Rocksteady’s third Batman game, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00IQCRKT8″ locale=”US” nf=”y” tag=”furiofanbo-20″]Arkham Knight[/easyazon_link], hit stores this week and their finale to their Batman story is the best game ever made about the Caped Crusader.
It’s a bold claim, but after gradually increasing the scope of the world from Arkham Asylum to Arkham City (Origins wasn’t done by Rocksteady) the developers have finally given us the full open world Gotham we’ve wanted since the first game. Batman has the Batmobile to quickly travel from place to place, and the whole Bat-Family shows up as well as some welcome and surprising minor villain cameos.
Following the events of Arkham City, where the Joker died, Gotham is bracing for the next big villain plot and it comes from Scarecrow. The city is evacuated as Crane plots is big fear toxin attack, which allows a militia led by the mysterious Gotham Knight to move in. Working with Oracle, Alfred, Fox, and the rest of the Bat-Family including Nightwing, Robin, and even Azrael, Batman has to stop Scarecrow while dealing with attacks from the Knight’s forces. Along the way you’ll complete sub-missions dealing with other villains including The Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, and even smaller characters such as a great Man-Bat series of missions.
You do all of this through similar gameplay to the previous games in the series, but not without some nice improvements. The detective mode has been expanded for even more in-depth crime scene reconstructions, and one mission relies entirely on this. It really puts you in the shoes of the world’s greatest detective. Likewise combat has been refined with more moves, there are new gadgets to use, and even the Riddler challenges are puzzles that entertain more than frustrate.
Obviously the biggest addition is the Batmobile. It has two modes, the normal driving one and a combat tank version. Some people have complained about Batman using a tank to fight other tank drones (they aren’t driven by people), but they probably need to go read The Dark Knight Returns. Even Nolan’s Tumbler was somewhat tank-like. The default controls for the car take some getting used to as the left trigger activates the tank and not brakes, but this can be easily changed in the options.
You aren’t really “forced” into the Batmobile as I’ve seen some people claim. You’ll want to use it, otherwise traversing the game’s three large islands of Gotham would take forever without it. There are missions that utilize the Batmobile, but you can’t blame the developers for wanting to use it in gameplay, it’s there for a reason.
If I had any big complaint with the story it would be Arkham Knight himself. Rocksteady throughout the promotion of the game kept saying that he was a character who has never been seen in the comics. They were pulling a JJ Abrams there as they’re lying about the identity of the villain. While the “Arkham Knight” suit hasn’t been seen in the comics before, the person wearing it has. Any big Batman fan will immediately know who is under the mask from their first encounter.
The game also brings back Mark Hamill as The Joker, which is a real nice treat. And you’ll hear him a lot, despite the character dying in the previous Rocksteady game.
There really has never been a Batman game as well-rounded and filled with the characters Bat-fans want to see in a game. This is almost the Batman movie I’ve always wanted to see, and it’s a game that’s well worth your $60.