Rocksteady’s Arkham Asylum achieved something that no one thought was possible in 2009. Up until then superhero games tended to be average, at best and downright awful rest of the time. Rocksteady completely blew this trend out of the water with Asylum, which allowed gamers to play through a Batman story that was as good as any comic book page, together with gameplay that fulfilled all aspects of the Dark Knight’s character. This was implemented once again in Arkham City on a larger scale, and left us with an ending that truly made us want to know what happened next… Now, with Arkham Knight, we finally have an answer.
In the same tradition as its predecessors, Arkham Knight has a rich storyline that is filled with twists and turns. Certainly the game has benefited from its higher maturity rating as there are certainly some more violent themes, and even a few shock moments that will make you jump out of your skin. There are a few moments that may be somewhat predictable, which is sadly something that didn't tend to happen in Asylum and City, but simultaneously there is still plenty to keep you guessing. My only major gripe, without giving too much away, is that a significant revelation in regards to Batman's continued obsession with the, now deceased, Joker is given away a little too soon, which does get rid of some of the mystery within the rest of the story. That being said, the main story is still an intense thrill ride, while the entire game is filled with elements that Batman fans will recognise and love (and possibly just a few they'll hate).
The Batmobile, of course, is new to Arkham Knight, and while it would be easy to initially call its inclusion a gimmick, it does prove essential to your progression. The vehicle is loaded with about as many gadgets as Batman itself, and is almost always at your disposal when you are out on the city streets. With a tap of a button the car while race to your location, or even be remote controlled at a distance. There are portions of the game where its use is intentionally limited to make sure you don't abuse it, but because of these it just makes using the Batmobile all the sweeter after these levels are done. The only real issue is that its transformation from jet powered sports car, to strafing tank, can on occasion feel like a game of Transformers, but there is such joy in its implementation that all you want to do in the end is race around town, blowing up tanks and chasing bad guys.
Graphically the game is, of course, still as beautiful as ever. The city has a distinctive blend of styles that make it look somewhere in between a Tim Burton movie and the more recent, Christopher Nolan trilogy of batman films. The level of detail is definitely needed too, since the fiendishly difficult Riddler trophies and conundrums are back and even harder to spot than ever. In some ways, it's actually a shame that the entirety of the game takes place at night since so much of the hard work and effort put into the designs are hid in shadows. Even the Batmobile very rarely gets to be seen in its full glory, except for the rare occasions you enter a well lit area.
That being said, I think it's fair to say that Rocksteady have not quite outdone themselves. While the entire games works well, it can often feel a little overwhelming in portions where you'd rather take your time and soak up the scenery, while at the same time there are frequently parts of the game that feel like you're playing just a repeat of a fight you may have had twenty minutes ago. These are, of course, just minor gripes, and they in no way affected my enjoyment of the game as a whole. Arkham Knight is still a game with plenty to enjoy and treasure. It is, in fact, just saddening that this is going to be the final time Rocksteady make and Arkham title, but they have definitely left the series on a high note which will make you want to play all three games all over again once you're done. But for now, for one last time, let's just say the line we all want to say. You all ready? One... Two... Three...
To the Batmobile!
How have you been enjoying Arkham Knight? Are you loving it as much as we are? Let us know in the comments below!