Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 2 – 'The Pact' Review
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 1 FOLLOW
What happened, Telltale? After a promising Season 2 premiere – which came on the back of a thoroughly entertaining first season that refreshingly flipped a number of Batman character conventions on their heads – the second episode of The Enemy Within falls flat. An uneventful storyline, surprisingly poor voice acting, and an ending that has no immediate payoff besides teasing a hopefully better episode 3 have stalled out what was a promising Batman adventure.
Bruce was never going to break bad, or even convincingly pretend to.
‘The Pact’ picks up right where ‘The Enigma’ ended, with The Agency’s Amanda Waller revealing to Batman that she knows his true identity. But where episode 1 shined with bringing many background characters to the forefront, this episode pushes almost all of those storylines aside in order to introduce a swath of Batman’s Rogues Gallery to this version of Gotham City. Bane, Victor Fries, and Harley Quinn all have prominent roles here as Bruce Wayne is more or less forced by Waller to infiltrate the gang sans costume.
But where Telltale’s best adventures make you feel like your choices matter, ‘The Pact’ fails miserably in that department. Bruce was never going to break bad, or even convincingly pretend to – not even in this take on the universe. And one scene in Wayne Tower with Wayne Enterprises Chairwoman Regina Zellerbach is so awkward it’s almost laughable. Even when I had an opportunity to either “Be Brutal” or “Show Mercy” to a gang member that Bane wanted me to punish in order to show my loyalty, choosing the more savage option didn’t exactly make Bruce’s case for entry into Club Supervillain. It gets worse in the climax, when Bruce’s good side takes over and he simply pushes people out of the way and tells them to stay down in full view of Harley, who is hellbent on smashing skulls with her sledgehammer.
Speaking of Harley, she gets the most screen time here. But while it’s interesting that she has reversed roles with the young, still-semi-innocent-and-not-yet-Joker John Doe, her voice is a pale, grating imitation of Arleen Sorkin’s character-defining take from Batman: The Animated Series. Oof. And ‘The Pact’s ending is neither satisfying nor much of a cliffhanger. It’s more of a “What were they thinking?” than an enticing “Where are they going with this?”