Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1: The Enigma (PC) Review

By Ofisil 20.08.2017

Review for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1: The Enigma on PC

Oh, Telltale Games, why you so unconcerned with changing? In all honesty, many of its series seem to be content with just being… alright, when they could simply be magnificent with a little bit of additional effort. Take a look at Batman: The Telltale Series, for instance. Entertaining? Sure! But at the same time, reluctant to improve the flawed, flawed, flawed recipe of the developer. Everyone deserves a second chance, though (or sixth), and maybe this dear interactive storyteller will actually prove its worth with the first episode of the second season of Batdude's adventures.

Batman: The Telltale Series could be better, but it sure knew how to make an entrance. Everything, from the direction and the pacing, to the cinematography and overall atmosphere of Realm of Shadows' intro was simply flawless, and gave a feeling that this is a classic opening of what will be a classic journey - even if it never became one. Episode 1 of Batman: The Enemy Within, however, seems to be less focused, almost as if it's in a hurry, and, as a result, doesn't become as memorable as it should do.

It can be impressive, alright, but only in certain parts within its parts. A perfect analogy is the slightly upgraded graphics engine. Everything looks more detailed, fine-tuned, and less cardboard-y, but there's a strange lack of wallpaper-worthy scenes. Moreover, similar to how season one focused a bit too much on Bruce Wayne, this overuses Batsy, who, instead of spending most of his time hiding in the shadows and doing his cool ninja stuff, steps right in the "spotlight," and ends up looking like just another cop - just one that happens to have a fancy utility belt.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1: The Enigma on PC

While on the subject of appearances, some weird design changes have occurred, which aren't bad or anything, but, at the same time, are a bit unreasonable, with one notable example being Commissioner Gordon's bodybuilder body and heavily altered face. A nit-pick, sure, but what isn't one is the lame handling of the villains. This introductory episode brings in the iconic Riddler, but, sadly, he is used exactly as that: an introduction. He gets too little screen time, and none of it will leave an impression. Oh, and as for John Doe/Joker, this chapter would be exactly the same without him…

The good news is that some from the rest of the cast at hand turn out to be far better, like Lucius Fox's daughter, for whom it is cleverly hinted that she can either become a strong ally or a challenging enemy, or the multi-layered, mysterious, and, in all honesty… yummy, special agent of the secretive Agency, Iman Avesta. The big star, however, is none other than that hurricane of a badass lady, Amanda freaking Waller. Whenever this ruthless mama appears, she improves things tenfold, and even manages to be the only one that makes you feel genuinely threatened.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1: The Enigma on PC

Now, flaws aside, just like every episode of the previous season, this still manages to be a fun ride, and while the intro is somewhat weak, the rest of it is better. A great thing about Telltale's Batman remains the fact that it gives its own take on the Dark Knight; therefore, as it's not tied to any comic or movie, it has the freedom to go wherever it wants - and while The Enigma does nothing as ground-breaking as the plot twists offered in the first season, it definitely has its tense moments. Unfortunately, it's hard to say where these will lead…

You see, the biggest problem with this episode is that it's extremely preoccupied with being an introduction to Bruce Wayne's new adventure, rather than something that can be enjoyed on its own, so the end result feels like a very long intro, and one that doesn't manage to make you as interested in the continuation of this tale as it should do. To compare things a bit, the cliff-hanger finale of Realm of Shadows hit Bruce Wayne like an earthquake. The ending of this chapter, on the other hand, just places a few small, insignificant question marks above his head.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1: The Enigma on PC

For all the negativity so far, like every episode prior to this, The Enigma is an absolute joy to play. Unfortunately, it's a very aggravating one to replay, and that's the real issue here. For starters, the "gameplay" elements remain as boring as they were before. The QTE battles are still mind-numbingly easy, although a tad more varied, and the simplistic "detective" sections return and end up being twice as ridiculous. Simple connect-the-dots puzzles felt silly when the enemy was the Penguin, but these feel even more so when the main villain is the goddamn Riddler!

This could go on and on about the reuse of some stupid mechanics, like the "Press A to open door" nonsense, but, in the end, it's the choice-and-consequence aspect that truly disappoints. In other words, choices still don't really matter one bit, as most crossroads just lead to a couple of marginally different lines of dialogue. It's a shame, too, because the decisions that Batman will have to make can actually be pretty tough. Unfortunately, subsequent playthroughs will clearly destroy that feeling of challenge, as all roads lead to Rome (or Gotham), albeit with a few different stops along the way.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1: The Enigma on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Episode 1: The Enigma is not what the first chapter of Batman: The Enemy Within should be. Similar to season one, the gameplay segments are subpar, and the small power that choices have over the course of the storyline ruin the replay value of it all. Sure, the story offers some interesting twists and turns that Bat-fans will definitely enjoy, but the World's Greatest Detective can certainly do better than this.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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