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Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 1 - The Enigma

Score: 98%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 12 (Crowd Play)
Genre: Adventure


Graphics & Sound:

Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 1 - The Enigma kicks off the second season of Telltale's license featuring the Dark Knight. Where the first adventure showed Bruce Wayne that his family's money wasn't as clean as he had hoped, this one not only deals with the repercussions of his actions during that season, but also introduces some classic Batman supervillains to really spice things up.

The Enemy Within continues to show the dark and dirty world that is Gotham City. While many of the characters from last season return looking just like they did by the time the first adventure ended, The Enigma introduces a few new faces, and their specific designs help to add to the overall feel of the game. The biggest addition that helps solidify the tone of the game is Riddler. He isn't a bowler-capped man in a green suit or leotard, but a man in a green hood whose iconic question mark cane comes to a sharp point, making it a far more obvious weapon than traditionally portrayed. The overall feel of Riddler really helps to remind players that Telltale's Batman series has a dark tone, and while it isn't anything to the level of Frank Miller's Batman, it's also much darker than Tim Burton's or Christopher Nolan's interpretations as well.

Audio-wise, the voice actors fit their roles quite well. Troy Baker continues his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne (as he has done for many games), while the supporting cast playing Alfred, Lucius Fox, Gordon, Riddler and other newcomers Amanda Waller and Special Agent Avesta all fit the bill.


Gameplay:

Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 1 - The Enigma starts off with a bang when Bruce is surveilling a known arms dealer, Rumi Mori, only to have the stakeout broken up by the sudden re-appearance of Riddler, a masked menace who has been dormant for many years. It seems Riddler has some beef with Mori and quickly traps the casino-owner in a deadly chamber that will mutilate him if he doesn't answer Riddler's questions appropriately.

While Batman stops the questioning before Mori loses more than a couple of fingers, the resulting fight not only brings the attention of a covert government group known as The Agency, led by Waller, but it also has Riddler leaving behind one of his iconic puzzle boxes.

Batman's mission in The Enigma is to decipher Riddler's plans, stop the killer before he can execute those plans, and all the while, decide how much to trust Waller's organization, especially since she seems to be working to push the GCPD and Commissioner Gordon onto the sidelines.

Meanwhile, as Bruce Wayne, players will have to face a few ghosts from the past. Namely, the pale-faced, green-haired Arkham Asylum inmate Brice met last season. John Doe appears to be out on the streets and he approaches Bruce in the hopes of getting the billionaire to meet up with some friends of John's. When Bruce learns that John has some information on Riddler, the player has to decide how much to trust John and how much of a tight leash the man should be kept on.


Difficulty:

In Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 1 - The Enigma, both Bruce Wayne and Batman will have to face some tough choices. On one side, Bruce has the chance to let a new person into the fold, but when a life-changing event occurs, that option might get closed off forever. On the Batman side of things, Waller's involvement in the Riddler case means that players will have to determine just how much information to give her, and when everything comes to its dramatic conclusion in this episode, just how open you were with Waller and her agents will color your interactions with the group in future episodes.

One big choice players face in The Enigma is where to go to get some extra information on Riddler. You are presented with two options, one is a conversation best had by Bruce, while the other requires the intimidation factor of Batman. Choosing one closes off the other path and how you obtain the information you need will definitely have consequences on the future, so as always in Telltale games, the hardest aspect of the game comes in the choices you make.


Game Mechanics:

I will say, one aspect of Batman: The Enemy Within: Episode 1 - The Enigma that left me a little disappointed was the fact that it didn't seem to take advantage of the new combat system seen in Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two. While the action-RPG hack-n-slash combat displayed in that game isn't exactly right for Batman, its presence in the other game shows that Telltale's engine doesn't have to resort to pure quick-time events when in an action sequence. What The Enemy Within does introduce though is mid-fight choices.

During many of the episode's fight sequences, two different attacks present themselves. With a tap of the key, you could choose between these actions and it will play out a slightly different fight sequence. This change was nice and it required a bit of deeper thought than just responding to the key commands that were displayed on the screen. I don't believe your mid-fight decisions have any bearing after the fight is over, but it does add a bit of personal flair to the fights, which is nice.

The Enemy Within's story is off to a strong start. Not only does it expertly build on the events of last season, but, like before, it shows that there are no sacred cows in the game and just like the storytellers had no problem tearing down Bruce's image of Thomas Wayne, anything can happen, and at least one shocking event will play out by the time The Enigma ends. The Enemy Within is already grabbing me as one of the best Telltale games to have come out in a long while.


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

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 7 64Bit Service Pack 1, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, 3 GB RAM, Nvidia GTS 450+ with 1024MB+ VRAM (excluding GT) graphics card, DirectX Version 11, 15 GB available hard drive space, Direct X 11 Sound Device
 

Test System:



Intel Core i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60GHz, 16 GB dual-channel DDR3,Windows 10 Home 64 bit, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (4GB)

Related Links:



Microsoft Xbox One Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated