Note: This review will contain spoilers for previous episodes of Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within. Please proceed with caution.
When Telltale took on the task of creating a Batman-themed adventure game, they decided to start from close to the beginning. The early days of the Caped Crusader, that is. Of course, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne’s murders factored in, as they always do, but in a way in which they became a central part of the storyline, as Bruce discovered that his father made his fortune in some rather corrupt and heavy handed ways.
As Bruce was dealing with the news going public, he was also tasked with using his caped alter ego to keep tabs on, and eventually stop, some unruly residents. Lady Arkham and Two Face, to be exact, though they weren’t alone.
In Season Two of Batman: The Telltale Series, which we know as Batman: The Enemy Within, this story has continued with Bruce getting involved in criminal dealings with a super group called ‘The Pact.’ One in which Harley Quinn is the colourful and maniacal leader, and Bruce’s ‘friend’ from a brief stint in a mental institution is her lackey. That, of course, world be Telltale’s very well written and acted John Doe character, who is working his way towards becoming the Joker and has all the telltale signs, including infatuation with one Dr. Harleen Quinn.
In Episode Three, which somehow released without me being aware, Bruce continued his undercover work, and became an integral part in the Pact’s plan. However, things started to unravel, and certain members of the group (read Bane and Mr. Freeze) weren’t sure if they could trust the billionaire playboy, despite John’s pleading. Throw in a rogue player in Catwoman, whose meddling thievery forced Bruce into an awkward position, and you have where we stand at the beginning of Batman: The Telltale Series‘ penultimate fourth episode, ‘What Ails You.’
At the end of the third episode, I — as Bruce Wayne — took the blame for Catwoman’s misdeed instead of putting her in harm’s way. This led to me being put inside one of Mr. Freeze’s cryogenic pods, where it was presumed that I would freeze to death. Or Bruce would, if you prefer that.
What Ails You picks up there, with Bruce desperately attempting to find a way out of the cryo pod, in order to not only save his own life but also help Catwoman and Gotham at large. The Pact’s plan has been partially revealed, and it’s become clear that they’re heading to a secret Agency laboratory, where a deadly pathogen awaits. Their reasoning is suspect and somewhat hazy, but nothing good ever comes out of a group of super villains stealing a deadly virus from a hidden lab.
In later scenes, Bruce eventually reunites with Catwoman, has an emotional talk with Alfred, and gets back in the habit of trailing the bad guys. It’s not easy, though, and leads to a large scale brawl involving several combatants, prior to shit hitting the proverbial fan. As always, Catwoman is heavily involved here too, and so is the Agency, whose motives have started to become questionable. The same being true for their arrogant leader, Amanda Waller.
All the while, John Doe continues to lose his grip on sanity. His love for Harley Quinn not being returned has him frustrated, as does questionable advice from Bruce. He acts like a friend to the player and their billionaire avatar, but his grasp on reality is really slipping, leading to him committing a heinous act. All of this before a twist of a finale that you’ll have to see for yourself.
Honestly, it’s tough to talk about this episode without spoiling anything. I did my best above, but it was hard to really say anything about the plot and dissect this thing without writing even small spoilers. Such is the case when you get to the second last episode of a series, I guess.
As a whole, though, Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 4 is a solid and intriguing affair. It’s not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, and won’t go down in history as being one of Telltale’s best episodes, but it does its job and sets up what could be a very good finale. There are some problem areas, and a general lack of a wow factor, but what’s there is pretty good and offers a couple of notable choices. It is very short, though, lasting only an hour and a half at most.
Here’s hoping that the final episode of this second season of Batman: The Telltale Series will deliver a gripping, memorable and shocking finale that will surpass what is a short and merely decent penultimate episode.
**This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game, which we were provided with.**
- John Doe is a great character who continues to get better
- The game looks and sounds really good. Perhaps Telltale's best in that department.
- Has some good moments
- Lacks a wow factor
- Really short
- Only offers a couple of major choices