Batman has been on my brain for the last week. The reason, the much anticipated, Arkham Knight was released last week.Believe me, I’ve been hyped for this game ever since they announced that it last year. I’ve been eagerly gobbling up gameplay, reading reviews, and talking with people about the game. It has been a fun week. Arkham Knight is a fantastic game with a really good story and lots of action. I have enjoyed it a lot. I think the dual play and the fear take down have been the best part of the gameplay. The Batmobile is a welcome addition, but it’s overused in my opinion. I do like that you can smash into stuff, take out escaping thugs, and blow up drone tanks. It’s so fun! Another thing I like, is the portrayal of the Scarecrow (played by John Noble). Noble does an awesome job of making Scarecrow creepy and menacing.
There are a lot of nods to previous Batman films and lore in the game. Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Batman the Animated Series‘ episode, “Over the Edge“, and the previous Arkham games (especially, Arkham Origins) play a role in shaping the story of Arkham Knight. This is the darkest Batman game by far. There are a lot of deaths and some disturbing scenes. If you’re squeamish or don’t like suspense, then this is not the game for you. Arkham Knight likes to mess with your head. In fact, an old friend pops up from time to time, to troll you. If you know Batman, then you know who it is. Remember, what you see in the game may not necessarily be real. Look for the subtle hints. These hints will clue you in on what’s real and what’s not.
The combat in Arkham Knight is very fluid and the fear take down is so cool. Dual play adds a nice touch to beating thugs up. Basically, with dual play, you can team up with an AI character to take down a thug together or you can switch characters in the fight. The fear take down happens when you change into the new Batsuit and you can take out multiple enemies with this technique. Detective Vision allows you to reconstruct a crime like in Arkham Origins or to analyze a crime scene looking for clues. I like that they brought the enhanced detective vision from Arkham Origins into Arkham Knight. It is one of my favorite aspects of Arkham Origins. Gadgets in Arkham Knight are pretty cool and I love using them to knock out enemies or to troll them. I also love how the Batmobile can shock thugs when your driving and they get close to the car. That part always cracks me up.
The side missions and Riddler stuff in Arkham Knight are somewhat fun, but can be frustrating in my opinion. Trying to capture Firefly is somewhat a pain, but still enjoyable to do. The Penguin gun running mission allows you to dual play with Nightwing, which is why it’s my favorite side mission in the game. The Perfect Crime and Man Bat side missions are the creepiest in the game. Man Bat has a nice jump scare moment and the Perfect Crime has you investigating some bizarre murders. Other side missions have you rescuing fire fighters or taking out the Arkham Knight’s bombs in Gotham. The Riddler missions can be somewhat tedious, especially since you need to complete the Batmobile gauntlet, in order to free Catwoman. The side missions and Riddler stuff are not that bad. They just take time and patience to complete.
The Arkham Knight, himself, was kind of a let down, as a character. It was kind of obvious who he was as the game progresses. I kind of feel like the character should have been more original like he was intended to be. The Arkham Knight’s identity doesn’t hurt my overall view of the game, but I found this aspect to be weak. I do, however, applaud Rocksteady for making the overall story dark and moody. The voice cast is perfect as well. I love Kevin Conroy as Batman and Troy Baker as the Arkham Knight and Two Face. Ashley Greene (Barbara Gordon), Jonathan Banks (Commissioner Gordon), Matthew Mercer (Robin), Grey Griffin (Catwoman), Scott Porter (Nightwing), Martin Jarvis (Alfred), Duane R. Shepard Sr. (Aaron Cash), and Dave Fennoy (Lucius Fox) did great as Batman’s allies in the game. Nolan North (The Penguin), Tara Strong (Harley Quinn), Wally Wingert (The Riddler), Tasia Valenza (Poison Ivy), Crispin Freeman (Firefly), Steve Blum (thugs, militia), and Patrick Seitz (thugs, militia) are awesome as the various villains that Batman and his allies must tangle with.
Overall, Arkham Knight is a great game. What would make it better is if Rocksteady released some challenge maps like in the previous games. A lot of fans from what I hear are disappointed with this decision not to have challenge maps. I hope Rocksteady includes them in the season pass or I fear a backlash from the gaming community. Story wise, Arkham Knight is very good. The only downside is the 100 percent ending. The 100 percent ending is too predictable and cliché, while the normal ending is a lot stronger in my opinion. Despite, some of these weaknesses, the game overall is solid and I highly recommend getting this if you like Batman or thrillers. In the end, I give Arkham Knight, a 9.5 out of 10.