Batman: The Enemy Within

I enjoyed the first game in this series, Batman: The Telltale Series. It had a different take on the standard tale of Bruce Wayne as he transitions into his role of the Batman. It also set the stakes for a different origin of the classic Batman villains, especially the Joker.

Batman: The Enemy Within continues the story and greatly raises the stakes. It also puts a very different spin on the descent of the Joker; for example, in this version Harley Quinn is already criminally insane, and it’s the Joker who follows her.

Telltale games are known for their adaptive stories, which evolve depending on the decisions you make in the game. Batman: The Enemy Within take this to a higher level. Like all Telltale games I’ve seen, it’s played over the course of five episodes, but these episodes are longer (two hours or more) than most of their other games. The choices you’re presented with are more difficult; for example, do you try to make friends with the Joker in the hope of turning him away from Harley Quinn, or do you give up on him and allow him to descend into villainy? In this game, sometimes there are no “good” choices.

It’s my custom to play a Telltale game twice to get a sense of the different paths you can take within the story. The first time I play to be as “good” as I can be, the second time I make the worst possible choices to see how the story would turn out. Typically I see the same story “beats” no matter which path I take, though the characters react differently and there are some sequences that depend on earlier choices.

In the case of Batman: The Enemy Within, I was impressed by the difference in the story depending on your choices. In fact, when it came to the fifth episode, I played an entirely different game as a result of the difference between the “good” and “bad” paths; only a single scene was the same.

Another first, at least in my experience with Telltale games: The consequences of your decisions in Batman: The Telltale Series can, if you wish, carry over into Batman: The Enemy Within. Of course, I carried over my “good” Batman from the first game into “good” Batman of the second, and did the same as “bad” Batman. I really put Jim Gordon through the ringer in the latter; it’s a wonder he didn’t put a bullet in my head.

If you played Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within is a must-play. If you never played a Telltale game before because you thought the story might not be strong enough, this game might convince you otherwise.

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