In a little less than a week, I finished Batman Arkham Knight. It wasn’t a perfect game but it was as close as you can come. Rocksteady Studios payed homage to the comics and made comic book lovers feel at home with their story and side missions. I’m going to review all the different parts of this game so buckle up. (*WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*).
Visuals- This game is absolutely gorgeous. I am so happy Rocksteady decided to fully optimize the game for next gen consoles. The game has no loading screens aside from when you die and when you start. The city looks incredible and all the character models do too. Nothing in this game looks bad.
Gameplay- If you have played the other titles in the Arkham series, you will be familiar with the controls in this game. The familiarity isn’t a bad thing at all. The combat system in these games is the greatest I have ever played so there was no reason to change that. There are some tweaks here and there in terms combos, finishing moves, and some quick-fire gadgets, though. Gliding around has never been more fun with the instant addition of the grapple boost and being able to shoot yourself out the Batmobile. The only issue I had with the controls was at first when I hit LB to bring up detective mode instead up on the d-pad.
Batmobile- I decided to make this a different section because it is a different part of the game. Initially, playing with the Batmobile was incredible. It was the only part of Batman Rocksteady hadn’t included in any of their previous entries. As the game went on, though, the Batmobile gameplay got very tiresome and weird. You’d fly around the streets, see tanks, blow up tanks in Battle Mode, then drive again. Later in the game, when Arkham Knight’s militia got bigger tanks, you had to sneak around to blow them up. I did not like that feature at all and I kind of wish there weren’t as many tanks and more chase type missions aside from what was there in the side missions.
Story- If there is one thing Rocksteady does extremely well, it’s the story. If you lived under a rock before this game was released, the main villain in this game is Scarecrow and he has the Arkham Knight by his side. Rocksteady promised this was a completely original character and they didn’t technically lie. The story was filled with some twists and turns but no super jaw dropping twists. One of the coolest parts, for me at least, was the Joker inclusion. He wasn’t actually a character in the game, he was a figment of Batman’s imagination as he struggled with the Fear Toxin. This was awesome to see just how deep Rocksteady dove into the Caped Crusader’s psyche.
Scarecrow was supposed to be the main villain in the game but it never truly felt like he was. He was great in the sections he was in, but this game felt much more like a battle between Batman and the Arkham Knight than Batman and Scarecrow. Not saying that’s a bad thing, just saying that Scarecrow is one of my favorite villains in Batman lore and I wish he was used a little more. The story in this game is solid, but nothing groundbreaking. It does the job and does make put you in a state of awe at times. The story does not diminish the quality of the game at all.
After you complete the main story, you are prompted to capture some of Gotham’s Most Wanted to start the Knightfall protocol. After you get the minimum amount of villains, you can partially end the game. Batman takes off the cowl, flies to Wayne Manor, and promptly blows it up, presumably killing himself and Alfred. The way I see it right now, it’s closer to the ending of The Dark Knight Rises where Batman fakes his death to escape Gotham. I have yet to finish the whole game which means having to capture all the villains and solve all the Riddler’s puzzles. Hopefully, the end reveals that Azreal has taken the mantle from Batman (as he did in the Knightfall comics) or Dick Grayson does .
Arkham Knight- At the beginning of the game, at least for a couple hours, I honestly had no idea who the Arkham Knight was. As the game went on, though, it became more and more obvious. There were so many flashbacks to Jason Todd and the way the Arkham Knight spoke made it sound like a personal vendetta. Not to say figuring out the identity of the character made the story any worse, it just kind of dumbed down the reveal. I was supposed to have my jaw on the floor when it was revealed, but instead I was just like, “Huh, that’s pretty cool.” In this canon, Arkham Knight is going to be a midway point between Robin and Red Hood for Jason Todd which isn’t a bad thing.
Final Verdict- I had been waiting a couple years to get my hands on this game and it did not disappoint. Though the Batmobile sequences can get tiresome, it does not detract from the overall quality of the game. The story is a bit predictable for hardcore Batman fans but it still a very well written story. Having all the supervillains in the game does not water it down at all and the balance is really good. I’m going to write another review when I finish the rest of the game. This is the best game I have played in a long time and was a very fitting end to this trilogy.
Final Score- 9.5/10