View Full Version : Batman: Arkham Knight Review

27-06-2015, 03:04 PM
Be the Batman

After a long wait, Batman: Arkham Knight released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game offers everything you would expect from the first two games in the Rocksteady Studios trilogy, but kicks things up a notch thanks to the power of new hardware. Everything from the seamless grappling around Gotham City to the character models and voice acting makes this is the king of all Batman games.

While Arkham Knight continues where Batman: Arkham City left off, you don't necessarily need to play the first two games to grasp the plot. Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have a storyline that continues in Arkham Knight, but if you know Batman and the general mythos surrounding the comic book character, you'll feel right at home. While Scarecrow is the main bad guy, you'll see quite a few familiar faces, including Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and more.

As you swing around Gotham, you may even feel a bit like Spider-Man. The Caped Crusader has a wide arsenal of moves. From using silent takedowns to clear enemies to remote control batarangs, explosive gel and even a remote electrical charge device for those times when you need power and don't see a nearby plug, all of this is at your disposal.

Combat offers a variety of options, but doesn't feel as smooth as other games. The camera often hides enemies, forcing you to manually rotate the view to make sure you don't get attacked from behind. It can also be difficult to perform the correct attack combo on a specific target. For instance, Batman has a special combo to attack enemies with shields, but pulling off this combo on one or two shielded enemies in a crowd of a dozen foes can be a frustrating experience. Either Batman attacks the wrong enemy, or the full combo doesn't properly complete and you end up with something else entirely.

Enter the Batmobile

The biggest addition to Arkham Knight is Batman's coolest item of all, the Batmobile. You can drive the Batmobile like normal, or enter battle mode where the vehicle becomes more like a tank. In fact, even when you drive it normally, it feels like you're controlling a tank. While you can quickly get around the city, it definitely takes getting used to. The controls aren't what you would expect from traditional driving games, but luckily you can crash into just about anything without damaging the car or Batman. Once you spend time with the controls the Batmobile becomes a bit easier to handle, but improvements would have been welcome.

There are plenty of instances throughout the game where you'll need to use the Batmobile, but most of the time you have a choice between flying high above the streets as Batman or driving to your next destination in the Batmobile. When it's time to fight, the Batmobile is highly manoeuvrable while in battle mode. You can upgrade weapons and armour for Batman and the Batmobile, but more often than not you'll face off against tanks and drones; as you level up you gain the ability to hack drones, fire multiple missiles and more.

Experience Gotham

One of the best aspects of Batman: Arkham Knight is the sheer size and scale of Gotham City. At the beginning of the game the city is empty. While this may have been a clever way to avoid having a fully populated location, it also means you have near complete freedom. While moving through Gotham you'll come across random thugs and side missions to occupy your time. You?ll also encounter everything from car chases to explosives that require disarming.

The main story line follows the Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight. However, there are well over a dozen side missions that vary in length and include many of the more popular characters Batman encounters in the comic books and movies. Some are better represented than others, but at least you'll get a wide variety of missions to play through. Even after you complete the game you'll still be able to finish the different side missions, in addition to starting a New Game+ to go back through the story again.

While Arkham Knight isn't perfect, it's arguably the best Batman video game experience. It's the best of the Arkham series, and goes a long way toward making the player feel like Batman. The Batmobile is fun in battle mode, and while it's a little wild and unresponsive when driving normally, it doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the game. If you're a fan of Batman, this is a must buy.

Final Score: 8 (out of 10)

What's Hot

Excellent graphics and audio
Top notch voice acting
Large Gotham City to explore

What's Not

Batmobile can be difficult to handle
Combat feels stiff and can be frustrating at times
Predictable story