Batman: Arkham Knight is the third (and supposedly final) installment in the critically acclaimed “Batman Arkham” series, developed by Rocksteady Studios. The previous two “Arkham” games are arguably some of the best action adventure games of the last generation. Arkham Knight brings us into the new generation of systems in tremendous style. Boasting major gameplay additions, a more in-depth story, and a giant world to explore, Arkham Knight is supposed to be the best in the series. Does it succeed in accomplishing it’s ambitious goals? That’s what this review will help you find out.
From the outset, it’s obvious that a lot of time went into the development of this game. The opening of the game is one of the most interesting I’ve experienced in a while. Beyond the cleverness, the detail and beauty of the game is brilliant from the start. Thankfully though, there’s brains behind the beauty. The story is good, and well paced. We follow our titular superhero while he attempts to figure out the identity of a mysterious villain with a special interest in Batman. Most dedicated Batman fans will figure out the identity rather quickly, but luckily the story does not lean too heavily on it. The world of Arkham Knight is large, and the city you explore is dense with numerous experiences and side missions. Much of the game’s best story telling is in the form of side missions, usually dealing with one of Batman’s various villains. This gives us some excellent cameos throughout the story, and some of the game’s best moments. As a final act to the trilogy of games, I think Arkham Knight was solid in it’s story-telling; albeit a little predictable at times.
The game definitely shines in the controls and gameplay aspects. All of the great mechanics from previous games return, including Batman’s grappling hook, the remote controlled Batarang, and more. The biggest new gameplay change is the ability to drive the Batmobile. Being able to blast through the city streets in the Batmobile is a great experience, for fans of the superhero and newcomers alike.
You can also transform your Batmobile into a tank, which you use for several combat sections. This is ultimately my main gripe with Arkham Knight. The inclusion of the Batmobile is awesome, and it’s a great time to play around. Unfortunately, I felt that the game forced me to use the Batmobile too much in the main story. By forcing the player to use the vehicle to complete sections, it started to feel repetitive. The over-saturation of vehicle gameplay is annoying, but forgivable. The Batmobile controls take a while to get used to, but the rest of the game handles great. There’s also the ability to play as different characters now, for a limited time. Being able to control some fresh faces was entertaining and fun. The main chunk of the gameplay (combat, puzzles, and exploration) is well crafted and great fun. Combat is fluid and brutal, puzzles are interesting, and the world is full of things to do.
The game is quite long, even excluding all of the extra missions. Completing all the various missions will surely take you over 20 hours, so there’s a good amount of gameplay to be had. If you’re a fan of games like Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, or Darksiders, you’ll definitely enjoy Arkham Knight. There’s definitely a lot of great content to play, and most of the story telling is extremely compelling. Batman: Arkham Knight is ultimately a brooding, dark, but somehow gorgeous game that is a blast to play, end to end. Clever in its execution, and positively immersive, Arkham Knight is a must-play for any Batman or action/adventure fan.