Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 1 “The Enigma” review for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PC
Also On: PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

The brutal, visceral permanence of Telltale?s Batman in the first season stunned and hooked me from the beginning. Unlike the Telltale games before it, Batman had characters that I had grown up with, personalities that I had spent years of my adolescence learning from and growing to appreciate. Telltale took those characters and put their fate into my hands. Dealing with Selena, Harvey, Gordon and Alfred felt surreal, and knowing that the choices you make have sometimes devastating and permanent consequences on the way that their stories play out is both addicting and terrifying.

Gotham is a world that lends itself to Telltale in a very symbiotic way. The art style and storytelling of the source material, which spans decades and dozens of timelines makes for a great ?choose your own adventure? style story, while the gameplay style and narrative mechanics of a Telltale game make for an in-depth and thoroughly enjoyable comic book ride. Season One set the tone and the precedent for what to expect, and the first episode of Season Two delivers on all fronts.

The Enemy Within brings an unfamiliar iteration of a familiar villain to the forefront in the form of The Riddler. Sure, there are plenty of different takes on The Riddler but most of them showcase him as a deranged genius intent on proving that he is smarter than Batman. He thrives on puzzles and mental challenges, if people are hurt in the process, so be it, but he rarely goes out of his way to brutalize his victims. Telltale?s version of The Riddler however is much more akin to The Joker than most versions, with The Riddler presenting himself as a brutal and violent villain, intent on hurting people for the sake of hurting them, with his personal mental battle with The Bat playing second fiddle. He carries around a Scythe in the shape of a question mark, leaving no doubt that he is a new force to be reckoned with.

The Enemy Within doesn?t delve as far into The Riddler as I would have liked for an episode that seemed like it would be so focused on him, but it definitely set the rest of the season up for plenty depth from the character. The true highlight of this episode is the supporting cast, with the relationship between Bruce Wayne and a terribly broken Alfred playing the most memorable role to me. Depending on the outcome of your personal Season One, you may have a very different experience, but to me that relationship played a pivotal role in creating the Batman that you see by the end of the first episode.

As the name of this season suggests, The Enemy Within will explore the duality of Batman/Bruce Wayne as he struggles to truly define himself and live with the choices he has made and the people he has left behind. The mistakes of his past weigh heavily on Bruce, and the will to go on is tempered by a moral dilemma the likes of which we have seen often in the comics, but rarely in other forms of media. This quandary is made all the more real by the fact that we the player have made some of the decisions that so haunt the caped crusader, so we too are struck by the regret and seeming futility of our ?good deeds?. The Enemy Within really begins to delve into the mind of Bruce Wayne and finds him fighting both against outside forces and his own guilt as he struggles to remain the force for good that he intended to be. I think The Riddler is the perfect villain to help get to the bottom of who Bruce is and what he is capable of doing in the name of justice as Batman. Episode One really set the bar for the rest of the season and I cannot wait to see what Telltale has in store for us next.

Grade: A