Saturday, April 15, 2017

"It's a Video Game!" - Batman: Arkham Knight

Well, as most superheroes state in their movies/comics/TV shows, “This ends tonight!” Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series is probably one of my favorite video game franchises. So much was done in order to get Batman and his world right in pixels. Even though Batman: Arkham Origins wasn’t a Rocksteady game, WB Montreal took a lot of cues from Rocksteady. Rocksteady wasn’t done and they churned out possibly one final game to finish off their trilogy. Batman: Arkham Knight was released in 2015 to much acclaim and criticism. The game didn’t translate well to PC and there were some problems there. This was the first game I decided to play on my PS4. By the way, it’s been pretty fun so far. Right now, I'm replaying Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Batman: Arkham Knight takes place a year after the events of Arkham City. Stuff had kind of cooled down since those events but Batman is still dealing with the fallout. Suddenly, calamity strikes as the Scarecrow (voiced by John Noble) returns and unleashes terror across the city. Citizens flee most of Gotham as crime and all-out douchbaggery takes over. Luckily, Batman is still leading the fight against evil with a new suit, some allies, and new gadgets. Things get worse when Scarecrow reveals a new partner in his plans: The Arkham Knight. Not only does Batman have to contend with the Knight who is well-versed in his ways, he starts to really crack under the pressure after he’s exposed to some of Scarecrow’s gas.


While I can't say this is the best game of the three, this is still a nice game to end Rocksteady's run with. By the way, I'll spoil some of this but not all of it. It's been out for two years and Wikipedia spoils it all anyway. Everything about this game works for the most part. Rocksteady took a lot of what worked in Arkham City and applied it here. The graphics and designs are top-notch. You get to operate in Gotham City itself. There are three big sections of the city and they all are pretty massive in scope.This is possibly the ultimate Batman experience. You got the moves, the gadgets, and the lumbering, black weapon of mass awesomeness called the Batmobile.

The combat is still the same since Arkham City pretty much set it in stone. You have the stealth approach as well as the "beat 'em down" approach. There are some adjustments like tag-teaming with your allies. On certain missions, you can team up with Robin, Nightwing, or Catwoman. As for the driving aspect of the game, it was cool for the most part. It did take a while to get used to using it in battle, but when I got the hang of it, it was awesome. Unfortunately, the Batmobile sections have their problems and I'll touch on them later..
This was fun. I kind of wish we got more of this.

The story is pretty good for the most part. You get the idea that Rocksteady is trying to end this all in one big bang. Pretty much all of Batman  allies and villains (living and not so living) are back in a way that works. It was nice to see one the Scarecrow be the top villain. The missions are all diverse in some way. There were even a few twists that I didn't see coming. There was one that I and most fans saw coming from about 50 miles away. I'll get to that later. Of course, The Joker does make a reappearance since you apparently have to throw in the clown. I will say that his place in the story was actually pretty interesting and ties into the series as a whole. It even references one of my favorite Batman animated movies with how he's used.

Me When Doing This Stage: $$$$ %%%%$$$ ####$$ **^^%$%$##!!!

While the game is really good, it does have some flaws. First , there's the Batmobile. Now, I liked the Batmobile for the most part, but I was shocked at how much it gets used here. I'd probably say that the game is possibly 40% Batmobile action and there are many times where you have no choice but to use it. I mostly kept to the skies since that was more fun. The Riddler sections were probably some of the most grating parts. You have to do some race courses and the final one may make you want to throw your controller. I didn't do that but a few pigeons were thrown at the TV.
Sorry... man/ma'am, but you're not doing it for me.

There were also some lackluster boss battles which is a shock. You'd think Rocksteady would have went all-out for this last one. Some of them involved the Batmobile and really only a couple of those were cool. The final "fight" with the Arkham Knight was pretty cool though. Then, there's the subject of the Arkham Knight. I won't spoil the identity here but I wasn't a fan of how this character was handled here. It's especially a letdown since other media has treated the character better than this. Let's just say that he/she played a major role in another Batman animated movie. Yes, the Arkham Knight is...  Lois Lane! Other than those major things and some small quibbles, this game was pretty good.


Overall, it's a good game to check out if you haven't done so. While I had my quibbles, it's still Batman being done by Rocksteady. You can't go wrong with that. I can't say it's the best of the trilogy though. All of the games have been really good, so choosing the best would be hard. I can choose my favorite though and that would have to be Arkham City. Anyway, I'm out. Peace, God Bless, and be careful out there in Gotham City.

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