Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode Two: The Pact Review

 

Writers: Luke McMullen, Chris Hockabout
Director: Matthew Leach
After the death of Lucius Fox and The Riddler, Batman faces a new threat as a group of villains
known as “The Pact” wage war on Gotham. Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze, and Bane lead an army of
mercenaries and carry out a series of attacks and robberies in the service of some greater plan. To
uncover their plan, Bruce has to rely on John Doe as his way into The Pact, and go undercover,
compromising his moral code to save Gotham from whatever they’re planning.
After an excellent premiere episode, Batman: The Enemy Within continues to impress. “The
Enigma” shifted the focus to Batman’s allies and his relationships with them while telling an
excellent one-shot story with a deadly version of The Riddler, all the while setting up a greater
mystery to unfold over the course of the season. “The Pact” continues that, giving some answers
while laying out even more questions. We now know who Riddler’s allies are, but we still don’t
know who killed The Riddler, and what The Agency has to do with The Pact.
The most significant change for Episode 2 is that Bruce’s allies have a reduced role in the story
as the focus shifts to establishing new versions of Harley Quinn, Bane, and Mr. Freeze. While
it’s disappointing that Tiffany, Gordon, Alfred, and Waller only appear in a handful of scenes,
it’s easy to see that shifting to focus to Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery was clearly the right choice.
Of the new villains, Harley Quinn is easily the standout. A complete reversal of the submissive
Clown Princess of Crime seen in The Animated Series and her early appearances in the comics,
but not quite the fourth-wall breaking anti-hero of the modern comics. This Harley Quinn is a
ruthless leader with no moral code, and delights in violence and chaos. Her relationship with
John Doe is fascinating, as is her connection with Bruce. She often butts heads with her allies,
especially Bane.
Bane here is essentially a mix of the more well-known version of Bane from The Dark Knight
Rises, and the traditional comic Bane. An intelligent mercenary leader who values strength and
determination above all else, but more driven by self-interest than the revolutionary Bane from
Christopher Nolan’s film.
Mr. Freeze is given the least amount of screen-time, but what little we see of him sets him up as
intense and focused on the singular goal of keeping his wife alive. Still, for the moment, he’s the
weak link of the new characters introduced in Episode 2.

The strongest point of the episode comes in how choices play out. For what seems to be the first
time in a Telltale episode, choices seem to change based on previous choices. For example, lying

to Tiffany in Episode 1 will result in a scene where Bruce is forced to confirm loyalty to Harley,
or disavow her, but telling Tiffany the truth leads to a scene where Bruce has to convince Tiffany
to trust him and hand over a hacking device to John. another choice concerning Bane is only
present if the player sided with Waller in Episode 1.
At times, these scenarios can appear all too obvious, the seams start appearing to players as
events border on contrivance, but thanks to the strength of the characterization and dialogue, it’s
mostly easy to suspend disbelief and allow events to flow into one another. Though, on multiple
playthroughs the mechanics of the plot definitely begin to show.
Still, “The Pact” delivers another action-packed, character-driven episode with tense choices, and
consequences for choices made in the first episode. The mystery continues to build, and and I
can’t to see what happens next episode.
Rating: 4.5/5
Moe Info: For more information on Batman: The Enemy Within and Telltale, check out their
Website, Twitter, and Facebook Page.

 

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