Concluding Rocksteady’s trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight is a fitting end to the collection, though perhaps it goes out with more of a whimper than a bang.
Storyline: Often relating back to the events of Arkham City, this next instalment follows Batman in his continuing mission to rid Gotham of all of its criminals – however this time it is The Scarecrow (and the mysterious Arkham Knight) that stand in Batman’s way. Overall, the game has some really interesting plot points and twists relating to the main gameplay, however the story relating to the Arkham Knight himself is predictable and anti-climactic. The plot integrates features from a variety of comics (a big plus point to DC fans), though it also has that “Hollywood feel” to it in the sense that potentially complex events have been compressed into Batman simply punching people – which is great… if you like to punch people.
Character portrayal/development: The portrayal and development of characters in this game is strangely varied, though what stood out the most was the lazy representation of women. Every female featured in the game is turned into a victim and/or plot point – be she hero or villain. From Ivy’s lack of trousers to Harley being swung over a shoulder and carried away like a doll, DC fans and gamers alike will find themselves cringing at regular intervals when a female character is involved. Credit being given where it’s due though, the presentation of The Joker will have players laughing aloud at his jokes, and fearing for Batman’s sanity. The villains are accurate caricatures of their graphic novel predecessors and act accordingly. Batman himself undergoes character change over the course of the game, and though it doesn’t rid him of his iconic angst, it adds an enjoyable complexity to Batman that will be greatly appreciated by fans of the anti-hero.
Side missions: As expected, a lot of the side missions are simply repetitive activities to pass the time, though they do also add a sense of realism to the sheer extent of Batman’s work. Some of the missions however engage the detective side of Batman, and prove themselves to be much more enjoyable and engaging. The Riddler is also quite a challenge in this game, comprising over 240 riddle trophies alone to collect – enough to keep Sherlock Holmes and Poirot busy for a year.
Immersion: As the game is in third person, it is not as immersive as first person games such as Skyrim are, however you do get small cut scenes in first person that emphasise the importance of certain events. The inclusion of flash backs and hallucinations for Batman similarly adds a personal touch to unite the player with their character.
Multiplayer Capabilities: You cannot play multiplayer within this game, which is why Rocksteady substituted in “dual play” where you can flip between which character you are playing as at certain points of the game. The PS4 version has also enabled leader boards.
Downloadable Content/Add-On’s: For those with pre-ordered games, Harley Quinn and Red Hood come with playable story options, and it has now been offered to season pass holders that they can play as Batgirl before she became Oracle. There is also a downloadable skins pack, the highlight of which being the 1960’s Adam West costume skin.
Words by Charlie Ginger Jones