Episode 5 of Telltales’ Batman: The Enemy Within is outstanding. The promise of Gotham’s most famous villain has been teased since the end of the first season, and the Joker is something to behold. With your decisions influencing which version of Joker you see, this may be the most compelling episode of the season as well as an indicator of where Telltale’s future games may go.
At the end of episode four, it was obvious John Doe had made a choice. Based on your choices, episode 5 reveals a sadistic enemy or a dangerous friend. Both can be a problem for Batman and Bruce Wayne.
This may be the clearest change from other episodes and other Telltale games. There is additional and separate content for the pair of Jokers with Telltale explaining that only three scenes are shared.
Based on my choices (or maybe choice, depending on how you interpret what the game shows you), my Joker was the traditional, yet unconventional, villain. He is a man torn apart by the actions of Bruce Wayne, and he is still drawn to him as a focus for his obsessive behavior.
I won’t ruin the surprises, but this episode starts strong and doesn’t hesitate to let Mr. J. revel in the violence. There are some very well-done action moments, especially with Harley and the Joker. There are some genuinely tense and shocking moments in this episode, and people die. It has a great balance.
There is no one who is untouched by the decisions of this season, and Telltale does a great job of letting you interact with everyone. There are some big reveals with ups and downs, before a post credit scene let’s you know not everything is settled.
You can’t miss the themes in this episode, but that’s mostly because you are beat over the head by two of them. Are the criminals of Gotham really the problem, or are they only symptoms of the Batman? Is Batman responsible for all the pain that’s caused? I have my own thoughts on that, but it’s an interesting question.
The other theme is powerlessness, and how you can react to it. This was by far more interesting, because that decision made more of a personal impact on the people around Bruce Wayne. That personal impact (sometimes painfully literal) is pushed to the forefront here, and it demonstrates the value in choosing to focus on Bruce Wayne as well as Batman. The creepy dinner party scene really brings that to the surface.
The music was another high point of the episode. Either most of the music was new to the series, or I just don’t remember it. It was perfect, and the choices were often very interesting for what was happening on the screen. I would recommend you lower the music volume a bit to better hear the dialogue, but the music was the best of the season.
Episode 5, Same Stitch, sets up Season 3 perfectly, but we are in a very different and even more broken place than we started at the beginning. With tension and explosive action, two versions of Joker with separate content, and some great music, this is the end season 2 needs, with episode 5 being reason enough to play through the season.
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Reviewed using base PS4.