Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Review Platform: PS4
Batman: Arkham Knight, the last instalment in the highly acclaimed Arkham series looks to give Batman a fitting farewell. But how does it compare to its illustrious predecessors? Read on to find out.
The game is set in the entire Gotham City this time. A year after the events of Arkham City, Scarecrow has returned and he is planning to unleash his malice upon the city and its caped crusader. Joining him is the Arkham Knight, an unknown enemy who commands an entire army. The game focuses mostly on these two villains for the majority of the main missions, however, villains such as Two-Face and the Penguin are encountered throughout various side missions. The overall dark tone of the game makes it feel more like the story of a man whose will has been tested beyond anything instead of a testosterone injected fairy tale of a superhero pummelling through everything.
The game follows an RPG-esque quest system with multiple quests which can be triggered at any point of the game. However certain quests will not allow progression until a certain story mission has been accomplished. The content is varied and none of the missions feel like mundane fetch quests. However, they do involve you traversing large distances on foot or in the Batmobile. This might influence the player to lose track as Gotham City is teeming with stuff to do and when you're flying across the cityscapes you're bound to get distracted by a Riddler trophy or an enemy APC.
The Batmobile finally makes its debut in an Arkham game and what a debut it is. Initially, the Batmobile feels a bit sluggish but once you get used to the controls, you'll be zipping around Gotham like a pro. The Batmobile has a battle mode which turns it into a full-fledged tank. The tank battles are immensely fun and they provide a great challenge when various types of tanks converge on your position. Don't worry, Batman isn't breaking his “no-kill” rule here as the enemy tanks are actually remote-controlled drones.
The “hold to activate” battle mode of the Batmobile is a bit disconcerting. Thankfully, this issue can be solved by going to the options and switching on “toggle mode”.
The core gameplay of Batman is more or less the same with the addition of new enemy types, gadgets and takedown variations. Some stages involve Batman partnering up with his allies such as Catwoman or Nightwing. In these instances, a simple press of a button triggers a cinematic dual takedown followed a character switch. Arguably, these dual-play areas are the most fun in the game.
A special mention just HAS to be made for the graphics. I played on the PlayStation 4 version of the game and it looks phenomenal. From the rain drops trickling down Batman's armour to the colourful, neon-lit streets of Gotham, every detail is meticulously crafted. Those tech demos of Unreal Engine we used to drool over? Well finally, now, we are getting games which look like those demos.
Arkham Knight is not revolutionary in any way. It builds upon the successful formula and ends up with a game that is worthy of being called the best in the series. An enjoyable ride which will keep you on-edge the whole time.
Even though the PC version was possibly one of the worst ports of the year, the console version seems to be doing well.
Shahrukh Ikhtear is a gamer who doesn't rage. A writer who doesn't read. A musician without a teacher. Full time procrastinator. You can reach him on Twitter @sr_ikhtear and email: Shahrukh.Ikhtear@yahoo.com