Video Game Review: Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5
Let’s put a smile on that face.
Please note that since each episode of Batman: The Enemy Within features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our complete thoughts on that, refer to our review of The Enigma.
Batman: The Enemy Within has been one of TellTale’s most intriguing series in years, and it mostly has to do with how it flipped the power dynamic regarding its key characters — most notably John Doe, AKA The Joker.
Depending on how you decided to end things in Episode 4, Episode 5: Same Stitch winds up going down two very different paths with only a handful of scenes that are the same, mostly in the epilogue. By and large, though, the episode contains two very different games depending on how you’ve influenced John in the series so far.
Without getting into spoilers, it’s safe to say that Telltale is hitting on all cylinders here in both narratives. Every major character relationship is at stake, and you’ll get a chance to evaluate your status with each of them at the end of the episode.
That means John, Catwoman, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Amanda Waller, and (character who returns but will redact for minor spoilers) all play a part. The writing is top notch, the voice acting is stellar, and even the incidental dialogue is spot on. Longtime Batman fans will get a kick out of Anthony Ingruber’s John mocking the classic “I am the night” speech from the 1990s animated series.
This season has had uneven pacing, even while its themes and writing have usually hit the spot, and the fallout on Bruce’s relationship is given enough time to breathe with appropriate segments following the final battle. With Same Stitch, it closes out on a high, and we almost don’t want them to make a third season because this one finishes perfectly (outside of one tiny dangling thread depending on your choices).
Aside from the usual TellTale technical issues, Same Stitch will delight genre fans and longtime Batman fans alike with its stellar take on the Joker and the unnerving way it builds, then deconstructs the Batman/Joker relationship. It’s right up there with the first season of The Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands as the finest in TellTale’s catalog.