Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch (PC) Review

By Athanasios 31.03.2018

Review for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch on PC

Telltale's Batman has had a pretty bumpy ride. To the developer's credit, though, it also managed to offer a pretty unconventional take on the caped crusader, which is always a good thing, especially if done right - and it hasn't. Season 2, or The Enemy Within, has been a mediocre experience (for some, at least), which is a shame as it is basically a unique origins story of the clown prince of crime himself, and one where you could actually feel somewhat sympathetic towards him. In a weird change of events, however, the final episode, called Same Stitch, turns out to be so good that it's actually easy to forget the flaws of previous chapters! Here's why…

Make no mistake, this episode is all Joker - as it should be, of course, since the whole theme of the second season has been the relationship between Bruce and John Doe, and whether the player's actions would manage to "save" this pure albino psycho. Of course, typical of Telltale, this was just an elaborate illusion, as the dear smiling fellow will inevitably become the Joker, no matter what. Having said that, though, Same Stitch doesn't have one Joker, but two!

This final episode is another barely interactive instalment, where choice remains largely a lie. Luckily, the choices made so far, do have a meaningful impact, with Same Stitch being a story divided between two main branches, with 'Joker the villain' being the star of the first, and 'Joker the vigilante' of the second. Both paths are really good and distinct from each other, although, in all honesty, it's the "typical," evil Joker who is really brilliant here.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch on PC

Joker as Batman's sidekick (for the short time this will last) is quite the original idea, and it provides players with some witty dialogue, and genuinely funny lines, but he simply works better as an almost terrifyingly violent wacko. Whether following one storyline over the other, however, the main theme of it all is the whole Batman-made-Joker aspect, as well as the insinuation that, before the Dark Knight, criminals were just criminals, while, after him, equally skilled competition arrived.

Now, this is a concept that has been frequently explored in the hero's long history, usually very subtly, whereas it's used in an almost deafeningly open way in here. Thankfully, the writing is in top shape, thus it doesn't matter so much, with some specific dialogue sequences being extremely impactful, like the very last one, where Alfred's emotional fatigue finally reaches its limit; a scene that makes it very interesting to see how things will play out in Season 3, if that ever happens.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch on PC

Going back to Joker, another important aspect of his character is how some scenes show that brief "spark" of vulnerability in him that has become so common in this season. Besides this being very unique for a character that's usually devoid of these things, Joker's need for affection, acceptance, as well as these tiny moments where he becomes "sane" makes it easier to feel pity for the guy, instead of, you know, just going out and kicking his cackling behind.

Generally, more than any other episode in all seasons combined, this feels more like a drama, rather than an action-filled, superhero adventure - and that's what makes it good; so good that it has now made yours truly want another season, when he was clearly disappointed from most of the steps that led to this point. The omission of boring puzzle-solving is also another great thing about this episode, as this lets it focus on the storytelling alone.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch on PC

All perfect? Not really. Joker is great and all, but he is so great that it further emphasises how underused the rest of the cast is. Some characters like Harley, Gordon, and Selina end up being forgettable sidekicks, rather than important players in the main storyline, and Amanda Waller, while infinitely better than those (especially here), is used in a pretty rushed way, leaving people hungry for much more than a 'goodbye' sort of finale to her plot thread.

As a final note, while the battles remain mind-numbingly easy, and, thus, not that immersive, stylistically they are top notch, as is the rest of the cinematography; cinematography so good that this whole chapter feels as if it's the work of a completely new team altogether. In conclusion, this is an impressively well-crafted episode (as well as ending), and one will surely leave fans drooling for a new season - fingers crossed.

Screenshot for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 5: Same Stitch on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Normally, a single episode wouldn't be enough to save a whole season, especially if that episode is the very finale. Strangely enough, The Enemy Within's Episode 5: Same Stitch does exactly that. Besides being on top form when it comes to the writing and cinematography, it's a riveting drama involving Batman and Joker, with the latter available in two, almost equally tasty, flavours.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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