Season One of Batman: The Telltale Series showed us that none of our favorite characters are safe. Telltale managed to take a franchise with 76 years of stories and create a completely original, emotional take on the caped crusader. Switching the focus from Batman to Bruce Wayne, season one put on the forefront the emotional struggles that Bruce underwent due to the stresses from being Batman. All of this combined with a totally original villain is what I loved about season one. Five minutes into Episode One of season two, The Enigma, it becomes pretty clear that Telltale is doing their best to one-up their success of the premiere season.
As you’ve seen from the trailer, the episode focused on the Riddler. The title ‘The Enigma” is in fact a play on his name, Edward Nigma. In Telltale’s version of this Batman series, The Riddler has returned to Gotham City after being away for years. In fact, it’s mentioned that he left before Bruce even became the Batman. The series starts more than a year after the end of season one, and Commissioner Gordon has succeeded in lowering the crime rate in Gotham. The Riddler returns with a pretty interesting twist on his personality as well. We all know the Riddler as a classic, cerebral assassin type who uses his brain to manipulate his opponents into submission. This still occurs as the episode is full of riddles, but he is also pretty bad ass. He carries a scythe that’s shaped like- wait for it- a question mark, and uses it in combination with some intense martial arts moves. It’s unusual to see the Riddler with this type of brawler setup, but it’s really augmented by the vicious torture boxes. These are cylindrical enclosures about the size of a phone booth that cut your fingers off one by one with a wrong answer or a certain amount of time passes. Once your fingers are off, the box switches to cutting off the person’s head. It’s reminiscent of the Saw film franchise, and makes some choices late in the episode pretty gut wrenching with no way to avoid them.
Despite being about the Riddler, it didn’t have as much puzzle solving as I thought I would. There are a number of things to solve and investigate in detective mode like season one, but I do wish I could have solved more. I did appreciate the change of pace with the Riddler, however. Rather than the main focus and everything playing off him, he and his puzzles served more as the middle man. They are the gateway to figuring out the bigger plot, which is only complimented by the gigantic cliff hangar at the end of the episode. I enjoyed this setup, because it allowed for the other characters in the series to shine and tease how the situation would play out. Lucious Fox, his daughter Tiffany) who is newly employed at Wayne Enterprises), Alfred, Gordon, Amanda Waller and of course John Doe are the real focal points. Each of these six characters have an important role to play in the series, and none of them were rushed.
Fair Warning, however, this episode will make you choose sides to see who Batman aligns with. Waller wants to remove Gordon and is looking for any excuse to do so. Taking her side will undue all the camaraderie Bruce built up with him. On the other side, staying true to Gordon will piss Waller off. A year outside of season one, John Doe has been released from Arkham Asylum. He is struggling with adjusting to society, and approached me for the favor I promised him back in the first game. I don’t doubt for one second that John Doe is going to transform into the Joker at some point. I wasn’t used to seeing this side of a character. A vulnerable, pre-Joker type of character, I made all my decisions with him in the hopes of seeing him stay good. Now, I’m not navie and understand this probably won’t happen. On the other hand, I can’t wait to see the the original story Telltale installed for these choice options. It makes for a much more emotional immersion, and is what made season one so great.
There are going to be a lot of incredible choices in the final four episodes. How the characters react to your decisions and relationships changes, Alfred’s PTSD, Tiffany’s technological prowess and Amanda Waller’s end game are just a few of the things we have to wait for in the rest of the season. This doesn’t include the two major cliffhangers at the conclusion of the episode either. Tie all this in with the classic twist we know Telltale is going to throw at us, and I can’t wait to see how the story progresses.
Being a Telltale game, I was expecting some of the typical glitches. The first season saw a few in the first couple of episodes, especially in the fighting scenes. Thankfully, there weren’t any glitches at all in The Enigma. The voice acting was stellar, and there were no stutters in gameplay during any of the scenes.
The upcoming story of Batman: The Enemy Within looks to be a roller coaster ride – an all down hill roller coaster ride. With so many story arcs to address and twists to surprise us with, Batman: The Enemy Within appears set to leave us riveted after each episode.