Our entire life is a riddle. A Pandora's box which churns out mysteries. Struggles, sadness and a few anecdotes. No matter what anyone may say, you are on your own. Fortunately, have a multi-billion dollar inheritance helped young Bruce Wayne stamp his authority over Gotham City.
And here we have another drama from Telltale, delving into the life of Bruce and his superhero alter ego, a little-known latex wearing chap called Batman. rather than the usual videogame fare we're usually treated to when dealing with the Caped Crusader, Telltale has presented an alternate view of the billionaire magnate. The only thing they've retained is that deep down, he's still Batman. Otherwise, all else strays away from the comics or the movies.
The Enigma starts off with Bruce investigating Mori, who you can regard as the new Falcone of Gotham. Bruce's investigation is cut short with the appearance of an old menace of Gotham. A criminal who probably comes only second to The Joker in recognisability. Telltale has considered The Riddler, or Edward Nigma, to be the main villain in this episode who was until now presumed dead. Yeah, right.
In the previous season, Batman had created a fairly good reputation with the Gotham Crimes Unit and James Gordon was willing to be his right-hand man. Or will he? Remarkably, the atmosphere doesn't change because of Riddler's appearance. Amanda Waller is the one who will create rifts between this partnership, rather than the green trickster.
In the midst of all that, good luck figuring out whether you're playing as Batman or yourself.
So it all comes down the player wants to solve this case while keeping their reputation with the Gotham's finest intact, or hit it off with the Feds. Again, Telltale will offer no middle ground. It's their way or the highway. The decisions get tougher and messier. The Enemy Within doesn't shy away a bit from creating gore-filled scenes to shock you. That's Telltale's signature. You know you're playing their game by their rules.
I must say that I was pretty surprised to see Amanda Waller making an appearance in this game. But then again she is related to the Riddler and all those who've watched Batman - Assault on Arkham will know what I am talking about. If not, well, I won't spoil anything.
Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1 is brimming with action and it shouldn't be a surprise considering the Caped Crusader has to resort to his knuckles most of the time to teach the Gotham underbelly a lesson. The combat sequences are rather easy to get through, although it may just be me getting a hang of Telltale's games for once. I've played far too many of late. To pull off moves you just need to hit different combinations of keys on the keyboard, but the timings are perhaps just a little too lenient.
Despite the ease of the action, I did particularly enjoy the slower parts where Batman evaluates a crime scene for clues, proper Detective Comics-style. You have to go slowly and observe the environment to recreate what happened. Only when the evidence is linked correctly will Batman's VR goggles be able to recreate the scene.
These are the instances of detective work where you have to escape the Riddler's traps or rest in peace, adding some much-needed variety to Telltale's usually predictable pace.
Nigma's bat-baiting forces Bruce to choose between the life of a billionaire playboy and a vigilante. You can solve the case at hand by being either of these. One will make Gordon happy whereas the other will ease your working relations with Waller. That's all while having a huge company to manage and the feds are also investigating your past. Tread carefully if you want to keep your identity a secret.
Decisions are rough, Telltale has shown no compromise in that regard. At the end of the episode, the feelings of the main characters of the game are also shown to you. They are influenced by your attitude towards them and the actions you took. They may feel frustrated, vengeful and so on; a new addition to Telltale games.
For all that, this game doesn't always necessarily feel like a true Batman story. It doesn't feel like I was in Batman's shoes and all this is irrespective of the decisions I took. Batman is the Dark Knight, he has close confidants who aide him but he doesn't take them to his missions. If he has a lead on a criminal, he investigates it alone. He doesn't take civilians with him; after all, it's not a sightseeing trip. Another thing, the world's greatest detective rarely takes help, especially from the likes of Waller's unit. The Batman portrayed here is much too reliant on people from whom he has always kept a distance. He's never been known to be much of a team player.
In the end, Telltale has befittingly started off Season 2 with the enigmatic Riddler. It strays from the comics and what Batman really is, but that's their approach. They have explored the dual life of Gotham's Playboy thoroughly and have presented it in a great manner.