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Batman: The Enemy Within | game review

There's plenty of enemies on the outside too.

Batman and Joker... on the same side?

Game summary: Batman is blackmailed by the nefarious Amanda Waller to go undercover and infiltrate a group of super villains that call themselves The Pact. (IMDb)

I liked Telltale's first season with the Dark Knight and I'm happy to say that this second season takes the groundwork laid and improves on almost every aspect, even if only marginally in some areas. This might not be a version of Batman that most people will recognise or enjoy - especially as he's far less infallible here, which I love - but it's one I definitely want more from in the future.

Visually speaking, the game is a clear step-up, with a more refined art style, better character designs and improved animations that make it both far more appealing and also more cohesive to watch. I have no idea how many people who worked on the first season continued onto the second, but it definitely feels more confident in how it gets across its visual message.

Similar praise can be given to the story this time out - which I won't spoil here - with a refined evolution of what came before, keeping things neat and on-track, despite the back-stabbing and double-dealing that goes on. The first season felt a little confused at times with its story-telling, but how events unfold in The Enemy Within comes across as there being a far more focused attitude to telling a particular story and trimming as much of the fat as possible that weighed down Telltale's first effort.

In fact, I'd go so far to say that this definitely felt like one of Telltale's best paced efforts. Even with something like The Wolf Among Us or Tales from the Borderlands, which were my previous favourites from them, there were still episodes and/or scenes that felt a little too short or too long, but The Enemy Within doesn't have that problem. Each episode feels substantial without outstaying its welcome, and the same is true of each 'chapter' in those episodes.

However, there does still remain the fact that this game still suffers from the consistent Telltale issue of the choices feeling like they barely matter at all - in fact, most feel like you're simply choosing the tone of a scene rather than making any kind of choice. It does kind of undercut things when that's something highlighted as a selling point of a game, even if the quality of the story means it doesn't feel too disappointing an issue.

With how the story of The Enemy Within ends, it'd be interesting to see how a third season would play out with Amanda Waller and a proto-Suicide Squad opening up potential links to the rest of the DC Comics universe. Especially if the next game continues to be an evolution for the better to the same degree that this was to the first season.

Batman: The Enemy Within is a definite step-up from the first season, even if it still can't quite shock off that strong feeling that the choices the game presents you with barely matter. The enjoyable characters, story and twists to the Batman canon all help overcome this though, and I'd love for there to be a third season if it could continue to improve, especially with things opening up to the wider DC Universe a little.

[8/10 - Very Good]



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