“A man like Bruce Wayne, with all his influence and resources, can go places Batman can’t.” This quote, taken from Amanda Waller, summarizes this entire episode in one sentence. In The Pact, Batman is tasked with going undercover in a group of his greatest rogues and the results are a bit uneven. The story picks up immediately after the excellent episode 1 cliffhanger and didn’t waste any time cutting to the thick of things. Telltale’s Batman stories seem to feature Bruce Wayne in action more than ever before and The Pact is no exception. In fact, you play almost exclusively as Bruce this go around. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed how Telltale has given Bruce more stage time, but this episode seemed to stumble a bit without a more prominent showing from the dark knight. After all, this is Batman and I felt that a better balance could have been struck. Something just seemed to be missing. Not only did that feel off but almost every part of the game appeared to take a slight dip in quality compared to the first episode of the season.
As far as the story goes, I think that Telltale chose to introduce way too many villains into the mix. Miscreants like Bane and Harley fit in very well within the story, but the rest of the new rogues could have probably been saved for later episodes (or seasons even). I was a bit overwhelmed by them considering how short this episode was. Though, while I do think that they introduced too many players onto the field, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the characters themselves. I’m trying to spoil as little as possible so all I’ll say is that the new additions to the ever growing cast are fresh takes on their respective characters. As a long time Batman fan I enjoyed them all. I’ve seen these characters in tons of different stories across various types of media, so seeing them in new, interesting ways is always fun. Telltale didn’t disappoint in that aspect. Harley Quinn was a standout and received much more screen time than the rest.
This portrayal of Harley, much like the rest of Telltale’s versions of characters, is similar yet totally different at the same time. She’s less bubblegum bimbo sex symbol and exceptionally more believably psychotic with a better grounded, well told backstory. There isn’t much to it, but what’s there is solid. As a fan of the original animated series that Harley originates from I give this version a big thumbs up. John Doe was another character that was featured center stage in The Pact. Even though I’m quite certain of who he really is, I have absolutely no idea where Telltale is going to take me on the way to that reveal and that is part of what makes this episode intriguing. It’s what is pressing me forward in the series the most.
As the story brought on corrupt characters, one after another, the gameplay showed decay along with them. You really don’t do much in the episode aside from making some pretty tough decisions and there isn’t any detective work involved.
That’s not to say there aren’t any frantic action segments because the ending events were pretty phenomenal. It just gave me a feeling of having watched more than I played this episode. Not only that, but the experience left me with a sense of it all coming to end rather quickly. At least I can say that the graphics, sound, and performance of the game were all just as good as in The Enigma. I have no complaints about those features at all.
- Intriguing New Take on Harley Quinn
- More of John Doe
- Zero Performance Issues
- Too Many Villains
- No Investigating
- Too Short
- Uneven Gameplay and Story