Batman Arkham Knight just might be the best game released so far this year and that’s far from an understatement. The game play, story, and music for this title are pretty spot on with what you’d expect from any Batman title. I would definitely like to say kudos to the development and publishing teams over at Rocksteady Studios and Warner Brothers Interactive as this will be a game that will be remembered for years to come.
Once the game begins you are greeted with a dynamic shot of Batman that makes you feel like he’s staring directly into your soul. Once you commit to getting started, the first scene grants you the opportunity to burn the corpse of the Joker himself in a morgue furnace and you’ll soon find out later that this sets the mood of the game. This builds much excitement and now I’m about to share my thoughts on Batman Arkham Knight and detail why it should be a game you’ll definitely want to consider purchasing this year. To begin, the theme of this entire review revolves around the integrity and attention to details committed to the project by the game creators.
The storyline makes you follow Batman as he goes on a mission to confront Scarecrow, who launches a viral chemical attack on Gotham City which causes a city-wide evacuation and crime spree. While being haunted by the ghost of The Joker there is also a hindrance created by Scarecrow who teams up with the mysterious Arkham Knight. You’re faced with the task of capturing Two-Face, Penguin, and other Gotham scum whose only mission is to destroy Batman and Gotham City. As usual, we all know that this doesn’t happen but as you play the game you soon realize Batman has his work cut out for him. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled throughout the game as there are a ton of surprises including revealing the Arkham Knight, tag teaming and fighting with your allies, and also switching characters and roles throughout the game.
The gameplay for Batman Arkham Knight is rich in many ways by first giving you tons of functionality to control Batman’s gadgets, batmobile, and the direction the gamer wants to take. Thanks to the game’s Director, Sefton Hill, at any given time you can decide what mission you’d like to embark on in the dark city of Gotham. Many of the options range from stopping Firefly’s attack on fire stations throughout the city, destroying Penguin’s weapon caches around the city with Nightwing, completing the Riddler’s extreme riddle, and stopping Two-Face and his men from robbing Gotham’s banks to name a few. Amongst the options, I enjoyed playing the story mode the most and taking out Two-face’s gang while they attempt to rob banks in the city.
For you to handle all of these various situations you are given everything that Batman is equipped with all the time. Sharp intuition, advanced technology, and tech-savvy weaponry. As you play you’ll find that there’s a gang of controls to learn how to manage that will help you navigate the deep world of Gotham city, choose missions, operate the Batmobile, and check your progress. It can be a bit much at first to get used to but eventually you’ll get the hang of it and become just as intuitive as Batman himself. Just to give you a heads up – the Batmobile will be one of your most valuable assets.
Which leads me to my next point, the Batmobile has a life completely of its own and you have the control to take advantage of this monstrous vehicle. It includes everything you love about it including all the bells and whistles you could ever hope for. Some of its capabilities include gut-blowing missiles, electrifying speed, two combat modes, seat ejection, etc. The other detail, that’s most notable about the Batmobile is the level of control you have over the vehicle to making it one of your most reliable assets throughout the game. I also enjoyed how the developers implemented the controller vibrations that match exactly what’s happening on the screen, putting you even deeper in the mindset of the gaming experience. This is also noted in the combat scenarios as you battle your way through the game.
One of the cooler features of the gameplay includes being able to fight with other characters during specific fights in the game, especially when you’re able to team up with Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing, etc. This is cool considering the fact that when you’re kicking Gotham scum in the butt you’re able to hit them with wicked combinations to crush their ambitions to kill Batman. Plus who wouldn’t want to be Robin, Catwoman or Nightwing if only for a second, right?
Throughout the entire game, you’ll definitely find yourself enjoying the game theatrical appeal which gives off a nostalgic but contemporary Tim Burton vibe.
The music and sound effects for this game are just remarkable. It makes you feel as though you’re in a real Batman situation and movie – shout out to the Composers Nick Arundel and David Buckley for going H.A.M. on the soundtrack. When drama arises you can expect to hear sounds that align perfectly with the emotion during the scene. This is a really nice touch considering that many game developers and designers ignore the fact that music plays a huge role in games. It was definitely good to see this element of the game cared for with much detail. Not to mention all of the sound effects throughout the whole gameplay experience are on point as well. The sound designers made sure to pay attention to how every sound effect was being executed by considering distance, medium, situations etc.
Overall, Batman Arkham Knight is a stellar game to play and I haven’t played a game that was as highly detailed and well executed like this since WatchDogs. I’ll definitely go on record to say that this game is definitely one of the best ones to come out on this generation of the Xbox console. Rocksteady and Warner Brothers Interactive nailed this release completely with one exception being that this game was clearly supposed to be a Halloween 2014 release as confirmed by the heavy Halloween theme throughout the game. Outside of that one hiccup, I’m sure this game will go on to win a ton of awards and many gamers will continue playing this game regardless.
If you haven’t played Batman Arkham Knight, I encourage you to grab this edition as it’s definitely a game any Batman fan or gamer would enjoy.
Here’s a fun Dark Knight video to enjoy featuring Brian McKnight taking over Gotham City. As we all know, Batman wouldn’t dare leave his cape behind to the great Robin. This is definitely pretty funny considering the fact that the smooth 16x Grammy-nominee R&B singer nails his lines in this brief sketch featured on Tru TV’s, Friends Of The People.
Gameplay score 9
Graphics score 10
Music & SFX score 10