The reviews are in for Batman: Arkham Knight and they are Great, the game set to be released on Tuesday, received near perfect scores from many of the top gaming sites. I didn’t play the first game of the series, however the second game was spectacular. Any review I would do wouldn’t be sufficient and would be late any way, so here’s a collection of links to reviews I collected for your reading pleasure.
If Aslyum showed us what was possible, and City was a good sequel that didn’t quite reach the same levels, then Knight is the crowning glory. It’s exciting, beautiful, haunting, dramatic, and compelling. It leaves you breathless, begging for more. This is the best game I’ve played this year so far, and it gets the mind racing as to what Rocksteady can do next. Occasional difficulty spikes near the end require a little patience, and although it’s often optional, there are lots of Batmobile combat encounters which you’ll either love or loathe. But if you give yourself to it, and if you love the characters, it’ll blow you away. And, Christ… I never thought I’d say this, but Arkham Asylum has just been bettered.
At the end of it all, Batman: Arkham Knight delivers a great sense of closure for this series. Rocksteady leaves a few plot threads dangling to tease and taunt us, but the grim tale that started all the way back in Arkham Asylum is done. I walked away from Arkham Knight shocked, satisfied, and in dire need of someone to discuss the story with. Rocksteady built a special experience that dazzles with its cleverness, intelligence, and ability to shift from kick-ass Batman moments to emotional gut punches to scenes stripped straight from some of Batman’s greatest comic book stories. Lock yourself away, avoid social media and friends, and finish this game. You won’t want this one spoiled for you.
Once I put a bit of distance between the campaign’s problems and the more positive experience of patrolling Gotham and mopping up these hours of sidequests, I really started to love Arkham Knight. I can see players just dipping in and out of this world forever, jumping in the Batmobile to chase down some criminals, visiting the villains in the lock-up at GCPD, gliding from an airship onto the LexCorp building; just being Batman in this worthy depiction of his universe.
What Batman: Arkham Knight does well, however, it does really well. Gotham is a dazzling playground where neon lights pierce through the rain and mist; all it takes is a single glimpse to tell you that this is a city in need. Moreover, many individual elements are so carefully constructed, and presented with such flair, that appreciation is the only reasonable reaction. Yet most of these elements–excellent acting, wonderful animations, moody soundtrack–are ones that Batman: Arkham City also excelled in, making Arkham Knight’s missteps all the more noticeable. Rather than escape the pull of the games that spawned it, The Bat’s newest adventure refines the fundamentals; it is a safe but satisfying return to the world’s most tormented megalopolis.
If this is in fact the last Rocksteady-developed Batman game, the series will end on a high note. Arkham Knight is the biggest Batman game yet, not just in map size, but in the wide range of different types of gameplay, and its collection of characters. The addition of tank combat thematically clashes with everything Batman stands for, but it is fun, and having access to the Batmobile for the first time gives us a new world of possibilities for interacting with Gotham City. Arkham Knight is an outstanding game on almost every level.
I’m purposely avoiding talking about the story, which is packed with so many stellar, memorable moments and reaches an unbelievably dark conclusion that fits Batman like a titanium-dipped tri-weave glove. This decision to avoid the narrative is keeping me from talking about some of the best parts of the game, but it’s worth it to preserve every bit of fist-pumping joy and mouth-gaping terror for your first playthrough. I don’t want to ruin a second of it.