Batman: The Enemy Within
Release Date: August 8, 2017 (Ep. 1) – March 27, 2018 (Ep. 5)
Platform Played On: PS4
2018 Placement: Unranked
What It Is:
Okay, I guess I can be a little more descriptive. This is Telltale Games’ second Batman story, told over five episodes and can continue the story using some choices you made in the first game. It has mild point-and-click gameplay, some QTEs, and a little bit of playing as the world’s greatest detective; but it’s mostly dialogue and dialogue-related choices. But it’s a completely new and unique take on the Batman universe that isn’t tied to a specific comic book story.
But primarily, it’s Batman. You know what you’re getting into when you pick up this game.
Why It’s Important To Me:
The thing about comic book properties is that there is a lot of history to them. There have been so many stories told with our favorite superheroes that run the gamut from awful dogshit to edge-of-your-seat page-turners. And so it’s hard to separate what the collective knows as “Batman” and “the Penguin” and “the Joker” and so on from what the characters could be in a different light. This game takes your preconceived notions of what specific members of Batman’s rogues gallery are and flips them on their heads – I don’t want to go into specifics because the game is story-heavy and I don’t want to ruin it for others.
It also dedicates an entire episode to The Riddler, who has always been my favorite Batman villain. They turn him into a Saw-like trap master which I found to be a great use of the character. This game gave me a new story in the Batman universe with unique takes on characters without feeling like they had to fit into the known existing quantity. And that’s why I was gripped by the story and ended up rating this particular Telltale game so highly – I love being surprised even if the skeletal framework is familiar.
My Strongest Memory:
I can’t really talk about it without spoiling the game. But there is a long build-up over the first four episodes of choices and how you treat a specific character in the game – and how you choose to deal with them has a significant impact on how episode 5 goes down. The final resolution is probably similar across both choices, but it’s about the journey not the destination (as are most Telltale games).
Needless to say, it’s the interactions with that character that really elevate this game to another level for me. Sorry for the vagueness.
Why It’s #97:
I waffled back and forth on whether to include this one at all. There were like five games that were fighting for this position as the first “new” game on the list (as the previous three have all been nostalgia-related picks from my previous 2018 list I felt I had to include no matter what). I bounced between a bunch but finally settled on this one because I couldn’t find a reason not to include it. All the others I remembered flaws or disappointments or reasons I could poke holes in the game. Batman: The Enemy Within doesn’t have any of those. It’s just a well-done story and that’s all there is to it.