Eric Kelly On August 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Batman_arkham_knight-LogoWell, after three Batman games from the Arkham series, Rocksteady is back to finish the series with Arkham Knight. But it seems that Rocksteady has just about run out of ideas for the franchise, as the game employs some ideas mostly seen in mainstream games. The end result of this is a game that has some mechanically sound parts, but the plot is weak with little to hold one’s interest. And there’s also a glut of pointless extra content with little substance.

The plot of Arkham Knight concludes the series over-arching story. It begins with the fallout of Joker’s defeat at the hands of the Batman, and the dreading of whatever power vacuum war it might have left behind. And true to form, crisis hit the City of Gotham in the form of Scarecrow and his latest attempt to destroy both the city and Batman. Only know it seems he has enlisted the help of a mysterious person calling themselves the Arkham Knight. Now, if you are familiar with the comics, it doesn’t take long to figure out who the Knight is. Meanwhile, Batman occasionally will have to combat his personal demons while doing everything he can is his greatest battle yet.

The battle for Gotham is so great that Batman has decided to upgrade his Batmobile by having it converted into a makeshift transforming tank. I can’t help but feel that during the design of the game, Rocksteady knew it was running out of ideas, as they seem to have borrowed the idea straight out of the Dark Knight film trilogy. The result of which makes the game even more GTA like, and not particularly in a good way: This is because the Batmobile controls very awkwardly at time. It’s an unwieldy machine that pretty much only excels at its combat mode, as chase scenes in particular demonstrate how badly it’s driving mechanics are. Not only is it hard to make tight turns because of the button layout, but the camera has a nasty habit of focusing on your target rather than your peripheral vision. On the topic of combat mode, it takes on connotations of being a tank simulator. The game often pits you against scores of drone tanks and copters, which feels overwhelming at times and frustrating at others. But it really just feels completely unnecessary. So much so that even random thugs in the game will commentate on how ridiculous it is. As a method of simple and fast conveyance, a fast travel option might have been better.

Where the game has scene the most improvements is the predator gameplay. Batman can now do Fear multi-takedowns, which let you quickly take a group of thugs in quick succession, assuming you are within a reasonable distance and highlight the camera near them. The limit to the number of enemies you can take-out is three, but it can be upgraded up to five. It also is fueled by a meter that fills with stealth takedowns, and lowers when you are exposed. Actual combat seems smoother in general, takedowns and counters seem to trigger faster, and now you can use the environment against mobs. There’s still the odd bit of trouble where the game might have context sensitive issues when there are too many enemy types on screen, but thankfully it’s not broken like Origins was.

Adding to the GTA open-world feel that they went with from City and Origins, there are now even more extra missions to take on. Unfortunately there not much in the game that would compel most people to bother with them. Outside of achievement hunting, there isn’t much story payoff for any of them. Even the sense of urgency with the Catwoman rescue quest-line is absent, since it’s entirely optional. Even the DLC is light on content. Oh, and the game’s true ending is hidden behind a 100% completion ending. But it’s actually not even worth it. Go see the true ending on Youtube instead of wasting the time to get the little payoff that you’ll get. You all will thank me, promise.

The story itself has some good spots, but the subplot is just about the most ridiculous thing in the game. It tries weaving a narrative with elements based on several stories like Dreams in Darkness from the Animated series, but their combined presence is written sloppily, leaving a narrative that never really gets interesting. I don’t get the feeling that Rocksteady’s heart was really in it, and that they are ready to move on to something new. It’s still an enjoyable game, but it could have done without the filler, or at least let the gallery of rogue play a larger and more important role in the story. And for the conclusion of the story, it goes more out with a whimper than a bang, with only a few highlights to keep one entertained. One to pick up somewhere later along the line, because you know there will be a Game of the Year Edition.


The gameplay sees some improvements from City, but some of the combat issues from Origins crops up here. The Batmobile is also a terribly controlled mess most of the time.


The game looks great on the PS4, but it’s not really something that really taking advantage of the console’s potential.


Some fan favorite voice actors return for this entry, but others are absent.


Despite being the final entry in the Arkham series, the game goes out without much fanfare, and actually falls victim to many mainstream videogame gimmicks. There are a few highlights, but Rocksteady has mostly run the well dry of ideas. The game is still enjoyable, just not as strong as the first two entries.

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