Why so serious?
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.
What Ails You, TellTale’s fourth episode of Batman: The Enemy Within, is a brisk affair that balances the story between Bruce Wayne’s two primary relationships in this iteration of the character: Selina Kyle in the first half (or Iman Avesta, depending on your actions in the last episode) and John Doe (AKA, Joker) in the final half.
Both relationships twist and turn as the story uncovers the truth behind Amanda Waller’s intentions and the motivation for The Pact between Harley Quinn and other supervillains.
While Bane, Freeze and Gordon get some time here, they’re really pushed to the side as two primary conflicts unfold. Selina and Bruce navigate their feelings for each other while striking a balance between their differing moralities. John and Bruce hit a strange mentor/apprentice relationship as John tries to woo Harley but also understand what it means to do the right thing.
The Selina relationship is fairly standard Batman fare — their rollercoaster relationship is treated as realistically as you could imagine given the medium, but there aren’t any real surprises. John Doe, however, continues to be the star of the series. This unexpected take on Joker is wicked fun and has you rooting for him to be on the right side of the law.
Of course, this is the penultimate episode, so it doesn’t end neatly for anyone. As the main conflict between Harley Quinn and the Agency come to a head, it catches Bruce and John in between. The player doesn’t have a ton of *ahem* agency over this — everything is pretty linear — but the remix of traditional Batman archetypes is refreshing and keeps you on your toes.
At about 75 minutes long, though, it’s over before you know it, and in many ways given their short run times, it feels like the last two episodes could’ve been combined together.
A short but interesting Batman adventure, What Ails You is still fairly light on the action but ramps up the character intensity and sets up for a fascinating finale.