In 2009 Rocksteady completely changed the world of superhero video games with the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Three years later we took control of Batman in an even bigger playground in Arkham City. Now they are bringing their epic trilogy to end with a new tale – Arkham Knight. But does it live up to the legacy?
From the moment you swoop down from the rooftops into the streets of Gotham, you feel like Batman. Like its predecessors, Arkham Knight thrusts you into the role of the caped crusader as you protect the city from larger than life villains ranging from the iconic to the more obscure. The story does a fantastic job of keeping you on the edge of your seat, especially thanks to some excellent voice performances. It’s very comic-booky, with a central plot involving the Scarecrow and a mysterious new-comer, the Arkham Knight, while also providing you with hours of extra fun in side missions.
The latest addition to the franchise is the inclusion of the Batmobile, which seamlessly transitions from an agile tank to enormous speed machine that simply flows through other cars. The combat is similar to what we’ve seen in the previous Arkham games, just stepped up a notch. You definitely feel like Batman dropping into a group of armed thugs and taking them all down with nothing but your fists and gadgets.
Gotham feels like the size of an actual city that is full of meticulous detail, from the neon lights of the high rises to faded posters in the back alleys. But more importantly it feels like a world ripe for eccentric characters and themed gangs. And like previous interactions there are hundreds of trophies and Easter Eggs to track down.
The story is great and leads you to the end with great pacing, but once you hit the end it feels all to abrupt, lacking the punch and weight of the previous games. This ultimately makes the Arkham Knight’s main story one of the least satisfying of the whole series.
And the new addition of the Batmobile is incredibly fun to drive, however the combat doesn’t change from beginning to end, meaning every encounter feels exactly the same and gets progressively easier as you power up over the course of the game.
Despite some minor issues with new additions, Rocksteady have done the impossible and managed to build upon the already fantastic systems in place from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. It really is a fitting end to an incredible series of games that allowed you to be the batman.