’s major points or story spoiled. Much like the first season; Batman: The Enemy Within has an incredible story that not only does justice to the Batman Mythos but also explores some troublesome subjects for both the sides of Batman and Bruce Wayne. The game really has many different vibes to it from Donnie Brasco to Batman: The Animated Series which really emphasize just how dark this story is willing to go. While this game has different story elements based on the choices you make and the way you play; I also liked how it explored just how much the bond has grown between Batman and Commissioner Gordon with the two having formed their well known friendship in between the seasons.
Overall, Batman: The Enemy Within definitely rivals it’s first season in the story department and could even be among the ranks of games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
Batman: The Enemy Within is a point and click adventure game much similar to it’s predecessor and many of the other titles developed and published by Telltale Games. If you’re familiar with Telltale Games’ previous games; You will have a pretty good idea what the gameplay is like however in case any readers are new to the world of Telltale. Batman: The Enemy Within has you assuming control of both Batman and Bruce Wayne as you explore the many different locations your character is placed while interacting with the many different objects and people by moving a cursor over said item or person and using one of the face buttons. Like it’s predecessor; Batman: The Enemy Within does have a heavy focus on the detective side of Batman as you will begin to investigate many different things such as mysterious devices to brutal crime scenes aswell as solving a few little puzzles along the way. Much like the other Telltale games; the primary focus of your gameplay is selecting the dialogue of your character which will ultimately determine your gameplay experience with these choices being made by pressing the face buttons on the controller.
One thing I can say I’ve noticed as a change from the previous season is the combat which while not too big in terms of a change is different and for the best. While all the combat is still done like the first season through the numerous QTE’s the game has to offer; In The Enemy Within; each face button choice during the QTE’s has a choice to tell the player which move will be performed from pressing said button which leads to some quick under pressure decisions to decide cool new moves for Batman to perform. I like this feature since it’s almost like tactical fighting if you really envision yourself in the footsteps of Batman like the game tries to set up. I liked this feature so much it actually made me revisit the episodes to try the different moves just to see how each one looked. One very minor problem that I did have with the game was the fact that a few errors occurred while playing the game which closed the application and ultimately led to me having to do whole sections of the game again.
All in all, Batman: The Enemy Within like most Telltale titles is pretty basic in terms of the actual gameplay however it does it’s job successfully in telling the story in a dynamic and immersive way.
Batman: The Enemy Within much like it’s previous season has a great score which takes a different approach and unlike the first season which followed the music more closer to the Batman movies; I feel this season takes more musical cues from the cartoons such as Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman and even Batman Beyond. I also feel like this time around; the music is also used to an even better degree than the first season as it builds up the atmosphere and tension very similarly to how this type of music is used in actual vigilante TV shows such as Marvel’s Daredevil. The voice cast in Batman: The Enemy Within is once again an all-star cast this time with some lesser known voice actors aswell.
Once again leading the cast in The Enemy Within is Troy Baker who reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne and really brings to light the conflicting thoughts of both Batman and Bruce Wayne throughout the entire season. Baker does an amazing job at portraying just how tough it is for Bruce to go undercover and witness the many different sights he sees as the story progresses. Also reprising their roles from the previous season include Laura Bailey as Catwoman, Enn Reitel as Alfred Pennyworth & Dave Fennoy as Lucius Fox to name a few however the biggest surprise from the returning cast is Anthony Ingruber who reprises his role of John Doe (A.K.A. The Joker) and his character for me personally improved a lot over the course of this game and Ingruber really showed Joker through a variety of different choices in emotion and also portrayed Joker coming to terms with different conflicting thoughts such as his friendship of Bruce and love for Harley.
Speaking of Harley Quinn, This game introduces many new faces into Telltale’s Batman story and along with it plenty of new voice actors. The voice cast for The Enemy Within expands with some incredible performances from Laura Post (The Evil Within) who portrays Harley Quinn in a new way unlike anything we have seen before taking it into a more interesting direction with Harley being psychotic before Joker even came into the mix. In ways; Harley comes with a tragic backstory to why she became a criminal and that to me added a whole new human element to her which I feel Post pulled off perfectly. Other newcomers include Debra Wilson (MGS 4) as Amanda Waller who portrays the character in a way to which you’re unsure just how much you can trust her (Which is an accurate portrayal of the character); Robin Atkin Dowes (Uncharted 3) who portrays a brand new version of The Riddler unlike anything I’ve seen in my many years of being a Batman fan; Matthew Mercer (Resident Evil 6) who portrays Mr. Freeze and J.B. Blanc (Horizon: Zero Dawn) as Bane.
All in all, the music section of Batman: The Enemy Within is strong however the true standout element to the sound section is the talented voice cast that portrays these multi-layered characters to perfection through their dialogue and emotions without making the story feel boring or stale with the true standouts being Batman, Joker and Harley.
In terms of the visuals; I have to honestly say that Batman: The Enemy Within is stunning with it’s sleek cel-shaded visuals reflecting that of the graphic novels and the character designs are fantastic to boot. One thing that I can definitely note about this entry is the content is a lot more graphic with blood and gore everywhere (One of my favorite scenes involves a victim getting his fingers severed in a death trap which almost looks like a Saw movie). Another nice little thing that I picked up on through the game is the visual differences to some of your characters which depended on your choices in Season 1 (In particular; the final episode). Some of these little differences include Alfred wearing an eye patch or Bruce missing part of his ear. Gotham City looked stunning in this game and pretty much every scene with The Riddler looked incredible and badass.
All in all, I feel all the set pieces, character designs and just the overall look of the game is a visual delight that is actually an improvement over the previous season.
Overall, I feel that Batman: The Enemy Within is a fantastic game with an incredible story that truly captures the essence and atmosphere of a Batman story. The gameplay has improved from the previous season and while it doesn’t change too much; it does make the game feel fresh and when combined with the improved visuals and the great sound department; this game pretty much completes an already fantastic package. Each episode contained some amazing choices which resulted in multiple playthroughs to witness them all and I feel the detective gameplay keeps getting better to the point that I hope it makes a comeback in The Wolf Among Us Season 2 next year.
In terms of replay value; each individual episode lasts around 1 hr 30 minutes/2 hrs so with all 5 episodes it comes to around 10 hrs total gameplay however there is plenty of choices that will make you want to replay each episode to see the different options available. There is of course trophies/achievements for those who collect them however like most Telltale games; they unlock as the episode goes on. The amount of replay value is pretty much determined on the player with there not being too much in terms of value if you don’t want to replay and pick the different options.
All in all, Batman: The Enemy Within is a phenomenal title and further proves to me why Batman is one of the best IP’s that Telltale have ever touched. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Telltale and more importantly; for their Batman story which is a must buy for fans of Telltale Games, Batman and Great Stories in Video Games.
Score = 9/10
- Incredible Story
- QTE’s Describe Fight Moves
- Fun and Familiar gameplay
- Phenomenal score reminiscent of Batman: TAS
- Voice cast do a superb job
- Visuals look like a perfect adaptation of a comic
- Plenty of Replay Value
- A few errors appeared during the game
Batman: The Enemy Within is available now for PS4, Xbox One, PC, MacOS, Android & iOS. Thanks go out to Telltale Games for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee