“Batman: Arkham Knight” Game Review

I am the night! I am vengeance! I am… a few days late on this review. This action-adventure superhero video game was first released on June 23rd, 2015, following much anticipation. I waited until midnight to get my copy of the game at GameStop. I can already tell you that I love it and it’s my favorite game of the year so far. But how does it stack up against Rocksteady’s first two games? (Yes, only two games. Arkham Origins doesn’t count) Well simply put, it takes several steps forward but also a couple tiny tiptoes backwards. Set about a year after the events of Arkham City, both Gotham and Batman are having a difficult time adjusting to the Joker’s absence and the decrease in crime. But on Halloween night, after a pretty creepy first-person intro, Scarecrow threatens to cover Gotham City in his fear toxin. This leads the city to get evacuated by everybody except for the police and Batman. Poison Ivy, Two-Face, the Riddler, and Penguin also take advantage of the abandoned city, all of whom can be defeated in side missions. Right by the Scarecrow’s side is the titular Arkham Knight, a highly trained military commander with an army behind him and a personal grudge with Batman. Without spoiling much, I was fairly disappointed when the Arkham Knight’s big reveal was actually predictable; he’s not exactly an original character as we were lead to think. Oh well. The story has plenty of surprising twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, and keeps you engaged throughout the whole 10-13 hour run-time. add in nearly a dozen other interesting side missions, than I have about 40-50 hours of Tripe-A gameplay. Speaking of gameplay, the combat is as refined as it’s going to get in the series. Though the game is by no means particularly brutal or difficult, combat encourages you to use creative combos with either your fists or your gadgets. One of the latest additions is Dual Gameplay. During certain combat scenarios that involve Nightwing, Robin, or Catwoman, you can swap between them to experience their different abilities or perform dual takedowns together. However, unlike Arkham City, you can’t swap between the characters at certain points on the map for specific objectives. The map is pretty big this time around; at least five times the size of Arkham City. The streets are always brimming with thugs and side activities. To navigate these streets, you are provided with the tank-like Batmobile. The design looks reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s incarnation. However, there are some legitimate concerns. The steering felt kind of slippery at times and while it can be fun to wreak havoc in the open-aired streets, during the campaign it feels a bit like it’s shoved down your throat. But it works well enough for the game. As the first game in the series on next-gen consoles, the game’s visuals look gorgeous. Gotham City and the street’s are filled excellent detail. Especially during Scarecrow’s nightmare visions. The audio is also superb. The sound design and soundtrack fit so well with the tone and direction of the game. And the voice acting is film-quality. Kevin Conroy and John Noble in particular stand out as Scarecrow and Batman. However I did come into a few technical problems; a couple funny glitches here and there. The worst I’ve encountered so far were just two freezes. Thankfully, the game has great autosave for this. But this brings to the most controversial part: The PC port. I have been fortunate enough to play the game on my PS4, but the Steam community has reported a bunch of problems. There is some very questionable framerate loss and poorly optimized visuals. Some aren’t able to even play it. Thankfully, Rocksteady was quick to respond to this and removed it from Steam. Please share your own experience with the game in the comments. But for me, it’s a true swan song for Rocksteady’s stellar incarnation of the Batman. I have no problem playing through all of it in the Story Plus.

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