Batman Arkham Knight – Review

Rocksteady has teamed up with Warner Brothers to create a Batman series surrounding Arkham Asylum.  They began the series with Batman Arkham Asylum.  This introduced players to a new and sophisticated form of the Batman, using “detective mode” and a new way to beat down of your enemies.  This is accomplished throughout the series by grappling up to vantage points, jumping down in the middle of your enemies and using stealth to take them down.  One of my favorite parts “takedowns” is the Inverted Takedown done from one of those vantage points where Batman hangs his foe out to dry on a rope upside down, much like you see in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) with people dangling over the green goo in Ace Chemicals.

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Batman Arkham City followed in the success of the first game and continued to improve Batman by expanding to a city rather than just staying in the asylum.  New concepts were introduced to include evidence detecting and tracking.  Batman Arkham Origins, the 3rd installment of the series, expanded to Gotham City.  This game was much like it’s two predecessors but added the ability of “fast travel” with the Batwing and a true “open world” environment.  Finally, that brings us to Batman Arkham Knight.  I feel it necessary to give the back story of the prior games due to Arkham Knight following suit.  In this review, I will highlight some changes that have come to the series, some good and, some bad.

The game opens with Batman scrambling across on the rooftops of Gotham in an attempt to take down his enemies.  He is soon confronted with armed gunmen.  He is sent a new suite to combat these villainous thugs by none other than Lucius Fox.  Instead of following the same MO as other games and just communicating with his friends in his ear, the Dark Knight now sees his friends (and foes) VIA a video conference that comes from his gauntlet.

Once in the new bat suite you are ready to combat some of the toughest villans this series has ever seen. To assist with this players are given the new opportunity to drive and operate the Batmobile which has the amazing ability of doubling as a tank.  This Batmobile can be upgraded throughout the game with technology such as EMP and is very much necessary to deal with the tanks that the Arkham Knight sends in to destroy you (I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you who the Arkham Knight really is).  Batman is able to get around the city with this Batmobile and even wench himself onto roofs using anchor points and raise and lower bridges by doing the same.  I have been dying to operate this thing ever since I saw the previews of the game and I believe the creators of the franchise did a great interpretation of the car and it’s abilities.  One of the “takedowns” that is accomplished with the car close is a Batmobile take down where Batman throws the thug in the air and the Bat-tank fires a shot killing him. It is a little disheartening that Batman strays from his classic style by using the turret from the car to shoot and kill enemies, even those that are just walking around innocently.

The game follows the same format as the prior 3 with different missions that you can select and accomplish.  I do have to note one of the best and welcomed changes to these side missions is once the villan is beaten then you load him in the back of the “prisoner transport” Batmobile and haul him off to GCPD.  I especially enjoyed the side mission of Two-Face robbing the banks and Batman thwarting his evil deeds.  Once 3 or 4 banks were rescued by the Dark Knight he hauls Two-Face off to jail and throws him into a cell.

The main mission of the game is chasing after the evil Scarecrow and interrogating his thugs.  One new way to do this is to use the car/tank as an interrogation technique as shown above.  Batman uses the Batmobile interrogates thugs to find the Scarecrow.  Players are required to rev the engine and back the tires up on ol’ boys’ head.  Entertaining, YES!  Coupled with the main mission is a welcomed addition of “tag-team” style with Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman.  Players are able to perform multiple tag-team take downs and even play as these other characters.

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GRAPHICS

I must say that this is one of the best games, from a graphical standpoint, I have seen.  It has many things that will WOW you and make you take a second look.  Early in the game Scarecrow injects you with his toxin which makes the Joker appear scene after scene as a figment of your imagination as you are grappling across the rooftops and even when going into buildings.  It is something I have never seen in any other video game when you use the thumb sticks to turn around are you are confronted with a scene that is completely different thus bringing in dynamic scene changing just with the flip of the stick.  I found myself doing a double take multiple times the scene changed just by turning around and even more so when, at the end of the game, you get to play as the villainous Joker and then things start changing rapidly.

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SOUND

The quality of sound is impeccable, which it should be after 3 prior games.  Playing on a surround system or even an 7.1 headset as I have will give you the echos, distance and great vision that comes through good sound to bring the game all together.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Batman: Arkham Knight is easily the BEST of the series and in my opinion earns one of the best games of the Year thus far.  It is packed with challenging foes and great many uses of technology and realism.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game and have spent many hours upgrading tech and customizing The Batman.  I am a little sad that this will be the last in the series.  I think if you have something great keep adding to it as they have done for years making great games to be enjoyed by many generations to come.

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Style – 3rd Person/1st Person

Publisher – Warner Brothers Home Video

Developer – Rocksteady

Release – June 2015


JUNKIE SCORES

  • 4.6 – Gameplay
  • 4.8 – Graphics
  • 4.7 – Sound
  • 5.0 – Entertainment
  • 4.2 – Replay Value

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