The Arkham Knight Review
This post contains spoilers
“This is how the Batman died.”
This is the opening statement that you hear as you embark on your journey of ass-kicking for one final time as Batman in, what is undoubtedly, the greatest super hero video game franchise of all-time. The desperation and emotional impact to Batman throughout the game is near insurmountable and for any franchise fan, it is an ending that you can walk away from with nothing less than satisfaction.
This final installment has the feeling of finality all over. While playing the game it is made very clear that the death of The Joker has deeply affected Bats and not only that, but every thug and villain believes that Batman has broken his one rule; That he willing to take a life. While playing the game keep this in your mind as you will most likely have a more immersive experience. Batman is no longer who he used to be and it is apparent, as you can read in many of the Arkham stories ,which can be unlocked by completing/collecting all the riddler challenge trophies, he is changed and extremely anxious. But why? I’ll dive into that later.
So, getting into the meat of the story. Gotham is essentially being held hostage by Scarecrow, (Masterfully voiced by John Noble) who has concocted a new and vastly improved Fear Toxin. He plans to unmask Batman and show the world a fallen hero. He doesn’t need to kill everyone, he doesn’t need to harm every single person out there, he needs to show how the hero that uses fear to conquer his own enemies is capable of becoming afraid. Now, obviously, Batman needs to defeat the villain. Bats needs to go out and complete the main storyline while completing an excellent array of side stories as well. From curing Man-Bat, to catching Firefly, and discovering a Pyg who loves to mutilate bodies, this game offers countless hours of entertainment and quality.
Scarecrow isn’t the only main villain, however, a new face arrives under the mask of The Arkham Knight. The Arkham Knight is tremendously upset about damn near everything Batman has done and carries a psychopathic rage from him. As you will uncover, he really does know everything about Batman as he schemes around every move that you make and even can tell the weaknesses in your newly acquired bad ass suit. This knowledge of your tactics makes for much more interesting gameplay as thugs react to what your every move in predator challenges.
Finally, there is a third storyline but this is by far the most appealing. Batman was infected with The Jokers blood in Arkham City, this is creating a psychopathic mutation in the Bat and he is essentially turning into The Joker. Throughout the game you see hallucinations of Joker and he has commentary that frequently appears and is often hilarious. He is ruthless, aggressive, and comical. It’s the perfect mix of what the Joker represents and it’s excellent. This is Batman’s true fear; Becoming the evil he is seeing and this is why he has been so anxious since the events of Arkham City.
Arkham Knight does an excellent job of giving the player all the control in it’s universe. The game forces you to learn the new combinations of fighting, utilizing environmental takedowns, and even strategizing an attack plan before delving into a fist fight outnumbered 20-1. Not to mention you can even decide the order of upgrades you get with the Batmobile.
What is really special about Arkham Knight is that it isn’t the same damn thing over and over. The game is constantly mixing up what you do. From predator challenges, using your batmobile to pretty much destroy everything, to just shoving your foot up some jabronis ass, the game offers constant rotation of entertainment. If you find yourself doing the same challenge over and over you’re missing the point of an open world game.
The hand-to-hand combat is still solid gold. It’s perfection, it’s what Batman should be. It is why this franchise became successful and it continues to capitalize on that aspect. Flawless and it’s really pointless for me to continue writing about it because once you play it, you will understand.
Predator challenges are much more interesting now. No longer is it a room with 5 gargoyles that you swing from. It’s a complex environment, with vent hatches that you are able to slide down from a wall, to pipes running across the ceiling. This game allows you to use every type of takedown possible and it’s an excellent addition. No more constant searching of “How can I make this different?” which was a frequent problem with it’s predecessors. It’s not repetitive which is what gamers need.
I am literally making a separate section because I have read so many complaints about this part of the game.
“SHOULDNT A PUT IT IN DARE IT WAS STUPID. I HATED IT. WASNT BATMAN ENOUGH!”
If that sounds like you, than you’re an idiot and the least fun person on this planet. In what world is blowing shit up and dodging enemy fire not fun? I mean, it’s the Batmobile! The coolest part of Arkham Knight’s open world is that it’s so vast. When you get out of the car and run around it feels like you’re not making any progress as it’s meant to have a car in the game. First off, the races ,which I didn’t like initially, are stupid fun. Trying to get 3 stars on those damn challenges are tough and it’s a fun addition to a game that has already been done 3 times before this. Second, it’s great for the open world as it’s not like Arkham Origins of you just loading and flying in the Batplane to another island. It makes the game move with some fluidity. Finally, the tank feature! It’s such a bad ass batman move. For anyone that thinks “It’s the least batman thing” read The Dark Knight Returns then look at that fucking tank and say that again.
The Car/Tank are an awesome addition because it isn’t the same shit like the last 3 games. It’s different and WE LOVE DIFFERENT! If we were to get a game with just predator mode and fights, that would seriously be so disappointing and the same audience bitching about the Batmobile would be complaining that there was no creativity. (Someone is probably really angry at this point of reading because I definitely mocked/insulted them earlier and that’s ok.)
So, being done with a brief overview of why the game is great, we need to touch on the ending and if you have not 100% completed the game you need to watch what happens at the end of completing the riddler trophies. It explains indirectly what The Knightfall Protocol is and what needs to happen to keep Gotham safe.
The entire game wasn’t about stopping Scarecrow or defeating the Arkham Knight, it was about the hero conquering his greatest battle, the internal one. He looked evil right in the face and defeated it. In that moment, it explains why Batman is so awesome. He’s just some regular dude who inspired the people around him to be great. It was everyone being able to see that a regular guy can stand up to the pieces of shit in the world and that is why Batman is a symbol.
So the Knightfall Protocol, it’s Bruce Wayne faking his death and using Fear Toxin to create something even more terrifying than Batman. When he was unmasked Batman became just a man. He was no longer that fear he initially represented. He was only a man in a suit. Now, he could be something more for Gotham.
Thanks for reading, if you hated it, that sucks.