When developers prepare to make a sequel to a popular video game there’s always one question they have to ask themselves: How do we go bigger and better than last time? In the case of Arkham Knight, the answer was a great voice acting team including Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Nolan North and Troy Baker, along with a huge open world and a new way to get around in it.
Arkham Knight takes place roughly a year after the events of Arkham City and Gotham is enjoying a little bit of peace in the wake of the Joker’s death. Peace isn’t something that lasts long in Gotham though. The Scarecrow is just beginning his campaign of terror across Gotham by unleashing his fear toxin in a local diner then giving the rest of Gotham 24 hours to leave the city or become one of his victims.
Scarecrow who’s sporting a horrifying new look isn’t alone though, he’s brought together all the super villains of Gotham and a mysterious new enemy known as the Arkham Knight to cause havoc and hopefully kill Batman. Two-Face, Riddler, Firefly and Penguin are just a few of the enemies you’ll be duking it out with, but by far the most interesting is the Arkham Knight who has some very deep seeded hatred toward Batman but it’s not quite clear why.
Gotham city itself is a sight to behold full of skyscrapers, bridges and tons of destructible environments that are all done in amazing detail. Rocksteady really stepped up their game in this department. In my entire time playing the game I never saw even one thing pop in. The entire city it seems is always there and always alive with things like car chases and thugs attacking people happening all over the place all the time.
The best part of Gotham though is how you make you way around the city. With the Batmobile being introduced for the first time in the Batman Arkham series it brings with it another level of realism that really makes you feel like you are the Batman. Driving through the streets in that Batmobile is so much fun with just about everything in your path being destroyed as you speed around the city.
Being able to eject out of the Batmobile and fly through the skies only to come back down on an enemy’s head is beyond gratifying but the Batmobile does have a bad side. Holding R2 will transform the Batmobile into a heavily armored tank with rockets and machine guns. This just feels out of place in a Batman game. Sure the Batmobile usually looks like a tank nowadays but it isn’t. This leads to a few very drawn out tank battles where you shoot at drone tanks as part of a mission.
At first it’s an okay distraction but as the game goes on the battles become more frequent and even more outlandish. Luckily when it comes to standard combat things are looking better than ever. The same fighting mechanics return for Arkham Knight only this time they’re smoother and more fluid than ever before. Controlling Batman as he takes down dozens of bad guys feels and looks great but it gets even better when you have a friend at your side.
Some missions will pair you up with an ally like Robin or Cat woman and allow you to switch between the two characters mid fight while also teaming up to do tag team takedowns. Graphically Arkham Knight is fantastic. The way drops of rain roll down Batman’s cape as it flutters in the wind while you’re flying around the city just looks so perfect.
The new and improved Batsuit also looks unbelievable with little knicks and scratches making it really look like batman has been fighting crime and not just running around in an over priced costume.
Overall Batman Arkham Knight is a beautiful well thought out ending to the series full of plot twists, epic action and some really fun car chases which is something I thought I’d never say about a Batman game. With this being the finale to the Batman Arkham series I’m already sad to see it go but happy that if it has to end it ended on such an amazing final story.