All in a Knights work
Rocksteady games have done something very special. They’ve managed to take a super hero property and create an awesome video game with it. And not just one game, they managed to spawn a series of games involving the Dark Knight each which have been damn good games. Sure Arkham Origins spawned from this franchise, but you can pretend that doesn’t exist if you want. It’s the only game in the Arkham console franchise I failed to complete. But even then it’s not a bad game in comparison to some past super hero titles.
So now we’re onto the conclusion of the Arkham trilogy, the final show piece and it’s definitely a case of saving the best till last.
Like the previous games the events all unfold during the course of a single night. It’s quite the task list that the Dark Knight has to check off in this iteration. The main storyline itself is about rescuing Gotham from the clutches of Scarecrow and unveiling the Arkham Knight’s identity and defeating him. This alone will probably set you back 10 to 12 hours as you progress through the city and lower bridges across the islands in order for your newest toy to access all areas. But as well as the main story line there are multiple villains roaming Gotham to take down to GCPD with their own side story arcs. 2 Face, Penguin and the Riddler to name a few all feature. The scale of these side quests vary with Riddler quests ranging from puzzling missions requiring duel character switching between Batman and the Ridlders hostage Cat-woman. And with the inclusion of the Batmobile a few of the challenges require you to race around death traps concocted by the Riddler in order to assist in freeing Gotham’s notorious cat burglar.
As well as the famous villainous faces you’ll come across there are other side missions that need to be completed to help bring down Arkham Knights heavily armed militia that is keeping Gotham on lock down. These can get a little repetitive so I’d recommend mixing these different militia quests in with Gotham’s most wanted side missions to prevent things getting stale.
So for the largest talking point in Arkham Knight, the game finally includes the Dark Knight’s most sophisticated gadget yet. The Batmobile.
I found this to be a tale of two sides. At first I thoroughly enjoyed traveling around Gotham to the next point I’d need to be at with the Batmobile. It looks badass no other way to describe it and brought some freshness to the Arkham games getting around the city on foot level but still at a pace. And I did enjoy its use in my first Riddler trial. It was a nice surprise.
But after defending defusing bombs which is one of the side quests over and over against waves of tanks, it got a little bit too much. Unfortunately the Batmobile would end up being involved in the main story line on multiple occasions in events where a good old fashioned beat down would have felt like a much more justifiable punishment. Especially in the latter parts of the game where enemies introduced Cobra tanks to the battle. It brought a few frustrating moments to a game that I had for the majority been enjoying.
One of the main highlights for me in the game, was actually a surprise I wasn’t aware of… the following contains spoilers. Not plot spoilers, but character spoilers:
The late Joker’s presence in the game is absolutely fantastic. Mark Hammill as the Joker in previous games was an inspired casting choice, so having him back in this game but as somewhat of an ally I guess is brilliant. His spawning in areas while your gliding, or climbing through vents questioning your decisions, making you reassess what you’re doing and if you should be doing it? Brilliant addition to the game and a great way to ensure one of Batman’s finest foes still featured prominently in the game. A highlight scene for me personally being when The Joker sings the previous events that took place in a sinister and sarcastic manner to Batman while Robin is defusing bombs.
As a finale to the trilogy it’s very fitting. Feeling nostalgic? Then head on over to GCPD evidence lockout to check out items left behind from foes who’ve fallen to the Dark Knight in previous games such as Black Mask, Bane & Killer Croc. And watch as GCPD maximum security cells get filled with more of the most iconic villains in comic book history as you take them down. The side quests do actually need to be complete excluding all the Riddler trophies before you can officially complete the game, so you’ll get to experience the highs and lows of awesome villain fights to slightly frustrating tank battles.
The Batmobile is a very cool addition to the franchise, but there is an over reliance on it later in the game which becomes frustrating. The numerous side missions are for the most part very fun and entertaining and offer a way to lock up some of Gotham’s finest villains all over again. Scarecrow as the main protagonist makes for a great shake up from the tried and tested Joker. He personifies a very menacing and genuine threat to Gotham especially aided with the mysterious Arkham Knight. His presence makes the final few parts of this game some of the most entertaining and all out weirdest the series has seen. Any other villain would not have been able to offer such an extraordinary series of finale events.
+ Scarecrow is a legit threat and great protagonist
+ The game is big; plenty to do
+ Graphically it looks gorgeous
+ Gotham’s never been so fun to explore
+ The Batmobile
+ Batman fans will be happy with the number of characters in the game
– Too much Batmobile
– Militia side missions get a little tiresome
– Tank battles (which could technically fall into too much Batmobile)