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Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 3 - Fractured Mask
Score: 90%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 12 (Crowd Play)
Genre: Adventure

Previously on Batman: The Enemy Within:

After an episode's worth of gameplay to get Bruce Wayne to infiltrate the budding criminal organization known is The Pact, players could see that work come to naught when the previous episode ended with Catwoman walking up. Could Bruce's potential love interest with her own double-identity cause Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 3 - Fractured Mask to start off with Bruce defending himself and possibly condemning Catwoman in order to keep his cover?

Well... no it doesn't really, but that doesn't mean that Selina Kyle's dramatic entrance into The Pact's base of operations doesn't cause some trouble and Bruce/Batman won't have to make some hard decisions if he is going to keep both himself and Catwoman safe. As it is, the remaining members of The Pact aren't too happy with how their robbery played out. Sure, they got what they wanted, but they quickly realize that there is a mole in their operation and they are keen to sleuth it out by whatever means they deem necessary.

Riddler's Plans:

Like Episode 2, Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 3 - Fractured Mask is another Bruce-heavy story. Still undercover with the criminal organization, Bruce has to decide how to play things with Catwoman. Does he admit they know each other? Does he act like this is their first meeting? Catwoman will follow Bruce's lead, but a main focus of this episode will be exploring why Selina is involved and if that affects how Bruce should treat her.

What Bruce soon learns is that the Riddler's death means that The Pact doesn't really know what his plan was for their next big job. They have a laptop with his plans on it, but security measures that Riddler put in place leave that information unavailable. Bruce, Catwoman, and John are tasked with going to Riddler's old hideout and poking around in the hopes of finding a way to get at the information. What the trio find is, of course, a series of puzzles that have to be completed before they can even have a hope of getting the information The Pact needs, much less deciding what to do with that knowledge.

Shifting Relationships:

Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 3 - Fractured Mask has several points where Bruce Wayne/Batman has to decide who to trust and how far to take that trust. The most obvious of these is Catwoman. Not only does Bruce have to decide how much to let her in on his current mission, but there are also opportunities to let her get even closer and possibly even open up to her in a way that Bruce can rarely do.

The power struggle between Waller and Gordon is also in full swing in this episode, and Gordon will confront both Batman and Bruce about the events happening in Gotham. Given the company Bruce has been seen with and some of the hard choices he has had to make, Gordon sees the billionaire as a growing threat that must be taken down. When he asks Batman to get involved, you will have to decide how to handle the request, and as always, those choices change how the character sees you.

Add to this mess the fact that Lucius' daughter, Tiffany, makes another surprise appearance and you have yet another opportunity to shape Bruce's relationship with the young engineer. How far you decide to keep her away, or bring her into your inner circle could have fairly drastic effects on how everything plays out, especially if and when The Pact's mole-hunt starts to steer towards Bruce, and Tiffany might be used as a leverage point against him.

There is one other relationship in flux during Fractured Mask, and that's the one with John Doe. John ends up coming to Bruce a couple of times for help, once for relationship advice with Harley and then again when the not-quite-Joker approaches Batman in a bold move. Like everything else in this game, how you approach these encounters could lead to some interesting results, but we still have two more episodes before we see exactly how it will all play out.

Next Time on Batman: The Enemy Within:

Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 3 - Fractured Mask is a fairly strong mid-point to the season. There is both a good fight sequence (with the possibility of a couple more depending on your choices) as well as a bit of an investigative sequence where Bruce tries out some fancy new tech, but the main focus of this episode is all about shaping the relationships surrounding Bruce Wayne/Batman. By the time Episode 3 is over, you will know what The Pact is after, but you will be forced to make a choice that will leave someone close to Bruce in danger, and at least one series of choices could lead to Bruce himself in a really bad position.

With the re-introduction of Catwoman, The Enemy Within continues to build upon the events from the first season, and given the different ways that relationship can change in this episode alone, it will be interesting to see where this season takes the two characters, much less the bigger plot surrounding The Pact and their mission.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 3 - Fractured Mask

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