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Batman: The Enemy Within is an episodic point-and-click graphic adventure video game developed and published by Telltale Games and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment under its DC Entertainment label. The game is a sequel to 2016's Batman: The Telltale Series, which was based on Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman character.

Batman: The Enemy Within
BatmanTheEnemyWithin.jpg
Developer(s)Telltale Games
Publisher(s)Telltale Games
Writer(s)Meghan Thornton
Composer(s)Jared Emerson-Johnson
EngineTelltale Tool
Platform(s)
Release
Genre(s)Graphic adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

GameplayEdit

Like most Telltale games, the game features a similar episodic format found in other titles (such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands). The player controls Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego Batman, with the game evenly split for both characters. The game features a branching narrative, similar to past Telltale games, giving the player options in approaching a situation and having that choice affect later events in the game. If the player had played the previous game, choices made, such as saving certain characters or stopping a criminal, may also be imported, though the game can be played as a standalone title. The game includes action sequences that are resolved similar to Telltale's other games, using quick time events. The series also includes investigation sequences, allowing the player to use Batman's detective skills to investigate areas. Sections of the game also present situations to the player where they may choose to approach as Bruce Wayne or as Batman. Crowd Play, a feature implemented in the predecessor, also returns for The Enemy Within, allowing streamers to let their audience interact with their session with the game.

SynopsisEdit

CharactersEdit

The player once again assumes control of Bruce Wayne/Batman (Troy Baker), a billionaire who secretly fights crime in Gotham City. His butler and former legal guardian Alfred Pennyworth (Enn Reitel), Police Commissioner James Gordon (Murphy Guyer), and Wayne Enterprises Chief of Technology Lucius Fox (Dave Fennoy) return to assist Batman in the field. The game introduces "The Agency", a mysterious government organization with its own agenda led by the ruthless Amanda Waller (Debra Wilson). New supporting characters are also introduced, including Special Agent Iman Avesta (Emily O'Brien), one of the Agency's operatives and a fan of Batman, and Tiffany Fox (Valarie Rae Miller), the daughter of Lucius and an employee at Wayne Enterprises.

"John Doe" (Anthony Ingruber) and Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Laura Bailey) also return, now members of a group of criminals called "the Pact". Other members of the group include Riddler (Robin Atkin Downes), Bane (J. B. Blanc), Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze (Matthew Mercer) and Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn (Laura Post).

Detective Renee Montoya (Sumalee Montano), Reporter Jack Ryder (Robert Clotworthy) and Wayne Enterprises Chairwoman Regina Zellerbach (Lorri Holt) return with smaller roles within the series. New minor characters introduced include Police Detective Harvey Bullock (Keith Szarabajka), Agency operative Vernon Blake (Christian Lanz), international arms dealer Rumi Mori (Keone Young), Riddler's second-in-command Eli Knable (Alex Hernandez), and Stacked Deck patrons Frank Dumfree and Willy Deever (Kirk Thornton and Dave B. Mitchell respectively).

SettingEdit

The Enemy Within is set in the same Batman continuity introduced in Batman: The Telltale Series, which took place a number of years into Batman's career. Like the previous installment, the game is set during the mid-to-late 2010s in Gotham City, primarily the Batcave, Wayne Enterprises and Gotham City Police Headquarters. The game also follows the events of the previous game, taking place between a couple of months to a year after these events.

PlotEdit

While monitoring arms dealer Rumi Mori, Bruce Wayne witnesses the return of the Riddler to Gotham. Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and the GCPD fail to capture Riddler, and the investigation is taken over by the mysterious Agency, led by Amanda Waller. Riddler leaves behind a puzzle box for Bruce. When Lucius Fox investigates the puzzle at Bruce’s request, he is killed by a homing missile summoned by a signal emitted from the device. At Lucius’s funeral, Bruce reunites with Arkham patient John Doe, who offers to help Bruce track down Riddler if Bruce agrees to meet his friends, known as “the Pact.”

Following John’s tip to Riddler’s lair, Batman deduces that Riddler is targeting Agency operatives with missiles he had purchased from Mori. Batman foils Riddler and Riddler reveals he is also a member of the Pact, but Riddler is killed by a poison dart shot by an unseen assailant. Waller assumes control of Gotham law enforcement. With Riddler, her previous lead to the Pact, dead, she blackmails Batman to infiltrate the Pact as Bruce, revealing she knows his secret identity.

After Batman fails to stop Bane from raiding a GCPD armory, Bruce establishes a friendship with John to infiltrate the Pact through him. Harley Quinn demands Bruce prove himself by stealing an electronic skeleton key from Wayne Enterprises. Bruce succeeds but arouses suspicion from Lucius’s daughter Tiffany. After convincing fellow Pact members Bane and Mr. Freeze to trust him, Bruce accompanies them as they raid an Agency convoy and recover Riddler’s preserved body. Catwoman, revealed to be a former associate of Riddler, helps Bruce and John uncover SANCTUS, a rogue faction of the Agency with which Riddler was formerly involved. From Riddler’s laptop, the Pact tracks down their target: the hidden SANCTUS lab in Gotham. Tipped off by Tiffany, Gordon arrests Bruce for colluding with the Pact, but Waller intervenes and has Gordon dismissed. Just before their raid on SANCTUS, the Pact suspects a mole, and Bruce is forced to give up either himself or Catwoman as the traitor. Bruce, as himself or Batman, foils the raid, but Harley escapes with a sample of a biological weapon known as the Lotus virus.

Bruce and Avesta learn that the Lotus virus was a failed SANCTUS project, with Riddler the only survivor of its experiments. The Pact planned to use Riddler’s blood to convert the virus into a healing serum and cure their various ailments, while Waller planned to use it to make them serve her. Avesta, suspicious of Waller, destroys Riddler’s preserved blood. John reluctantly agrees to help track Harley, but when Bruce discovers him surrounded by agents he has killed, John claims he acted in self-defense, and the player must decide whether to trust him or arrest him. Depending on the choice made, John either helps bring in Harley or helps her escape.

Weeks later, John reemerges as the Joker, either as a vigilante with a twisted sense of right and wrong or as a villain colluding with Harley to exact revenge on Bruce for “betraying” him. The former scenario follows Batman, Joker, and Avesta as they collaborate against the corrupt Agency, now in control of the Pact and Catwoman, until Joker, frustrated with Batman's non-lethal policy, kidnaps and attempts to kill Waller. The latter scenario has Harley distributing the Lotus virus across Gotham in an attempt to recreate the healing serum from another survivor’s blood, while Joker pits Bruce against Gordon, Tiffany, Alfred, and Selina Kyle in cruel games of trust. In either setting, Bruce realizes that Tiffany was the one who assassinated Riddler and eventually defeats Joker. Waller pulls the Agency out of Gotham and vows to protect Bruce’s identity in gratitude. Alfred decides to leave Bruce's employ, disillusioned by the effects Batman has had on Gotham, and Bruce either abandons his Batman identity or lets Alfred leave.

In the post-credits scene, Joker either plots his revenge against Bruce in Arkham Asylum or is visited by him there.

EpisodesEdit

All episodes below were released for Windows, macOS, PlayStation, Xbox One, and mobile platforms on the dates given. The Nintendo Switch version was released as a single package on October 2, 2018.[3]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"The Enigma"Kent MudleJames Windeler, Patrick Kevin Day & Shanon InglesAugust 8, 2017 (2017-08-08)
22"The Pact"Matthew LeachLuke McMullen, Chris Hockabout, Shanon Ingles & Patrick Kevin DayOctober 3, 2017 (2017-10-03)
33"Fractured Mask"Sean ManningRoss Beeley, Shanon Ingles, Lauren R. Mee & Josh R. TrujilloNovember 21, 2017 (2017-11-21)
44"What Ails You"Chris RieserPatrick Kevin Day & Lauren R. MeeJanuary 23, 2018 (2018-01-23)
55"Same Stitch"Kent MudleMeghan Thornton, Ross Beeley & Lauren R. MeeMarch 27, 2018 (2018-03-27)

ReceptionEdit

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Complete Season (PC) 80/100[4]
Episode 1: The Enigma (PC) 76[5]
(PS4) 70[6]
(XONE) 77[7]
Episode 2: The Pact (PC) 71[8]
(PS4) 67[9]
(XONE) 64[10]
Episode 3: Fractured Mask (PC) 71[11]
(PS4)70[12]
Episode 4: What Ails You (PC) 77[13]
(PS4) 77[14]
(XONE) 81[15]
Episode 5: Same Stitch (PC) 85[16]
(PS4) 88[17]

Critical receptionEdit

Batman: The Enemy Within was considered to be an improvement over its predecessor, earning praise for its story, choices, action sequences, and portrayal of the Batman mythos. However, the presence of technical issues, and Troy Baker's performance as Batman was criticized.[18][19][20] The game won the award for "Performance in a Drama, Supporting" with Debra Wilson at the 17th Annual National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Game, Franchise Adventure".[21][22] Episode 5 was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing" at the Writers Guild of America Awards 2018,[23] while the game itself was again nominated at the 18th Annual National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards, this time for "Writing in a Drama".[24]

The game's portrayal of the Joker stood out for many reviewers, with the opportunity to prevent him from becoming a villain critically lauded. Scott Maslow from GQ said it managed to make "Batman's most overexposed villain" interesting again; "The Joker has always said his past is multiple-choice, but this is the first time I’ve felt like I was the one checking the boxes."[25] Bradley Shankar from MobileSyrup gave a positive review, saying, "Batman: The Enemy Within offers one of the greatest Joker stories ever told". He explained: "... while there have been numerous great interpretations of the Batman-Joker relationship over the years, there has never been one quite as complex and morally grey as what Telltale has created with The Enemy Within".[26] Tamoor Hussain from GameSpot gave the final episode a 9/10, concluding: "While Telltale's first Batman season stuck a bit too close to established mythos and delivered an underwhelming ending, the second is a memorable Joker origin story that Bat-fans should make a point of playing."[27] Stephanie Chan from VentureBeat was slightly less enthusiastic but still gave the game a score of 80/100 and said: "By the end of the series, I’ll say that Batman: The Enemy Within has tentatively won me over. That’s purely on the strength of the relationship between Batman and The Joker."[28]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Don't forget - the next episode of Batman: The Enemy Within premieres October 3! What are your predictions for 'The Pact?'". Facebook. September 3, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Game, The Walking Dead (8 March 2018). "THE JOKER IS BORN. - The final episode of Batman: The Enemy Within is two unique finales (and two possible Jokers) in one episode. - "Same Stitch" premieres March 27.pic.twitter.com/25VZvEKpDK".
  3. ^ Meija, Ozzie (September 15, 2018). "Batman: The Enemy Within gets Nintendo Switch release date; Steam sale for Batman Day". Shacknews. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive.
  5. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 1: The Enigma". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 1: The Enigma". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 1: The Enigma". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  8. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 2: The Pact". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 2: The Pact". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 2: The Pact". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 3: The Fractured Mask". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 3: The Fractured Mask". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  13. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 4: What Ails You". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  14. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 4: What Ails You". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 4: What Ails You". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within– Episode 5: Same Stitch". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  17. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (August 11, 2017). "Our Actions Have Consequences: We Review 'Batman: The Enemy Within'". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  19. ^ Moyse, Chris (August 7, 2017). "Review: Batman - The Enemy Within: The Enigma". Destructoid. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  20. ^ "Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series". GameSpot.
  21. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 9, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "2019 Writers Guild Awards Screenplay and Videogame Writing Nominations Announced". Writers Guild of America West. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  24. ^ "Nominee List for 2018". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 11, 2019. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  25. ^ Batman: The Enemy Within Finally Makes the Joker Interesting Again, GQ
  26. ^ Batman: The Enemy Within offers one of the greatest Joker stories ever told [This Week in Gaming], MobileSyrup
  27. ^ Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 5 Review - No More Joking Around, GameSpot
  28. ^ Batman: The Enemy Within Episode Five review — The Joker gets the last laugh, VentureBeat

External linksEdit