Episode 4 of Batman: The Enemy Within AKA “What Ails You” is among the most tense and nuanced in Telltale’s history. The (spoiler free) FingerGuns Review;
When we left Bruce Wayne at the end of Episode 3, he was either falling on his sword for Catwoman or offering her up as a scapegoat to keep his cover. The choice made at the end of the last episode has a profound effect on the beginning of this one. Regardless of which choice you made, the beginning of What Ails You gives you a powerful and potentially gory reminder of how deadly, deceptive and manipulative the members of “The Pact” really are. This opening section culminates in some of the finest QTE action in this season to date. It’s fast paced and full of decision points which have no impact on the outcome of the game but make it far more pleasurable to play through.
After the opening chapter to this episode, What Ails You becomes a game of lies and exploitation. Friends and enemies alike are withholding the truth from Bruce/Batman and the longer the episode goes on, the more seeds of distrust are sowed by the events that unfold. This is an episode full of nuanced conversations that challenge the players understanding of the characters and their motivations against any preconceived notions. Before the credits role, the events of this episode have you questioning the intentions of ever Bruce’s closest allies and long term friends through some masterful writing that calls back to the events of season one of Telltale’s Batman.
John Doe has been a constant source of intrigue and entertainment in this season so far but in episode 4, everything about him is accentuated by the spiraling series of events. He’s more unstable than ever but as his volatility grows, so does his vulnerability and desire for friendship. You’re never quite sure what to expect from him but it’s always a surprise and full of intensity. Voice actor Anthony Ingruber must have been rubbing his hands together when he saw the fantastic script he would be working with for this episode and he absolutely makes the most of it. If Ingruber isn’t winning (or at least being nominated) for a number of awards come the end of the year based on the strength of his vocal work here, it’ll be a crime. His performance is menacing while being equally friendly, full of frailties while oozing confidence. Telltale’s portrayal of Batman’s greatest foe is quickly growing into this writers favourite.
What Ails You is, much like the rest of the series, technically sound, playing from start to finish without a long load time, missing texture, glitch or any other kind of hiccup whatsoever. I think it’s fair to say that the technical issues that have dogged Telltale in the past are well and truly behind them.
This episode is shorter than the preceding 3 but it also has an entire chapter which is totally different depending on which choices you’ve made in the past. This is an episode which rewards those who replay the series making different choices but sacrifices length in order to do so. This means the episode moves at a pretty rapid pace too with hardly a wasted frame.
After a small lull in the series with the third episode, What Ails You puts Batman: The Enemy Within back on track to be the most original and intriguing reimaging of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery and among Telltale’s very best output to date. If you’re not playing this series, you’re missing out on some fantastic gaming watercooler moments and some of the greatest character driven storytelling for years.
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 4 “What Ails You” is available now on PS4 (review version), iOS, Android, Mac, PC and Xbox One.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we received a code from the publishers. Please see our review policy for more information.