Interview: Telltale Games Discusses Batman: The Enemy Within

Telltale Games recently launched the first episode of its latest entry in the Batmanseries, The Enemy Within, and to say that things take a dark turn for the worse is an understatement. This time, the Riddler is at play in the story, and he adds a dark new arc to a storyline already riddled with danger for both Batman and his alter-ego, Bruce Wayne.

To get further insight on what we can expect from this season of the series, we recently sat down with the executive producer of The Enemy Within, Telltale’s Sean O’Connor. The answers are quite insightful – and should get fans excited for what lies ahead for the Dark Knight.

Batman: The Enemy Within is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and mobile devices.


Looking Back At Batman: The Telltale Series

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First off, what did you think about the reception to the first season of Batman? Seems that fans were very happy with the different direction it took, focusing just as much on Bruce Wayne.

We were very happy with the reception to season one. Fans were really excited with our fresh take on the characters and other story elements such as the Wayne family’s corruption. There was also a very positive response to the balance between playing as Bruce or Batman. There has never really been a Batman game that features Bruce as much as we did, and it provides something new and satisfying for players to dive into. The Enemy Within has a very similar split between Bruce and Batman play time.


A Double Focus

Batman 2What would you say was the most difficult part in regards to focusing between Batman and Bruce Wayne?

Even though it’s the same person, they are both unique characters that handle situations differently. We didn’t want to make a game that was just about Batman, leaving half the persona unexplored. Bruce is a very interesting character to explore, and we wanted to make the story personal to him while still keeping Batman-sized problems. I think we achieved that very well. We also managed to have some key points where the player could decide if they wanted to handle a situation as Bruce or as Batman. There were pros and cons to each side of that decision, thus providing the player with another meaningful and difficult choice that impacted other characters, relationships, and the world as a whole.


Into The New Season

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The second season looks to be a pretty solid set-up based on what we’ve seen from the first. What can we expect from this new season of the series?

I think you can expect a lot from the second season (titled The Enemy Within). We’re including more villains, adding choices during combat, developing new Bat gadgets, greatly improving performance and stability, and enhancing the investigation mechanic. And the story has a lot of twists, surprises, and difficult choices.

Another cool thing we’re doing is giving you the option to carry over a bunch of choices you made in season one, either through save game importing or by answering a few questions to configure a season one play-through if you no longer have your save file (or want to try a different path). That said, it’s not at all imperative that you have played season one. The Enemy Within is a wholly contained adventure that you can jump right in and enjoy.

We’ve also developed a new relationship system that will show your relationship status with key characters at the end of each episode, as well as some of the choices you’ve made to influence that relationship. One of those key relationships is with John Doe. We’ve made it no secret that John becomes Joker, so the choices you make and the relationship you have with John will ultimately decide what kind of Joker he becomes.


Enter the Riddler

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What do you think it is that has set Riddler off so much? He certainly looks more sadistic compared to what we’ve seen in previous Batman tales.

Riddler is a bit more sadistic in The Enemy Within than in previous Batman stories. This is one of the areas where we wanted to do our own take on a well-known character, much like we did with Penguin in season one. As for what set him off, I won’t spoil it here. Some of this is touched on in Episode 1 – The Enigma, although we don’t dive too deep into it. We didn’t want to dwell too much on backstory and instead focused on the story you are playing. You’ll learn more as the season goes on.


Other Unanswered Questions

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Is it possible we’ll see old characters revisit Batman in this new season? Selena Kyle, perhaps?

This season is primarily focused on a new threat to Gotham, but yes, there are several returning characters from season one, such as John Doe, James Gordon, Lucius Fox, and some other minor characters that return in Episode 1, with more to come in future episodes. If you look at the images on the episode selection screen, you can see silhouettes of some key characters for each episode, some of which are new, some of which are returning. If you look at future episodes, you can get some hints as to what is coming. We’ve already seen a lot of speculation in early reviews as to who these represent, some of which is correct, some of which is completely wrong.

What do you think fans should look forward to with this next season?

Outside of looking forward to another great narrative adventure with both Bruce Wayne and Batman, one of the biggest things to look forward to is being able to shape John Doe into the Joker. John is listening and watching. He’s learning and reacting to Bruce and Batman. Choices you make and actions you take will impact the kind of Joker he becomes. This is something that I think players are really going to enjoy, and it will make certain decisions even harder for Bruce and Batman.