My Year of Gaming: Batman: Arkham Knight
I purchased a Playstation 4 at the beginning of 2017 and it is the first time I have had a console since Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out on the Wii. Naturally, I have a lot of catching up to do and my backlog is incredibly massive. During the course of a year, I played my way through 23 games, and I figured I would take the time to share a little bit about each game. Perhaps you’ve played them and want to hear another opinion, or maybe you’ve been holding off on investing in a particular game. Either way, it’s never a bad time to spread your love of gaming.
The Arkham Trilogy was something I had always wanted to play and when I was finally able to, they did not disappoint. Each one felt like a true Batman game, from the story to the characters to the action. Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) was no different. Gotham City faces annihilation once more as Scarecrow rises from the ashes, bringing with him a new villain who calls himself the Arkham Knight. This battle pushes Batman to his limits and the game is filled with a whole lot emotion as the truth is revealed.
Arkham Knight includes an even bigger map than its predecessor, but also gives you the means to get around the city very quickly. For the first time, you have access to the Batmobile. For me, the Batmobile was a bit hard to control and took a lot of getting used to. This needed to happen quickly as there are a bunch of boss battles that take place in the Batmobile. There was one much later in the game that took me about an hour and a half to beat just because I wasn’t good at driving. Regardless, the Batmobile is a great addition and makes it a whole lot easier to maneuver the expansive map. Also, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as jumping off a rooftop and into the Batmobile.
The fighting dynamics remain the same with the flow system and gadgets. There are also more chances in Arkham Knight for you to do detective work, which was a lot of fun. You get to reconstruct crime scenes in order to figure out what your next move is. An added dynamic is team-up fights. Throughout the game, there are opportunities to work alongside Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman. During a fight, you can switch back and forth between Batman and his partner, then when the combo meter was full, execute a duo take-down. These team-ups were exceptionally awesome. Along with the main story comes a bunch of side missions to defeat some of Gotham’s Most Wanted, which is always a treat. This time, you go up against the likes of Two-Face, Riddler, Professor Pyg, Firefly, Man-Bat, Penguin, and Deathstroke.
If you’re curious about the DLC, I say that it is definitely worth it to pick up. Included in this are more missions for Gotham’s Most Wanted that features Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, the League of Assassins, and Killer Croc. There are also a bunch of mini-stories that allow you to assume control of the Batfamily, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. These were short little missions that were a whole lot of fun. I thought they did a fantastic job with Harley’s because when you use “detective mode,” it is accompanied by the voice of Harleen Quinzel, who is trying to convince herself to give up the Joker and crime. I thought it was a really nice touch.
There was some controversy over this game when it first came out, and people don’t like it as much as the first two games in the series. I think that Arkham Knight has a whole lot going for it and is definitely worth the play. If anything, it completes the story the trilogy is trying to tell. Do I have a favorite in the series? No, because it’s too hard to choose. I like each of them for different reasons. What I think Arkham Knight does better than the other two is deliver in terms of emotion. No spoilers, but there are several moments that deliver a sucker punch to the gut.
Batman: Return to Gotham is available on the PS4 and bundles together Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, while Arkham Knight is available on its own. The good thing is that since the game is old, you can get the game and DLC for a decent price. Again, it’s definitely worth it.