Batman Arkham Knight is bigger and badder as developer Rocksteadys latest dose of ‘The Bat’ is not only the series best, but a bold and intoxicating interactive tour-de-force of exhausting crime fighting.
Batman Arkham Knight is a darker, grittier Arkham experience, exploiting a larger approach to Gotham City, despite the games robust traversal features. Travel is supported by a seamless grapple and soar, upgraded mechanic along with the seemingly constant accessibility of the batmobile. Speaking of the batmobile, a first for the series on this level, its addition is incredible and well implemented, adding much to the Bat’s intimidation factor.
Positioned as a demon on wheels with full-on tank attributes, instilling terror in the hearts of those roaming the streets of Gotham with evil intent, the batmobile possesses a level of dependability for the Bat which makes it a true character all its own.
Announced as the last Batman game in the Arkham universe, Rocksteady has decided to throw the entire kitchen sink at fans. Batman Akham Knight is positioned within the Arkham series one year after the events of Arkham City. As the story brilliantly unfolds you quickly realize Scarecrow is the diabolical instigator pulling the strings, launching an attack on Gotham City, creating all-out panic which leads to a necessary evacuation, aided by the mysterious Arkham Knight. Both have the Bat in their crosshairs. While Scarecrow wants Batman to suffer, the Arkham Knight passionately wants the caped crusader dead.
Similar to its predecessors Batman Arkham Knight primarily adds much attention to Batman’s peak dexterity through stealth, punishing beat-down melees, as well as through his renowned detective skills and gadgets, used in both combat and exploration. This time around Batman’s arsenal of gadgets, skills, batsuit, batmobile weapons and combat are upgraded through the acquisition of XP, expanding the gameplay perspective, allowing the player to complete side missions away from the main story-driven objectives.
Side missions come in all shapes and sizes, adding an abundant list of alternative story narratives and intriguing insight into the Batman universe. One minute you’ll find yourself assisting Catwoman from the Riddlers grasp or locating and destroying the Arkham Knights militia checkpoints throughout the city, to chasing down the pyromaniac FireFly who has set buildings in the city ablaze, or finding and destroying all of the Penguins weapon caches, and this only scratched the surface.
The comic book nostalgia of events within the Batman lore come to life in Arkham Knight, with non-other than the Joker to keep you on your toes with his well balanced appearances throughout the journey. With Batman’s troubles mounting with every completed mission, along for the ride, the Joker or your subconscious, in the form of the Joker adds an entertaining dynamic to understanding the psychological struggles of the Bat. It could be safe to assume that for one who has decided to dress up as a bat and submerge themselves in a world of psychos and pathological murders who at every turn are plotting some new diabolical scheme, there could eventually be some damaging residue in ones subconscious and for this trip the Joker is the star of the show.
The voice acting across the board is excellent and well imagined with a variety of well depicted characters, from Scarecrow, Oracle, Poison Ivy, Harvey Dent, Penquin and Deacon Blackfire to Jim Gordon, Lucious Fox, Deathstroke, Aaron Cash, The Riddler, Simon Stagg and many others. You can feel swept away into this believable world.
The Batman Arkham Knight playground is a visually impressive one to say the least. The Gotham City canvas is broken down by three islands, Founder’s, Miagani and Bleake, each filled with their own unique landmarks and skylines. After a few hour soaring in and out of or screaming through the streets of these distinct locales in the impressive batmobile, you begin to feel at home as the one true beacon of hope as you stop serial killers and aid the GCPD from the well equipped Akham Knight army forces.
Considering that the events of Akham Knight all take place in one crazy night only adds to the awesomeness of the Bat.
While Rockteady piles on the list of Gotham bad guys, they also compliment the experience with allies for the Bat as well, some you would least expect. In doing do, a new dual-character melee feature raises the combat bar significantly. This on the fly feature enables players to control multiple characters, changing the player perspective offering devastating results with allies like Nightwing, Catwoman and Robin.
When you’re not brutalizing scum bags, Batman always has his ear to the action, listening in on nearby criminal chatter and those helpful updates from GCPD as they bark out random happenings throughout the city.
By the time the night is over, both Batman and his trusted batmobile have been through the ringer, reflecting outward scars and wounds of a near impossible night. In fact, spoiler alert – it is always good to have a spare batmobile laying around just in case.
If there were any blemishes to alert you on, my near flawless playthrough was sometimes interrupted by my early difficulties of controlling the batmobile, which I eventually got the hang of. There is an abundance of features assisting with engaging your Batman fantasies in Arkham Knight. Though you might forget that Batman is still just a man, there are many challenges that will test you, sometimes forcing you to regroup, level up and better strategize your approach. Rocksteady forces you to maximize the Bats skills which in turn make for a more compelling and addictive experience.
Batman Arkham Knight is an outstanding experience, excelling on every level and to think this is the last game in the series truly break our hearts.