Before we get a major dose of Batman in the upcoming Justice League film, Telltale is bringing him back in The Enemy Within’s second episode, The Pact. This time, we’re getting a whole lot more Bruce Wayne and a crazier lot of villains.
What’s It About?
The Pact picks up shortly after the events of The Enigma. No matter how you made your choices in the first episode, Batman will be in a tricky situation due to his relationships with Jim Gordon and Amanda Waller. Things quickly get worse when Bane, Harley Quinn, and Mr. Freeze all show up in Gotham.
The criminal gang then puts Bruce Wayne into a far trickier position, both physically and morally. The story focuses much more on how far Batman or Bruce will go in order to save Gotham. Can he maintain his code or will he become much more like his father than he ever wanted to be?
Why Should I Care?
This episode does a great job handling the Bruce Wayne persona, turning it into just as much of a mask as his bat cowl. Arguably, this part of the story does a better job of that than any part of the first season. Now, I don’t believe that the story will take Bruce too much further than he goes in this episode–turning Batman into a legitimate criminal, while being one hell of a twist, just doesn’t make sense. But it’s interesting to see him struggle with these type of choices and show off his skills of deception.
The oddity with this episode is its handling of the villains. I couldn’t quite tell if it was goofy, but it certainly doubles down on throwing as much as it can at you. I wouldn’t have been too surprised to see more villains show up, but I suppose that’s for later episodes. The handling of the villains was seemingly more traditional than what we saw in the first season, but with some exceptions.
Harley Quinn is the vague leader of the group, perhaps because of Harley’s rise in popularity in various formats within the last year or so. She’s the focal point of Future Joker’s love, so seeing her in the power position over him was a nice touch. I viewed Bane and Freeze as much more traditional. Telltale snuck in some Knightfall nods through Bane, as Batman ever so nearly gets his back broken during his first fight with him. Freeze doesn’t get too much screen time but is deadly when the game focuses his mind on saving his frozen wife. The goofiness came from the standard power squabble between the group: nobody really trusts each other, most think they are the leader of sorts, they all think they are the smartest, etc. Ultimately, Harley comes out on top for most of the episode, despite having what I felt was an inconsistent accent, which made it grating to listen to her.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
The Pact ends up being a pretty strong area, despite some pacing issues that you can find early on in the episode. The villains are interesting and set up some solid moral dilemmas, further establishing the tone for the remainder of the season. But in the end, this is totally Bruce Wayne’s episode to shine. It’s a great take on the billionaire playboy and reminds you just how important to the mythos he is. It’s not always about Batman.