Batman fans, your wait is finally over. After waiting through a few delays, Batman: Arkham Knight is here. The Arkham trilogy by Rocksteady games has come to its conclusion. Many might wonder if Arkham Knight holds up in the same respect the previous games in the series did. Arkham Knight has added a slew of new features, including the Batmobile to help separate itself from the other games. Now, its time we take a look..Get your utility belts ready gamers, it’s time for the review.
This Is How The Batman Dies…
The story of Batman: Arkham Knight picks up a few months after the events of Arkham City. Following his death, the Joker is cremated and the police anticipated all out war for the control of Gotham City. However, crime actually has gone down in the months after the Joker’s death. Then the Scarecrow threatens to spread his fear toxin all over the city, which leads to a total evacuation of the city’s citizens. This leaves the police, Batman, and Scarecrow working with a familiar gallery of rogues and the criminals that work for them. There is one stranger there among them, a mysterious man from Batman’s past who goes by the name the Arkham Knight.
As Batman, you’re given the daunting task of stopping Scarecrow, his allies, and solving other mysteries around the evacuated city. Being Batman, you’re given the standard tools along with the combat system Rocksteady has been known for implementing in the series. A few minor upgrades to that system make it look like the game has come a long way since Arkham City.
I Feel Safe in Gotham City
Speaking of Arkham City, the map in Arkham Knight is a lot bigger than the previous game in Rocksteady’s series. No longer confined by the walls of Arkham City, Gotham has been renovated, rebuilt, and opened up to the player. New areas will open up as they progress through the story, much like other open world games. Gotham has the big city feel with its architecture, but given the feeling of foreboding with boarded up businesses and streets now occupied by the criminals that decided to stay to help out their crime bosses.
The biggest addition to the series is the Batmobile. Armed like a miniature tank full of ammunition and missiles to fire at other tanks, on the surface this looks like everything that goes against Batman’s “no killing” rule. However, that issue is skirted by the fact that the other tanks in the game are unmanned drones and the ammunition is non lethal. They also make it so that when chasing cars, the Batmobile will take out the car by immobilizing it causing it to crash.
As far as the handling goes, driving the car on the wet pavement of the raining night in the city, it honestly feels fine. If you’ve ever played a street racing game, you’ll get a good sense of how the Batmobile drives in the normal mode. Initially the controls for the Batmobile were a little off and require a bit of learning, but that can be righted in the options menu when you can turn battle mode on and keep it locked at either battle mode or normal driving mode at your discretion.
I am vengeance…I am the Night!
Also, new additions to combat such as Fear Takedowns, allowing Batman to take out multiple targets one at a time before they can react, go a long way into giving the power of being Batman in the player’s hands. Conversely, the enemies have gotten a lot harder as well. With the Arkham Knight’s help and training, enemies will search floor grates and higher vantage points to plant mines. They’ll use turrets and flying drones to search for Batman. The enemies will also use extra tools of their own while fighting to take on Batman making cleaning up the streets of Gotham a daunting task Batman must take on.
Speaking of daunting tasks, there is a ton to do in Arkham Knight outside of the main story campaign. All of which utilize elements from the new ones in Arkham Knight to the crime reconstruction in Arkham City and Origins. The incentive for doing these missions alongside of the campaign is giving the player points to spend on their skill tree to upgrade equipment, the Batmobile, combat, etc. Having Batman gain enough XP to level up doesn’t do much anymore except unlocking the ability to buy new skills. I found this a little overwhelming because the sense of urgency in the main campaign, and then Alfred would remind me of other things going on.
Be The Batman
That did kind of take away from the game, but it’s all for Gotham City’s greater good. Also, being that this was reviewed on the console, the issues that plagued the PC release weren’t as prevalent. Sure there were a few bugs, here and there, but nothing that took away from the experience of the game. One drawback is the forced issue of using the Batmobile so much. Granted it is a new mechanic and works well overall, but the issue is that it is used almost too much for my liking.
With that said, this is an Arkham game developed by Rocksteady, and it seems that the delays really worked out well in the long run. The player is given the power of being a lot of people’s favorite superhero in their hands. While some moments may cause a little frustration, it’s usually followed after an “aha” moment when everything falls in the right place. Though the Batmobile is featured heavily in the game, so are the staples of combat, stealth and puzzle solving that the Arkham series does so very well.
Batman: Arkham Knight serves as a masterpiece that wraps up Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy (and Arkham Origins, since that’s officially part of the story). It shows off so much Batman lore, wraps up a few loose ends, and gives a fitting end to a series that a ton of gamers have enjoyed since visiting Arkham Asylum about six years ago.
Final Verdict: Batman: Arkham Knight gets 10 silky smooth Lucius Fox voices out of 10.
- Gotham City's layout
- Upgrades to combat
- Batmobile used too much