- Excellent Story
- Brilliant Combat
- Engaging Side Quests
- Slightly disappointing Arkham Knight reveal
Batman: Arkham Knight is Rocksteady’s final entry into the Arkham series and boy it does not disappoint!
Just a warning before I start, this will spoil the ending to Arkham City but I will keep it as spoiler free as I can for Arkham Knight.
The game starts off by cementing the fact that the Joker is dead. You have to cremate his corpse yourself. Rocksteady wants to make it clear that he is gone. Shortly after we now experience Gotham (well a diner in Gotham) through the eyes of your average cop. After being doused with scarecrows fear toxin forcing him to hallucinate and shoot up the diner, you switch to Batman. Whilst this intro may seem a bit dull to some, it perfectly sets up exactly why Batman does what he does. so the average Joe can live his or her life without fear or worry.
It goes without saying that Rocksteady understand Batman. You are the Batman and you will save Gotham no matter what it takes. Rocksteady does a very very good job at getting his ethos across to the player, but Batman is still only a man. A man at the end of his tether, he’s had enough and you can really feel the struggle as the story progresses. Obviously I can’t talk about Batman: Arkham Knight without mention The Arkham Knight. The Arkham Knight is Rocksteady’s original character who’s identity is a mystery. The only thing we know for certain is that he wants Batman dead. I’m not going to go in to detail about the Arkham Knight as learning about that character is half the fun. I was, however, always guessing, suspecting and theorizing about the identity of the Arkham Knight. Sadly, the reveal it’s self isn’t quite as satisfying as many of my theories had hoped. I had a pretty good idea who he was by that point. If it had happened a bit sooner, or certain scenes were removed, the reveal would have been a lot better. That said, it’s still an excellent character, with an acceptable, but disappointing reveal.
As far as story goes, I won’t go in to much more detail as the sheer brilliance of Rocksteady’s story telling is best experienced first hand.
Speaking of Hands, Hands make Fists and Fists are used for Combat! (brilliant I know)
The Batman combat is a slick as ever. Arguably the best, elegant and simple combat system in any game. It really captures the feel of being Batman, fighting what should be an overwhelming amount of foes but dispatching them as if they were the butter to Batman’s knife. There are a few interesting enemy types. Some have electrical weapons meaning you can’t touch them until you remove it, whereas others just have katanas. Whatever the enemy, the solution is simple, Gadgets! Using the vast array of gadgets available you can overcome any type of combatant, unless of course it’s the Batmobile’s control scheme.
The Batmobile is without a shadow of a doubt, is the worst part of the game, and there is a lot of Batmobile sections. The basic controls are (for PS4) R2 to drive (as expected) then Square to brake (what the? what about L2?) L2 is to change in to battle mode (which needs to be held down.) This constantly results in accidentally switching to battle mode when trying to brake. Checking the options didn’t reveal any way to change the control scheme so it looks like I’m stuck with it, and I did stick with it. (It turns out that the options for the Batmobile control scheme are in fact changeable, after you complete the first Batmobile section. As I was looking during the section, I never found them) It became bearable, but a nuisance. Until a certain fight I won’t be naming. this section made me hate the Batmobile. It required you to sneak (SNEAK. In a car!) up on the enemy who is themselves, in a tank, that can only be damaged once on each side. If you are seen, it gives chase – at a tremendous pace – making it nearly impossible to lose until some kind of meter drains and you get to attempt that again. When you do successfully hit it, it finds you automatically and you have to to repeatedly lose it for every attempt. There are also Mario Kart esque courses in a side quest that are nearly as infuriating.
Speaking of side quests Gotham is riddled with extra objectives. Being an Arkham game these side quests will all link in and have their own unique stories for other famous (Two-Face, Penguin and The Riddler) and not famous (Man-Bat) villains from the Batman universe. Each side quest is fairly unique and very good at keeping your intrigue. From rescuing fire-fighters from a beating to stopping a bank heist in progress each side quest let’s you feel like your Batman simply doing your job.
Overall Batman: Arkham Knight is an excellent send off to an already brilliant series.
Version Tested – PS4