Monday, February 29, 2016

Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)

The latest (and maybe last) game in Rocksteady's Arkhamverse is not their best one. The story is decent, Batman's combat system is fun and fluid, but the Batmobile missions are really annoying. For those who played the first two games (or three if counting Origins), Arkham Knight is a must. If it is your first Batman Arkham game, then do yourself a favour and start playing Arkham Asylum.

Rocksteady Studios revolutionized the combat system in third-person action/adventure games and also legitimized superhero genre in video games with Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009). They managed to maintain a certain level of quality throughout the years, and I passionately await their next big franchise - whatever that might be.

The story in Arkham Knight doesn't hit the highs of Asylum and City, but it does a decent fan service to some major storylines in Batman's history. The storyline that I loved the most was Batman's interaction with a particular character, whom for the sake of spoilers shall remain unnamed. Those particular conversations were on par with Paul Dini(*) or Scott Snyder's writing. But the main plot of the game, and the big twist that they had hyped so much, were easily predictable to anyone with limited familiarity with DC Animated Universe (let alone the comics).

(*) The story of the first two games (Asylum and City) was written by the legendary Paul Dini from Batman: The Animated Series fame (some might only know him as the co-creator of Harley Quinn). 

In video games, the gameplay is king! Rocksteady's combat system works as great as it has before. They also introduced Batmobile and tank combat as a new gameplay mechanic. I commend them for their intention to innovate, but I strongly disliked the Batmobile missions. Unfortunately tank missions were a significant portion of the main missions (~25%). The other reviews that I have read also agree that the tank missions tanked (pun intended!).

Besides the predictable story and some frustrating game mechanics, the Arkham Knight holds the ending of the game hostage; the ransom is completing all the Riddler challenges. In other words, if you don't want to waste your time collecting 245 Riddler trophies while listening to his irritating voice, then you have to look up the "Knightfall full ending" on YouTube!... Because of all these things, the game left a bitter aftertaste...

Those who haven't played Asylum and City: I envy you because you can experience them for the first time. Don't play this Arkham Knight first, because it will scar you and you may never attempt Asylum and City.
Score: 7/10

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