Batman: Arkham Knight Review. You either die a hero or you live...


"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." 
Overview:
(Little spoilers)
In the words of the the Dark Knight himself “It’s going to be a long night.” Batman: Arkham Knight is the newest installment in the Batman series done by Rocksteady. The game takes place after Batman: Arkham City. You start of with the cremation of the Joker as Commissioner Gordon Of the GCPD speaks on the current state of Gotham it had been 6 months where crime had decreased and for a brief moment it seemed that Gotham was finally rid of major crime. This sense of peace was short-lived as on that rainy Hallow’s Eve came rolling about. Scarecrow had just attacked a small diner with his fear toxin causing all its inhabitants to go wild and kill each other. Thus the Batman was once again called into action.
        


Story So Far:
Spoiler Alert for Previous Batman Games!!!
Now since this is the third game in the Batman Arkham series, there has been many events that have transpired to get to where we are in the story now. In Batman Arkham Asylum, Joker as well as other Batman villains had taken control of the Island. Batman attempts to foil Joker’s plan to synthesize a more potent strain of Titan, a chemical steroid concoction that is used by Bane to increase his physical capabilities, and distribute it to create a giant army of Titan fueled super soldiers. As you progress and stop Joker from carrying out his madness he injects himself with the Titan serum thus making himself a deformed giant beast!!! Of course you defeat him which brings us to Arkham City. In the beginning of this game Bruce Wayne(BATMAN) is arrested!!! Yes our Dark Knight was taken into Arkham City because Hugo Strange had discovered that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Bruce was taken as a political prisoner but Hugo failed to realize that he had just trapped himself in the City with the only man with the power to stop him. As you continue through this adventure with the Bat you meet up with the Joker once again whose condition had changed since you last rumbled against him. Turns out the Titan serum  that he took in the 1st game was lethal. Joker has contracted a disease from the Titan Formula and does not have much longer to live. Close to the beginning of the game he injects you with his blood to infect you with his deadly disease and for incentive to find a cure he also sent out multiple samples of his blood around the world. Okay you progress through the game you regain control in Arkham City and you also find a cure to the Titan disease as well as lose one of Batman’s love interest, Talia Al’ Ghul. You have a battle with Clayface next to the Lazarus Pit and upon defeating him you destroy the Pitt and Stop Joker’s plan of Immortality. As Batman contemplates whether or not to give Joker the cure, The Joker lunges out at him causing Batman to drop the vial that contained the only synthesized cure for his condition. Joker laughs till his dying breath and dies with a smile on his face. All these events lead us into Arkham Knight. You should be prepared for even more action and distress in Gotham.       


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^(^O^)^
Game Play:

Story:
Now I’ll be honest. When they announced Scarecrow as the main antagonist of the game, I was skeptical. In previous games, Scarecrow played a minor role with only one or two mini Fear Missions but Rocksteady went all out with the Scarecrow in this game. Not only did they completely overhaul his character but the voice actor did an impeccable job of representing the villain. Compared to its predecessors, I can say that this game has by far the best and most interesting story line. Not only were the creators of the game able to capture the pure essence of the villains and the heroes but they also found a way to keep the story surprising and interesting along the way. I fell in love with this game after the first 30 minutes. So much that I played right through the first impression and skipped straight to the review! The game's story was kept hidden during development and I believe that is what made the events that occurred to be more exciting and unexpected. Scarecrow’s evil plan is not to kill Batman but to make him suffer and in order to do that he plans to engulf the city in a cloud of his fear toxin. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem for the Dark Knight but as it turns out, Scarecrow isn’t alone. He is accompanied by The Arkham Knight who seems to have a vendetta against the Bat. Good news is that Batman is not alone on this wacky Hallow’s Eve. In this game you get to also play with Catwoman, Nightwing and Robin to take out different criminals in the city.      

Side Missions: 
Now although the main story isn’t very long, there is nothing to worry about because there are plenty of side missions as well as challenges and riddles to solve. The side missions have you travel all around the three islands that the game takes place on. Some are stealth missions, other involve pure combat, while others will make you use your Batmobile to take on a swarm of enemy tanks. With all of these side missions you can take a break from all the fear gas and try and take out some of Batman’s other iconic villains like the Penguin,Two-Face, and Man-Bat.


So much world, so many lights. Wow. 


New New New Stuff!!!:
A new game means a new Batman, well kinda. Batman comes gliding into action in this game with a bunch of new additions to his arsenal, which doesn’t change the game but rather improves on the experience of being The Batman.   
  •  
  • New Suit: Batman comes equipped with a new suit this time around and man does it kick some ass. Instead of the spandex this time, Batman decides to go with a more technological stand because what is scarier than a man in tights…. and man in mechanical tights!!! No but seriously the suit is badass, giving batman a new age sleeker look as well as making the Dark Knight slightly more spooky because you got to keep those rioters scared.

  • New Gadgets: Along with the new suit, you know that our main man had to get some new toys to take out the bad guys with. Equipped with the most of the same armaments as before but with some minor tweaks Batman also gets a new gadgets as well, those being a voice synthesizer, this is later on in the game but it is a really cool addition to your arsenal as you can trick enemy troops to move to an area to take them out, and we can’t forget about the remote control Batmobile!!!

  • New Combo Finishers: Batman has not just been relying on his toys, looks like B-Man has been hitting the gym too and perhaps taking a couple of swings at the practice dojo because he has learned a lot of new ways to incapacitate his enemies. There are so many different ways to vary your combinations. These combinations include multiple finishers using each of your gadgets and some nice finishers with the Batmobile, Dual takedowns and Fear takedowns.

  • New Enemies: Who better to try these new tactics on then on your foes who are ravaging the city of Gotham? Don't be too cocky though, it's not as easy as you think. There are new variations of old enemies in this game and sometimes they can make your mission that much more complicated. Some new variations of enemies would be the Mini-gunner Brute and also the Blade and Shield brute. Knocked out an enemy just to later see him being resuscitated by a medic. These enemies make the game more difficult but also add another layer to the gameplay of the game as well.   

????Riddler Challenges????/AR Challenges: 
Now as far as challenges, you will be roaming this city for hours trying to complete this game in its entirety. There are a whopping 243 riddler trophies in this game so don’t expect to solve them all in one sitting. Along with the riddler story side missions, you must collect these trophies to face the riddler and take Mr. Nigma into custody. On top of the Riddler’s challenges there are also AR challenges. These simulations all have different requirements and you will have to attempt them multiple times if you want to achieve those perfect 3 stars. Not only do you feel satisfied with completing the challenges you also get awarded with a wayne tech point which is the point system you need to level up your suit and tech.    


Mechanics:

Combat:
The Combat system in this game is the same as every other game, which is perfect because the combat mechanics in the previous game were perfect for its playing style. The combat is fluid. There are minor tweaks in the combat but they do not take away from the gameplay mechanics but rather improve upon them. Some of the additions to the combat that improved how the game played were the following:

  • The gang's all here. 
    Dual Character Fighting: Yes Dual Character fighting playing as batman is fun and all but this game allow you to play with 3 other characters alongside with Batman. Those characters being Robin, Night-Wing, and Catwoman. On certain missions you can alternate between them and they also have pretty cool team take downs.


  • Fear Takedowns: Another addition to the combat system, Fear Takedowns is a tool that I use very often. Have a ton of enemies ganged up in one area not allowing you to take the stealth option? Why not take them all down. Fear Takedown, when fully upgraded, allows you to take down up to 5 enemies at once.

Batmobile:

The Batmobile is a very new part of the game and is used very often in the game. Adding drone fights and high speed chases into the game, as well as the addition of wacky riddle races and vehicle tracking and immobilization. The Batmobile has two modes; Battle Mode and Pursuit Mode and here is what they do.

  • Batmobile Battle Mode:
Batman did not come to joke around this time around with his Batmobile coming equipped with a bunch of gadgets:
  • 60mm cannon - primary anti-vehicular weapon; fires a kinetic energy penetrator capable of penetrating steel armor
  • Vulcan gun - similar to real world rotary cannon, fires armor piercing incendiary rounds, anti air combat for shooting aerial drones
  • Riot Suppressor - similar in appearance to Mk 19 grenade launcher; fires non-lethal plastic rounds at human targets inflicting mild trauma
  • Missile Barrage - turret mounted vertical launch tubes firing GPS/Laser guided missiles with 2 kg warhead.
  • Rotating Tires for increased maneuverability (side strafing and precise movement control  
  • Batmobile Pursuit Mode:
Don’t count out the Pursuit mode just yet either as it comes jetting in with
  • Side Swiping Capabilities
  • High Speed Chases
  • Pursuit Tracking Device
  • Immobilizing Guided Rocket System
  • At first glance, the addition of the Batmobile seems unnecessary but the way the game is played, I believe that they integrated the Batmobile in a way that doesn't take away from the main gameplay.
Visuals/Graphics:
  • Character Models:The graphics in this game are great. No they are not the best that have come out on next generation consoles but for this game they are great. When it really comes down to it ,graphics should come second to gameplay, but for all you graphic sticklers out there, this game has really improved from its prior state. Each character model looks carefully detailed and whenever you save a hostage you genuinely feel like you're saving a different person every time.

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Yeah, they look this good in-game.
  • Bigger and Badder City: If the detail in the character isn’t enough to satisfy your thirst for a visually stimulating experience then one could easily appreciate the monster of a city that you can glide through the skies. There is so much to look at in this game. The GCPD, The Clocktower, Batman’s underground Holding Chamber,  and even Wayne Tower. The environment really does a great job at immersing a player and making it seem like a dark stormy night. The environment being destructible and even seeing the mass amounts of people rioting across the streets. (Mini Spoiler: there is even a time where the city is covered in fear gas and you glide across the rooftops looking down at a cloud of  that covers all of gotham like a giant smog.) This game makes the city come to life and make the exploring more exciting and interesting.

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Down Sides:

Now There have been so many positives and great features in this game but there are some places where the game let’s you down.

Extra Content: In the Extra Content you get to play as the one and only Harley Quinn (If preordered) and also you also get to play with Jason Todd (Red Hood) as well if you purchased the season pass. Now the extra content in this game is awesome, who wouldn’t want to play as different characters with a different set of gadgets and moves. I did enjoy the extra content but my happiness was very short lived. These bonuses were great additions but they leave you wanting more and are extremely short missions. Although there is more to come within the next six months I am not convinced that purchasing the DLCs or Season Pass is entirely worth it. Of course if you’re a true Batman fan this will not matter and you’ll probably drop the $40 for the season pass anyway.
Drone Missions: With the Batmobile you will encounter multiple missions where you have to survive and take out an army of enemy drone tanks. Sometimes it is simple, but other times it can get a bit annoying. There are missions that you are cramped in a tiny little space and you are bombarded with enemies and the farther you progress into the game, the more variety of enemies they throw at you. This can get very overwhelming and continuously dying from these small bouts will cause aggravation.   
Riddler Interrogations: Now the Riddler challenges are great and they have been throughout the series. I always enjoy searching the town for his trophies just to get the satisfaction. It’s also a good time killer if you want to take a break from the main story line. The only problem is that unless you’re a complete genius and calculated where the riddler has placed all 243 trophies, you’re going to have to hunt down riddler goons scattered randomly around the three islands. Then again, it wouldn’t be a very hard riddle if you didn’t have to work hard for it. So just be prepared to spend a good amount of time searching for those informative green rioters.

Final Verdict
After spending hours with this game, you can truly appreciate its greatness. It brings back the feel from Arkham city but just amplifies the experience without adding too much additional features. With amazing visuals and graphics, fluid fighting mechanics to maneuver around the city, and a kickass story with a great plot and familiar characters, this game is by far the greatest Batman game to have been released thus far. My rating for this masterpiece of a game is a 9.5 out 10.





Written By Samuel Dorsainvil

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