Batman: The Enemy Within has been pushing the idea of “you create your own worst enemy” since the beginning of the season. TellTale Games has been determined to push the Batman universe into new and exciting territory, and they have definitely succeeded in that. But with “Same Stitch”, they’ve dared to do something that they’ve never truly done before. Make your decisions matter in a massive way. And though it’s not perfect, it definitely ends things on a powerful note.
Game Name: Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5: Same Stitch
Publisher(s): TellTale games
Developer(s): TellTale Games
Release Date: January 23rd
Price: $24.99 | Steam (Whole Second Season)
To recap, the end of Episode 4 saw John Doe (dangerously close to becoming Joker) save the day by taking the virus from Harley Quinn. However, depending on your actions immediately after, you either pushed John to become a vigilante or the full-on Joker. “Same Stitch” is the fallout of that, and it’s very interesting.
TellTale Games admitted that they went the extra mile to ensure that these two branching storylines were different, and though I could only play one via my personal runthrough, I’ve seen the trailer for the other “side” of things, and I can confirm that things are radically different.
For me, I chose to protect John Doe from Amanda Waller, and that made him a vigilante, one that delivered a very unique take on Joker that included several Batman-like gadgets in his arsenal. What’s more, while you might think that Joker being a crime fighter is insane, the early parts of the episode paint the picture as to why it’s not as crazy as you think.
The Agency is shown to be spiraling out of control after Joker took the virus and fled, and it paints Joker’s followers as more righteous than the government who’s supposed to have our best interests at heart.
While I did control Batman’s emotions, I tried my best to act as I felt he would, especially with John. I wanted to see whether he could really be what he said he wanted to be, my friend, my ally, my partner. But as things break down, the true question of the season arose once again, “Can we deny who we’re meant to be?’ This question applies to both Batman and Joker, and both have had to do things to try and save people, but whether it’s right or wrong depends on your view on things.
Naturally, the Joker pure and true does arrive, and it leads to arguably one of the greatest Batman/Joker showdowns this side of the comics. It’s truly something special, and it happens in a place that is very important to the mythos of both characters.
Another credit to “Same Stitch” is that many story plotlines that have been both teased and predicted have come true. We get to see the Suicide Squad arrive (with a special addition depending on how you did things in your story), Tammy Fox becomes a true member of your team, Gordon gets his redemption in a way, and more. It’s all very satisfying.
That being said, there times when the story feels too packed for its own good. For example, in my storyline, Catwoman feels betrayed by me, and though I tried to smooth things out, I apparently only had one opportunity to do so. Thus, when I was done with the episode, I found out how my choice had truly affected our relationship. I wish there was more time to dig that up.
Then, there’s a twist that I truly won’t spoil about a character who did something I bet no one expected. And then a few scenes later we’re told to make a choice that will drastically affect their lives. I feel that there was only one true answer for this choice, a vast majority agreed with me in that thought.
And then, there were plots that honestly made no sense at all. In one case, Harley Quinn (who in my story is part of the Suicide Squad) got to control members of The Agency. Complete with a helicopter firing on police officers. There is no way that would happen, not even with The Agency.
Finally, there was some serious pacing issues throughout the episode. Part 1.3 was by far the longest section, and because of that, 1.4, 1.5 and a surprising 1.6 were all but a few minutes long.
All that being said, “Same Stitch” honestly did deliver on its promise for a grand finale. And with all the changes and potential that could make for a very interesting Season 03 (should it happen), I have to say I’m intrigued with what might come next.
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With two vastly different storylines, Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 5: Same Stitch brings the story of the Joker to an epic climax where you decide the fate of your friend/foe.