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Telltale Batman Season 2: The Enemy Within

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May as well create a topic as the first episode "The Enigma" of season 2 releases tomorrow!

Releasing on android, iOS, PS3, PS4, Xbox1, 360 & Steam.

Announcement trailer:

 

Launch trailer:

 

 

I enjoyed Season 1 so I'm looking forward to trying Season 2. How about you guys?

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I'm glad to see the Riddler in a more serious role, but also hate these really grim dark versions of him where he's basically just a SAW villain but with a bent on riddles.

Otherwise, I wasn't fond of the Joker's voice at first, but this trailer shows that it's not a terribly bad choice.  There's a notably Mark Hamill-inspired inflection in his voice, but he still adds his own flare to it.  Also, I continue to be impressed at the way they intertwine Batman and Bruce Wayne, as opposed to keeping them as separate a possible, but they don't go with the usual comic book cliches.  Also, the new batsuit looks kind of cool.

Looking forward to seeing how this develops.

Update! First episode

 

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I really love what Telltale's been doing with their Batman series, and S2E1 was no exception. As was with the previous season, they continue to make big changes to the Batman mythos (I won't get into spoiler territory, but longtime Batman fans will be in for some surprises!) which is great for keeping the series fresh for anyone who's expecting the same old Batman story-beats. I'm excited to see where this season is gonna go!

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Bump.  Episode 2

I... thought it was kind of boring.  I hate Harley here as much as I did the Penguin in season 1.  Very different interpretation of her character that is obnoxiously subversive rather than interesting in its own right.  Really sick of these punk rock interpretations of Harley that take inspiration from Suicide Squad.

That being said, there are some interesting things of note.  Spoilers below!

Spoiler

 

- Harley and Joker's relationship appears to be inverted here.  Instead of the Joker abusing and manipulating Harley, turning her insane, it's Harley abusing and manipulating an already insane Joker to get him to do what she wants.  Quite an interesting change of pace, if only because it shows how different the Joker would be if he actually did love Harley.  The breakdown he has if you choose not to save her is actually pretty sad.  I feel this Joker, while not by any means forgivable, is a lot more empathizable because of how it shows his mental illness as... well, just that.  All illness.  Traditional Joker outings tend to show that although he is inane, much of the Joker's more heinous crimes are still conscious decisions that he makes with a relatively sound mind.  This interpretation makes you want to know more about what made him such a violent psychopath in the first place.

- Still tired of "testing Batman and Gordon's friendship!!!" and all that.  It's getting really boring.

- I find it interesting how despite all the changes they've been doing to iconic characters, Bane and Mr. Freeze are still pretty close to their comic and cartoon counterparts.

- While many of your choices are still superficial and only change the basic variables, I feel like a couple choices are considerably more weighted in this episode than they have been throughout the entire Telltale Batman series so far.  The choice between aligning with either Waller or Gordon open up their own plot-specific choices.  For example, the fact that the information about Harley Quinn's father is only available if you side with Gordon.  Inversely, siding with Waller gives you a counter-agent to Bane's Venom serum, which can radically change the course of events.  So I'm glad at least managed to refine that if only a little

- This episode has some phenomenal use of shadows and gradients.

 

Overall, while it had some really interesting aspects, I thought the episode was just paced in a strange way that it simultaneously seemed to drag on while also being over as soon as it started.  It's whatever!

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On 04/10/2017 at 5:29 AM, Tara said:

Bump.  Episode 2

I... thought it was kind of boring.  I hate Harley here as much as I did the Penguin in season 1.  Very different interpretation of her character that is obnoxiously subversive rather than interesting in its own right.  Really sick of these punk rock interpretations of Harley that take inspiration from Suicide Squad.

That being said, there are some interesting things of note.  Spoilers below!

  Reveal hidden contents

 

- Harley and Joker's relationship appears to be inverted here.  Instead of the Joker abusing and manipulating Harley, turning her insane, it's Harley abusing and manipulating an already insane Joker to get him to do what she wants.  Quite an interesting change of pace, if only because it shows how different the Joker would be if he actually did love Harley.  The breakdown he has if you choose not to save her is actually pretty sad.  I feel this Joker, while not by any means forgivable, is a lot more empathizable because of how it shows his mental illness as... well, just that.  All illness.  Traditional Joker outings tend to show that although he is inane, much of the Joker's more heinous crimes are still conscious decisions that he makes with a relatively sound mind.  This interpretation makes you want to know more about what made him such a violent psychopath in the first place.

- Still tired of "testing Batman and Gordon's friendship!!!" and all that.  It's getting really boring.

- I find it interesting how despite all the changes they've been doing to iconic characters, Bane and Mr. Freeze are still pretty close to their comic and cartoon counterparts.

- While many of your choices are still superficial and only change the basic variables, I feel like a couple choices are considerably more weighted in this episode than they have been throughout the entire Telltale Batman series so far.  The choice between aligning with either Waller or Gordon open up their own plot-specific choices.  For example, the fact that the information about Harley Quinn's father is only available if you side with Gordon.  Inversely, siding with Waller gives you a counter-agent to Bane's Venom serum, which can radically change the course of events.  So I'm glad at least managed to refine that if only a little

- This episode has some phenomenal use of shadows and gradients.

 

Overall, while it had some really interesting aspects, I thought the episode was just paced in a strange way that it simultaneously seemed to drag on while also being over as soon as it started.  It's whatever!

I've recently been playing through Season 2 and while I'll come back with thoughts later, I want to just say that I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. Now, in Season 1, I was fine with Penguin after a second playthrough. He's not great, but he's at least meant to be protrayed as this cocky little fuck that the player wants to actively get payback on. It added something to replace what was taken, even if it was kind of meh.

Spoiler

Harley is the total opposite. I fucking despise what we've seen of her in this. They take away all of the tragedy, all of the fun, all of the various sympathetic aspects that made Harley a good character. They got rid of all of it in order to turn her into just a bat-shit psychopath who's basically the Joker of the relationship (which while an interesting idea) is really portrayed kind of awfully. The only reason this works at all is it's kind of nice seeing a Joker who's for lack of a better word, truly in love with Harley here. Other than that, it feels like they literally removed elements from Harley's character, turned her into the very thing her canon self is meant to absolutely despise, completely rewritten her backstory in a cheap attempt to make us feel sympathetic anyway despite the fact it's really just removing the true tragic nature of the character, and in general completely shits on what the New 52 was trying to establish with Harley rising above Joker and wanting nothing to do with him.

It's on the same level as New 52 Freeze where you take away each and every aspect of his character that made him sympathetic, and more than just an evil monster and leave just the monstrous elements there.

 

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New episode is out.

I have to say that this one struck me as... particularly boring.  I get that they're trying to go for a different angle than the traditional Batman story, but this feels much more along the lines of a spy thriller than a superhero story.  None of the characters are particularly interesting here, either.  It shares a similar problem that I have with Arkham Origins.  For the entirety of the game, the characters that are supposed to be allies do nothing but bicker and argue nonstop and to absolutely no end.  I know I've repeated myself on this topic a lot, but I really don't have a problem with stories about relationships being tested.  It's what makes the No Man's Land arc in the comics so powerful.  But every single second of this game is allies bickering about who they can trust and who they can't or rather or not you're in the former category.  It's nonstop.  Not even backed up by a compelling overarching plot to tie all these complex relationships together.  Gordon is also a bit of a douche in this one, honestly, even if the circumstances do make it easy to empathize with him.

 

The Joker trying to get romantic advice from Bruce is hilarious and strangely cute, though.  That's probably the best scene.  Hints that we're going to be getting the "real" Joker soon are also interesting.  Honestly, Joker is probably the best character so far.

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8 hours ago, Tara said:

New episode is out.

I have to say that this one struck me as... particularly boring.  I get that they're trying to go for a different angle than the traditional Batman story, but this feels much more along the lines of a spy thriller than a superhero story.  None of the characters are particularly interesting here, either.  It shares a similar problem that I have with Arkham Origins.  For the entirety of the game, the characters that are supposed to be allies do nothing but bicker and argue nonstop and to absolutely no end.  I know I've repeated myself on this topic a lot, but I really don't have a problem with stories about relationships being tested.  It's what makes the No Man's Land arc in the comics so powerful.  But every single second of this game is allies bickering about who they can trust and who they can't or rather or not you're in the former category.  It's nonstop.  Not even backed up by a compelling overarching plot to tie all these complex relationships together.  Gordon is also a bit of a douche in this one, honestly, even if the circumstances do make it easy to empathize with him.

  Hide contents

The Joker trying to get romantic advice from Bruce is hilarious and strangely cute, though.  That's probably the best scene.  Hints that we're going to be getting the "real" Joker soon are also interesting.  Honestly, Joker is probably the best character so far.

I think the problem with Season 2 is there's really no real direction here. We don't really know what the Pact's plan is. This mcguffin from the Agency was introduced last second with no foreshadowing at the end of this episode, Gordon really had no ground to stand on in this episode (He refuses to take Batman's word even if you agreed and helped him tons of times, it's another classic example of Telltale's artificial choice nonsense). 

Spoiler

This time last year, we had one of the greatest cliffhangers in TTG history with Bruce getting drugged and visually attacking Penguin at a press conference when the entire season built up to what a danger this drug was and how badly Bruce's name was being dragged into the mud. Not only the reveal of Lady Arkham being Vicki Vale, but the sheer idea of Batman being drugged into going crazy and attacking people (possibly even going against his moral code like Montoya) was a brilliant cliffhanger.

And here, you just get Batman being left to die in a freezing chamber despite it not really making sense because Harley's idea of "there being a mole" isn't proven, and considering Bruce provided the fucking Blacksite location for her, should be an indication that this isn't a worry. 

Not to mention it could've been any of the countless mooks Freeze and Bane attacked.  

 

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32 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I think the problem with Season 2 is there's really no real direction here. We don't really know what the Pact's plan is. This mcguffin from the Agency was introduced last second with no foreshadowing at the end of this episode, Gordon really had no ground to stand on in this episode (He refuses to take Batman's word even if you agreed and helped him tons of times, it's another classic example of Telltale's artificial choice nonsense). 

  Hide contents

This time last year, we had one of the greatest cliffhangers in TTG history with Bruce getting drugged and visually attacking Penguin at a press conference when the entire season built up to what a danger this drug was and how badly Bruce's name was being dragged into the mud. Not only the reveal of Lady Arkham being Vicki Vale, but the sheer idea of Batman being drugged into going crazy and attacking people (possibly even going against his moral code like Montoya) was a brilliant cliffhanger.

And here, you just get Batman being left to die in a freezing chamber despite it not really making sense because Harley's idea of "there being a mole" isn't proven, and considering Bruce provided the fucking Blacksite location for her, should be an indication that this isn't a worry. 

Not to mention it could've been any of the countless mooks Freeze and Bane attacked.  

 

I pretty much agree.  Honestly, everything about the Riddler, aside from his initial plan in episode 1, seems like an afterthought.  As if they're just making things up as they go along.  For example...

Spoiler

Catwoman mentions that the Riddler was a "warm" man, very different from the Riddler we came to know in episode 1.  But we never actually see any evidence of this supposed "better" side of the Riddler.  It's like they're prepping us for an empathetic version of the character, but he's... er... already dead.  So it's a little late for that.

And in general, I feel like this episode especially lacks a lot of foreshadowing.  So when certain events happen, they feel like they came out of nowhere.

Spoiler

 

Tiffany's confrontation at Wayne Enterprises, for example.  Despite being a major player in this season, she hadn't appeared even once in this episode prior to this moment.  And suddenly, she just calls the cops on Bruce.  Catwoman appearing also seemed to come out of nowhere, and while it's nice to see her again, the chemistry doesn't seem to be there this time.  And of course, the human experimentation that the Agency was pulling just... yeah, okay.  That's now a thing, I guess.

And I think the worst problem is the complete lack of balance.  This whole story is supposed to be about Bruce trying to balance his real life as CEO of Wayne Enterprises and his relationship with Tiffany and his coworkers, his life as Batman and his relationship with Gordon and the GCPD, and finally his temporary assignment as an undercover agent working as a mole in Harley and Bane's gang.  But we spend a disproportionate amount of time on the last one, with Bruce donning the batsuit only twice (three times if you choose to warn Selina about Gordon's assault) and each of those times, he does absolutely none of the interesting things that Batman is supposed to do.

And adding Catwoman to the mix further obstructs this balancing act of screen time, adding another element on top of the already needlessly complex plot when there are sideplots like John's transformation into the Joker and Alfred's mental health taking a severe lashing that are not only more interesting, but are missing out on more buildup as a result.


 

Basically, this season is... well, it's not horrible, but its narrative pacing is pretty lackluster, in my opinion.

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On 11/26/2017 at 9:09 PM, Count Mario said:

This is pretty cool:

 

  Hide contents

 

 

 

"As Batman, the choices you make determine Gordon's commitment to a smoke-free life, or a troublesome future of miserable lung cancer!"

That should be on the back of the box.

 

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Episode 4 trailer

Some interesting points and some cool looking animation, but so far I'm just not feeling it..  It's a shame because I really like how some of these scenes look.  The cel shading and lighting just oozes with style.  But the plot just feels as drab as just about any post-2011 DC property.

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15 hours ago, Tara said:

Episode 4 trailer

Some interesting points and some cool looking animation, but so far I'm just not feeling it..  It's a shame because I really like how some of these scenes look.  The cel shading and lighting just oozes with style.  But the plot just feels as drab as just about any post-2011 DC property.

Well, there goes any sense of tension of the cliffhanger from Season 3. 

Spoiler

I know it would've been weird, but I wish this trailer didn't show a lot of Bruce, maybe showing some of his previous actions and showing the effects it has had on his allies. 

Again, compare this to last season's Episode 3 cliffhanger, we saw Bruce drugged and directly lunging for Penguin. We knew something big was going to end up going down and Bruce won't get out of it alright. He might not be dead, but he was likely screwed big time and we wanted to know what's going to happen now.

Episode 4's trailer for this season just shows how worthless Episode 3's cliffhanger was by just revealing out of the gate that Batman survived, and the biggest consequence is that the villains don't trust him now. I get that it's obvious he wouldn't die but if anything, that just further shows how terrible Episode 3's cliffhanger was in the first place. 

 

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Finished the new episode "What Ails You".

Pretty boring episode to be honest, apart from the exciting ending. 

I always like it when the choices I make in the episode turn out to be in the minority (i.e less than 50%):

Spoiler

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John Doe has been what's kept me interested in this series which has definitely gone a little flat.

I've been playing nice with John. Trying to keep Bruce on his good side...and now he wants to be a vigilante just like Batman (it was so obvious he was gonna know Bruce's identity). 

Bring on episode 5!

 

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Batman Arkham Videos playthrough of episode 4 is out now.

Spoiler

 

I don't know if it's just that these past few episodes have been leaving me feeling absolutely starved of Batman content, but while it had a lot of problems, I enjoyed it a lot more than episodes two and three.  The fight scene with Bane, Harley, and Mr. Freeze was cool, and I have to admit.  Seeing the Joker throw a Batarang to save Bruce's life is actually one of the coolest Joker moments I've ever seen.  I was also very engrossed with the John's side of the story.  Though his actions were deplorable and unforgivable in many aspects, I felt empathy for someone as mentally ill as him trying to make sense of everything, trying to understand the concept of trust.  It's a side of the Joker that I don't think we've ever truly explored outside of material like The Killing Joke.

Also, the funhouse scene was actually very interesting to me.  It felt just the right amount of creepy but also comedic.  The only thing I wish they would have done was having funhouse music playing or something like that instead of cliche horror movie music.

So basically, perhaps because I feel there is much more going on in this episode than in previous episodes, I was decently entertained by this episode.  It had fast-paced moments, but also knew how to take it slow.  Had loud moments, quiet moments, soft moments, hard moments, the whole package.  But god if the plot wasn't stupid.

Perhaps the plot itself isn't the problem but the fact that the writers apparently didn't see a lot of the glaringly obvious holes in it.

  • When the Pact is under the spa with Bruce, they need his assistance at every turn.  He's not just conveniently there.  He's often the one thing keeping them from being killed.  Yet somehow in his absence (when you visit as Batman instead) everything goes without a hitch.  Like, okay, sure.  They had a master thief like Catwoman that time, but it's not like they were being stealthy or anything considering the trail of blood they left behind.  So there would be plenty of opportunities for someone to trip an alarm or something.  They did that even when Bruce opted for the more "subtle" approach.
  • While I certainly wouldn't want Catwoman to die, nor do I find it hard to empathize with Burce's decision at the end of the previous episode, Waller actually has a very valid point about Bruce's decision to blow his cover being indirectly responsible for the deaths of many more people than necessary.  Yet, the game paints her as a bitch and a half for wanting to minimize bloodshed by not favoring a known criminal over civilian workers.  Like, I'm not siding with Waller here per se, because she's (not so subtly) shown to be just as corrupt as the people she's trying to get rid of, but in this instance, I can't help but feel that she makes a very convincing argument.
  • That whole "Avesta is the one that deduced Batman's identity" thing sure came out of nowhere and they certainly didn't seem interested in exploring it any further.
  • I was wondering when they were going to reference Avesta's going to deaf thanks to the events of episode 1, since it seemed like she recovered rather quickly later on.  But it doesn't actually go anywhere, making this detail slightly pointless honestly.
  • For this entire season, there have been hints of Alfred's psychological conditioning worsening due to stress and fatigue from all the tragedies he's had to witness as Batman's assistance.  So this whole plot point of him becoming physically weaker with age is sort of coming out of nowhere, too.  At least, to me it was.  I mean, it's not out of place for someone his age to experience it, but it just doesn't seem to tie in to the plot.
  • Tiffany's been going on and on for the past three episodes about how she doesn't know if she can trust Bruce still and hates all this secrecy, and yet (provided you follow the right path) decides to work for the organization that Bruce was roped into whose ENTIRE PREMISE is based on secrecy and they're the people that are actually forcing her to question her trust in Bruce in the first place.  The alternate scene, where Tiffany designs a gun for Batman not knowing that it's against his moral code, is a little more interesting, but once again, it doesn't lead to anything.  So it just comes across as padding.
  • It's interesting that the Joker actually knows that Bruce is Batman in this.  But the problem is that when he tells Bruce how he figured it out, rather than thinking "Wow, this guy is actually pretty perceptive!" I feel like the other characters are kind of dumb for not noticing it.  It's like, instead of showing us John's observant nature, the writers are lampshading every plot hole and clumsy piece of writing and trying to pass it off as part of their big plan all along.
  • I love the idea of John becoming either a vigilante or a villain based on your decision on the bridge (among other factors).  Like, the moment he betrays Harley and says that Bruce taught him how to be good.  It's a very powerful moment.  It's too bad it's hamfistedly undermined when John ends up setting off the C4 anyway.  Like, I get it's supposed to show John's sporadic, unpredictable nature and his fragile psyche, but instead I just sort of feel like "Okay, why do I even bother anymore?"
  • Speaking of that, there are MULTIPLE instances in this episode where they try to pull the old "Press X to save this guy, or press Y to save this guy."  First of all, those should probably be used sparingly, not just littered throughout the episode.  In addition, the subjects in this case are all random NPC's, so while it does feel bad that we can't save both of them, the lack of investment or knowledge of the characters kind of makes the impact of their deaths comparatively shallow.  Also, higher death toll does not equate to higher stakes.  At this point, it just makes me care LESS about the people who die, because "whoops, everyone's expendable, actually."
  • Also, can they stop killing off major characters please that's getting really annoying kthxbai (though we don't really know if Waller is actually dead or not, I guess.
  • Also, there's a notable absence of Gordon in this episode.

Of course, there's a chance that I probably missed some important plot details that makes sense of all these issues.  And some of them can just be explained away with suspension of disbelief.  But they still kind of bug me.  Also-

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[Joke]

 

 

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Haven't played Episode 4 yet, but something I will wholeheartedly appreciate Telltale for doing (even if their episodes can get boring) is giving us a new take on The Joker. After soooooo many versions of The Joker being exactly the same damn thing in every media he appears, seeing him in a new light is refreshing and appreciated. 

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8 minutes ago, Blue Wisp said:

Haven't played Episode 4 yet, but something I will wholeheartedly appreciate Telltale for doing (even if their episodes can get boring) is giving us a new take on The Joker. After soooooo many versions of The Joker being exactly the same damn thing in every media he appears, seeing him in a new light is refreshing and appreciated. 

It's just a shame it has to come at the cost of possibly the worst version of Harley to date.

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1 minute ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

To each his own I guess.

Yes absolutely.

I don't know. I always felt Harley Quinn was bland or too generic as a character and villain. And annoying god they always make her annoying. 

Here she's actually...  Aggresive. She takes over The Pact out of Bane's hands in a fantastic way. She's cunning. She's deadly. It's an interpretation of the character I can really like because for once she's not used as pure sex appeal or just a general wacko lolsorandom crazy nutcase.

Maybe it's not who Harley Quinn is supposed to be but damn I don't care about accuracy. It's an alternate continuity so I don't care about the role being accurate.    

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Not sure if promo image is clever throwback to The Killing Joke or kind of uninspired callback to The Killing Joke in lieu of being able to conjure its own poignant imagery.  Legit kind of torn since I think it's an interesting shot, but don't really know if it serves the narrative well or not.

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10 hours ago, Tara said:

Not sure if promo image is clever throwback to The Killing Joke or kind of uninspired callback to The Killing Joke in lieu of being able to conjure its own poignant imagery.  Legit kind of torn since I think it's an interesting shot, but don't really know if it serves the narrative well or not.

It's definitely a clever a way to show-off two different possible versions and is a nice little throwback to TKJ at the same time. Whether the phone has any significance or whether events from the original comic version of TKJ has been re-imagined in episode 5 is anyone's guess.

I like how Telltale hasn't been afraid to give characters different personalities to what we're used and I hope this continues in episode 5.

Here's some screenshots from episode 5:

Spoiler

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