Batman: Arkham Knight is one of those games that were expected to deliver. With stellar predecessors, ginormous amount of Marketing, and a large number of prayers, this is one game that should, MUST deliver. But repeated delays and an on-going port controversy hampered the golden brick road for Arkham Knight. To know if that’s the case, I took a spin on it and played it on my Sony PS4.
Batman: Arkham Knight begins with the Scarecrow threatening the city of Gotham with a new lethal toxin. This threat then urges the government to evacuate the city, save some essential workers such as the police and firemen. Consequently, the move to leave Gotham brought forth hordes of criminals helmed by known super villains. With their guardians absent, these malicious individuals have free rein in wreaking havoc in the almost deserted city.
Batman, back with his sheer coolness and badassery, observes and thinks that this is but one of the similar nights that he has gone through. He may be correct. But this time, even with the absence of the Joker, the combined might of Gotham’s super villains may prove to be more of a challenge for our Caped Crusader. To make matters worse, a mysterious individual donning the name, “Arkham Knight” descends with an army of trained mercenaries, hellbent to accomplish their one sole mission: kill Batman.
The enigmatic Arkham Knight takes the center-stage in this installment.
As story goes, Batman: Arkham Knight presents a more human picture of Batman. Instead of the invincible killing machine portrayed by the previous two games, this one constantly taunts him of his limits. His inability to be a paragon of justice is a cause that’s frequently portrayed in the main storyline.
The tale of this super vigilante, however, suffers from predictability, a trait absent from its predecessors. The build-up and answer to Mystery Question No. 1 is stymied by the fact that you know it 100% before the game reveals it.
I won’t dwell much into reviewing the storyline as doing so might be too revealing. Batman: Arkham Knight is founded in its story and it has gone through great lengths in its development stage to keep it under wraps (Google why the PC port sucks).
Punch like a Bat, Drive like a Maniac
They’re all sleeping.
Batman’s fistfights aren’t that revolutionary per se. It’s the same old thing that we’ve had since Arkham Asylum and is about stringing commands at a consecutive pace without breaking a sweat or missing a press. You’ll punch, pounce, and break people’s nose with the swift fists of justice. It is still a miracle how the people who come across Batman survive the ordeal.
Predator mode restricts Batman inside a predefined arena, challenging him to take down goons while using stealth and the environment. Planning an assault is essential since Batman is still a mortal man (surprise!) against dozens of armed guys.
Part of what made the Arkham Knight a game to look out for during its teaser days was the Batmobile. This tank/car hybrid is Batman’s patrol car as he roams around Gotham and is an essential tool in the game. So essential that it hurls it and shoves it down the player’s throat.
It was so fun at first… …Until you notice how slow/common/clunky this thing is.
Oh look! There’s a tank battle. Oh! There’s another one there! Think this is over? Here’s another tank battle!
The same thing repeats itself and though there are variations in the battlefield, the premise remains the same. Batman’s tank is mobile enough to dodge predestined bullets whilst equipped with an exquisite firepower to deal with vehicles and humans. The battles are fun at first but loses the awesomeness as it gets watered down in the later parts of the game.
Why is that damaged car still faster than me?! Why?!
Driving the Batmobile is another thing. It’s not as fast as I expected and I can’t help but wonder why an old armored car can outrun this bleeding-edge computer on wheels. So it is to no one’s wonder that more people prefer using the traditional Batman method in exploring Gotham: gliding.
If you’re planning on murdering people in cold blood using the Batman mobile, then prepare to be disappointed. Because of Batman’s “no kill” creed, people you ram with the Batmobile get shocked to preserve their integrity and your conscience instead of sentencing them as a bloody splat on the floor.
As you play as the Batman, experience points can be earned which can then be distributed among the skill grid. Each point can unlock certain finishers and new techniques that can, at the same time, make Batman look cool and help you survive.
I found that some skills are not worth the upgrades and you can finish the game without powering them up.
The main campaign can also take a rest, giving the player a limited freedom to choose between several sidequests that are intricately fleshed-out and detailed.
Graphics and Audio
The game is visually appealing, thanks to the help of Unreal Engine 4. Since it’s always a sad night in Gotham, the rain continuously splatters across the pavement, bathing the floor with ripples that the player can notice and stare in awe. Lighting is another thing, shadows come into play and are incredibly good in setting an atmosphere of wonder with a pinch of realism. Though there are some occasional hiccups such as texture popping, an irritant, yes, albeit only a minor one.
Again, the audio is as one could expect: superb. The voice actors, music, and sound effects, all work together to bring a five-star experience. Nothing is left to be desired in this part.
Rocksteady’s Batman trilogy definitely ended with a bang. For PC users, it is so explosive that their graphics card tend to vomit blood whilst trying to maintain an acceptable framerate due to poor porting/programming. For console users, it manages to deliver what it promised months before its release.
I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Arkham Knight’s charm lies on how it blends different gameplay mechanics, mixing in a palatable plot, and presenting it with all the bells and whistles. It’s a grand game with a grand vision. But not everything is commendable in Arkham Knight. The game suffers from fatigue. You may have different mechanics but those mechanics are recycled during the 12-15 hours of play. Again, a perfect example would be the Batmobile. It may act as a commercial but it becomes an ordeal best left unplayed and unexperienced in the latter parts. Also, I can’t help but feel that they trimmed down the Predator gameplay to make room for other things.
Make Batman smile by buying his game!
With all that said, my final verdict would be to recommend you guys to buy Batman: Arkham Knight. It’s not a perfect game but it definitely is a fun one. And that is what matters.
I played it using the Sony PS4 and I am certain that it is by far the best platform for Arkham Knight, both in terms of graphics and playability.
If Batman’s too serious for your taste, the you might like this version:
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