One of the biggest games of the year just arrived on shelves in the last week in Batman: Arkham Knight – the conclusion to a series that started in the previous console generation with the stunning Batman: Arkham Asylum.
I have to admit I wasn’t sure I would be playing this game so soon – after finding out a “season pass” of DLC was going to cost almost as much as the game itself, it was making me think of waiting for the usual game of the year version. In the end though there seems to be plenty of people who are enjoying the game immensely and there really aren’t any games quite like it so I’m back into it again.
Visually the game continue the series trend of being astonishing piece of work. It succeeds by presenting its own take on the characters and world of Gotham that fits the subject matter pertaining to the story. The characters are all inspired works with phenomenal detail. That coupled with a voice acting cast whose budget alone would probably dwarf some games in their entirety and you’ve got a game begging for the home cinema experience.
The big addition to the game is of course the new Batmobile which is a hulking monster of a machine that evokes similarities to the Tumbler from Batman Begins but with a couple of unique tricks up its own sleeve including a Tank mode that adds a very different style of movement to Batman’s signature transport.
Gameplay is where Arkham Knight excels; Rocksteady’s games do a brilliant job of not only putting you in the cowl of the caped crusader but making you feel like him too as you are once again called in to save the day.
Movement is great and after some initial tutorials and in game challenges it leaves you to discover many of the additional tricks through the course of the game itself. A lot of those you will use to avoid enemies until the time is right to strike because stealthy Batman takedowns still rock. Combat is a dance of attacks and counterattacks that hasn’t changed too much from previous games but what seems to be new are fear based attacks that if successful allow Batman to knock out a small group of enemies quickly and spectacularly.
Comparing all the games right now I’d say this is more a sequel to Batman: Arkham City (the second game in the series) than the original. It certainly takes the technology and many of the mechanics from that title and enhances them further. And there’s the Batmobile too. Batman: Arkham Asylum‘s focus on a single location is still a strong point for that game which I think is lost a little in the expanded world of the sequels but the narrative is strong enough that this game will still draw you in.
With me only passing the ten percent mark of the game after a few hours of play, there is still plenty for me to discover in the game and I can’t wait to find out where it will take me.