|Batman Arkham Knight Review|
I will start my Batman Arkham Knight Review by first disclosing that I played the PC version. I know, Shock horror. But I seem to have been one of the lucky few that experienced little to no problems despite the PC version of this game being so horribly broken. My gaming PC was fairly high end when built, but that was over 3 years ago now so it is pretty much middle of the road now being kitted out with an i7 3700K and a EVGA GeForce 670 SC 4GB which is only one card model above this game’s minimum requirement of a 660. So the auto hardware detection suggested settings for my machine was to have almost every visual setting set to off entirely or low. Despite this low bar and the fact that the PC version is missing quite a few of the nice visual effects that the consoles got, it still managed to look very pleasing to the eyes anyway and maintained a steady frame rate throughout after what seemed like a few choppy patches early in the game. It’s remarkable to see how far Rocksteady have pushed the aging Unreal 3 engine to deliver these visuals.
Now onto the game itself. The main focus of this game is the Batmobile. And the Batmobile is amazing. It does everything you want it do just the way you want to. In this battle for Gotham, you have to engage enemies larger than an oversized thug, namely automated tanks, so you need larger means to tackle these threats as they will cut you to ribbons if you try it on foot. Enter the Batmobile.
It’s a car, it’s a tank, it’s a main character, it’s essentially your pet with the way it whines in delight as you call it and growls as you jump in and engage battle mode. It shifts between driving like a car normally and strafing around as a tank with one button allowing you to dodge incoming fire as easily as you would on foot. It can be called with a button as long as you’re somewhere near a road and you will never tire of calling it from a rooftop, jumping off the roof and landing in the Batmobile as it skids to a halt underneath you.
It’s also very cleverly involved in a lot of the environmental puzzles and with a little bit of work, environment manipulation, and the Batmobiles special abilities such as boost and grapple hook, you can get this vehicle almost anywhere you need to. It’s a refreshing change from other games with vehicles where you just drive it somewhere, get out and leave it there. You involve the Batmobile a lot more than just a means of conveyance in your fight for Gotham and it’s very satisfying.
There is also a great variety of different activities in crime solving on your quest to save Gotham. Reconstructing crime scenes from previous games re-appears as well as a lot of clever uses of new Bat-gadgets. Speaking of which, as usual, you are regularly given new Bat-toys and add-ons for your suit and car so the action never has time to get repetitive or boring as it is being constantly refreshed and mixed up with new additions and skills. The same goes with both regular foot enemies and automated tanks that the Batmobile tackles. Newer and stronger types with new abilities and tactics are regularly introduced keeping you on your toes in combat too both in and out of the Batmobile. One downside to the on-foot combat however is that it is generally quite a lot easier than previous games and Arkham veterans will find most of the thug battles very easy.
The over-arching plot is sadly one of the games weak points with the main villains for the most part feeling like tired over-worked cardboard cut-out enemies. There is some intrigue in finding out the identity of the mysterious Arkham Knight, but it never feels terribly urgent and at the end of the day, he is just another goon to be foiled. What is a lot more interesting and humorous as well as insightful is the banter that is supplied by another character that accompanies you throughout the game. This characters presence is much more welcome and his role in the endgame is far more pleasing than anyone else’s.
Speaking of the endgame, in what could be felt as a radical step, in order to get the true ending to this game, you must 100% everything possible. What you get for completing the main story leaves a lot of questions unanswered. That includes dozens of quite lengthy side-quests and hundreds of the traditional Riddler trophies. I did not feel the urge to go through this 60+ hour long journey so I merely looked up the ending online and while it does answer some questions, it ends up just raising more and leaves you wanting to know what really happened. But it is likely the developers Rocksteady left this ending deliberately ambiguous as they knew it would be their last game in the series.
Batman Arkham Knight Review Summary
Batman Arkham Knight continues the solid legacy of the Rocksteady Batman Arkham series after the underwhelming Arkham Origins which was developed by a different software house. This is a true return to form of the excellence of Arkham City and Arkham Asylum but still adds enough new material, mainly the Batmobile, to keep it fresh and stop you from getting Bat-fatigue with the series. Some dislike the addition of the Batmobile but I thought it was an excellent and extremely well implemented addition to the game that complements the existing material very well.