I am in the process playing Batman: Arkham Knight, the latest from WB Games and Rocksteady and the (allegedly) final chapter in the Arkham Franchise.
Stay tuned, review and updates to come!
Approximately 1.5 Hours of Gameplay – SPOILERS AHEAD
I’m an hour and a half of Arkham Knight’s story mode, and the verdict so far: Knight is a deep, detailed and dominating new entry in the already spectacular Arkham Series. While there are minor issues, Knight is more than a worthy successor and serves as an excellent way to end the trilogy. Even if you don’t buy into the idea that the series will end with Arkham Knight being the last game. Knight adds some innovative new elements to the already fantastic core gameplay of Asylum and City without the feeling of them being tacked on gimmicks like the shock gloves from Origins.
Driving the Batmobile is as fun and feels as powerful as it should. The car’s controls are simply not indicative of how vehicles handle or control in almost ANY other car heavy title (Grand Theft Auto V comes to mind). For example: why on Earth would the ‘X’ button (square on PS4) be used for braking? Why is holding ‘LT’ (L2) required to convert into the more maneuverable assault mode? Having to hold a button down severely reduces the agility of my fingers to control the tank! Why is the turbo button is mapped to the ‘Y’ (Triangle) button? These are strange gameplay choices and may make me look at swapping controller layouts for future play.
The Batmobile also has the turn radius of the a semi-truck pulling a football field making high speed drives nearly impossible without some Tokyo Drift style power slides. I’m giving the game a pass with vehicle gameplay as these may have been done by design in efforts to differentiate Knight from other car heavy titles; even if it seems that sticking with a working formula would have been the smarter choice here. Interesting to note that the control scheme of the Batmobile would have been more ideally suited for the new Elite Xbox controller announced at E3 this year with the shoulder buttons being easily remapped to the back of the controller… Maybe Rocksteady knew something we didn’t.
Knight introduces you to all the new toys, combat mechanics, Batsuit, and Batmobile ALL through a tutorial that is so beautifully disguised in exposition that it doesn’t feel like the game is being taught to you at all. The intro eases you into the new elements slowly but satisfyingly and all during some incredibly action packed sequences with a bit of quick time thrown in for good measure. These exposition-torials make it easy for those who are both brand-new to the series and to those who are jumping back on the bike for the first time since City or Origins. The new ‘Fear Take-downs’ are easily the best new gameplay element to enter the series but the highlight is the Batmobile. While Knight does not force you to use it for city travel (gliding is mostly faster), it does have several in-game situations that, while fun, give the vibe they are there to justify the vehicle’s existence in the game. Still, having Bruce’s whip was arguably the last needed element to this series to really make the player feel like Batman and the introduction is absolutely spectacular:
The story so far has been largely tutorial, series updates, and new gameplay mechanics. There’s not much to explain here except for, yet, another convoluted plot where the citizens abandon the city due to Scarecrow and a mysterious figure in Batman-like Armor, the game’s eponymous Arkham Knight, unleashing a new fear toxin. Easily the most entertaining moment of the tutorial section is your introduction to the Batmobile which comes accompanied by Batman advising how he’s “evening the odds.”
Please stay tuned for more action to come as I continue to review the game. Future updates will include more of the story mode and will likely be spoiler heavy. Keep it locked in!