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Batman: The Enemy Within: Fractured Mask28 Nov, 2017
Take this for what it’s worth, but I’m worried about what will happen next with Telltale. Supreme Chancellor Hawley is doing what he does, chopping the head off the company that, alongside Double Fine, is the only reason Mojo still exists, right as the sequel to The Wolf Among Us -- a Mojo favorite -- is in some stage of production.
That is particularly sad, with this season of Batman being very good. As it stands now after the third episode, a contender for the top five of Telltale’s rollercoaster history of games.
There is sort of an old-school Hollywood feel to this season, and “Fractured Mask” elevates that. Wayne has a Clark Gable feel to him, and The Joker -- his backstory turning increasingly bizarre -- is a manic Peter Lorre. Cat Woman is back, stand-off-ish as one would be after what was the most awkward sex scene in any game during the last season, and she is now redeemed in an Eva Marie Saint way.
It all just works, and the flow is old-school adventure game style. Again, as with previous episodes, there are puzzles. Simple ones, but ones that feel adventure game like.
The Joker, as mentioned in the previous episodes, is the more interesting part of this season. He comes off as a good guy, yet troubled, and who never got the help needed from Quinn at Arkham. It’s refreshing to see Quinn as something more than a victim -- as she usually is portrayed as -- but rather a true antagonist who does what she needs to get what she wants. The ladies can be bad, too, without being tropes.
Where all this is going I don’t know, but I’m enjoying the ride. I cannot believe Wayne and Kyle’s relationship is turning interesting after the cluster that was season one.
And that all worries me. Telltale is nailing this. Whatever team this is -- I know few names at the company these days -- is nailing it. This should be the lead-in to The Wolf Among Us-sequel Mojo has been waiting for.
But at this point, with the gut-wrenching layoffs, what can that team actually do? Selfishly I want good games, but good grief, those left at Telltale understandably would want to get out of there as soon as possible. Even those going down with the ship -- and yes, this is LucasArts all over again -- must have their morale level down to zero.
“Fractured Mask” could be the beginning of the end of the Telltale that disappointed us over the last few years. It’s a great episode. Hopefully, I’m way off on all of this, and it might be the beginning of a better future.
That seems overly optimistic, though.