|The Joker features prominently in the sequel|
|Reviewed by:||Mark Goninon|
|Release Date:||9 Aug 2017|
|Time played:||9.3 hours|
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend…
Back when the original Telltale Games was around, they were producing many adventure games based off popular IP such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. One such IP they managed to base a game off was "Batman" and they released a game called Batman - The Telltale Series in 2016. Here at Choicest Games, the game received a respectable 8 out of 10 since there was a lot to like about what Telltale had done: the game had plenty of suspenseful moments and it explored the grey morality of characters within the "Batman" universe. You also received a choice between approaching problems as Batman or Bruce Wayne since sometimes, it was best not to go into a situation, fists flying. The only issues I had with the game were occasionally laggy animations, as well as lip synching and audio issues.
|You'll again have the opportunity to tackle problems as either Bruce Wayne or Batman|
A Typical Telltale Adventure
Telltale developed a sequel that was released only a year later called Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series and it even granted you the ability to import the choices you made in the first game which definitely helps with immersion and once again assuming the role of Batman. The only minor gripe I had about this is that there was no indication of what choices you made in the original game when you perform the import, which isn't normally an issue but it's a problem if you haven't played Batman - The Telltale Series for a while.
In terms of gameplay, it's very similar to its predecessor and other "Telltale" games in general which means basic puzzle solving by oldschool point 'n' click adventure standards and Quick Time Events (QTE). Unfortunately, the game also has occasionally janky framerates which is also a legacy of its predecessor.
The game didn't only inherit bad traits from the original game though: it also inherited some good stuff. For one, I think the episode summaries are still very well done and gives you some appreciation of how your decisions affect the perceptions of those you interact with. The soundtrack is also another highlight and Jared Emerson-Johnson has done an outstanding job incorporating themes from Batman - The Telltale Series to create something new yet nostalgic at the same time.
|I love the episode summary screens and they make a return in this game|
Who are the good guys?
For the people pleasers in the audience, this "Batman" game makes sure you'll feel terrible no matter what choice you make. You'll be getting on everyone's bad side in this game as you try to find the best way to deal with the Riddler, Harley Quinn, Bane, Mr Freeze and, the Joker. This is because you'll spend a lot of time infiltrating the enemy's ranks as Bruce Wayne and I personally think this is a great plot device since you'll feel very vulnerable, almost naked, without all of Batman's weapons, armour and gadgets. This has an impact on the decisions you make since normally, you would feel more confident taking the high ground as Batman but as Bruce Wayne, you have to think twice about every conversation choice you make and you'll start to delve into ethical quandaries such as whether the ends justify the means.
You'll also start questioning whether a vigilante like Batman is really a hero, and whether he is not too dissimilar to the villains he is trying to bring to justice. You'll spend a lot of time with the Joker in this game and be given plenty of opportunities to manipulate him, but he won't take what you say lightly and every word you mention to him can have an unintended impact on his own personal growth. There are plenty of moral dilemmas in this game which elevates it above its competitors (and is the reason I enjoyed many Telltale adventures). If a game gets me out of my comfort zone and starts making me question my beliefs and values or, at the very least, offer a fresh, new and interesting take on an old IP, it's a game worth playing in my books.
|Harley Quinn makes an appearance in Batman: The Enemy Within|
Batman: The Enemy Within builds upon the foundation created by its predecessor and delves even further into the grey morality of Batman, whether you can truly consider him any better than the conniving, manipulative villains he tries to bring to justice. While the game does suffer from some framerate and audio issues, playing as a fallible, sometimes vulnerable Batman whose ethics would make Immanuel Kant roll over in his grave, is an intriguing change of pace and an experience I recommend.
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