The Batman is back with a bang in this final part of the Arkham series, a Rocksteady Action-adventure game. In this finale you take on The Scarecrow who has made a come back to try and take over Gotham with help from some familiar names including Poison Ivy, Riddler, Penguin, Two-face and also, The Arkham Knight (A completely new character made just for this game). You need to help Batman with his array of gadgets and with the use of the Batmobile which is finally drivable for the first time in the franchise, to defeat them all and save Gotham!
Once I loaded the game up I thought to myself am I even Batman, I’m controlling a chubby cop going into a diner for his morning waffles. Little did I know, Rocksteady were trying to introduce me to the main villain The Scarecrow in the best way possible… By showing me his lethal fear gas first hand! As you try to do your job as a Gotham City Copper by approaching a hooded no gooder smoking in the corner of the diner, you tap his shoulder to speak with him and BOOM! he whips his head around to look at you (at this point I needed to pause and change my underwear) and this is when you notice the “guy” you thought you could handle with his little cigarette, appears to be a mummified zombie taken over by the fear gas. Staggering backwards as he comes towards you, you start to notice he isn’t the only mummy in the room.
The Batman Arkham Knight brings back the dark, murky and gloomy look that they created through the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. This has put the realism back into the game that the iconic comics have implanted into our minds over the years. Added with nextgen graphics Rocksteady have created a stunning view back into Gotham City.
From the rain drops falling on Batman’s suit and the glint and flicker in his eyes when you talk to someone on the holographic communicator, Rocksteady have truly captured all of the little things we should be looking out for! This runs throughout the whole game from every corner of Gotham City, yes I said Gotham City, The WHOLE City! You can run, glide, jump and even drive to wherever you need Batman to be. Whether you are chasing down thugs for information on the whereabouts of the villain you are chasing, racing through the city blowing up Drones in the Batmobile or just casually gliding around solving the Riddler’s trials you will start to notice the amazing art production and realistic graphics the developers brought to the game.
Its not the just the graphics that are amazing in this game, the sound of the city brings out the dark and gloomy look that Rocksteady have already made. The constant rain, sirens, cars full of thugs racing around the city blowing things up, Rocksteady have created an environment I know I wouldn’t want to be walking around at night! I would definitely recommend just standing up on a tall building and listening just for 5 seconds, you’ll hear all sorts of things going on, from Thugs slagging you off over the Batman‘s communicator to an explosion breaking out down the road. Its not just the environment that sounds awesome, when you’re running over rooftops and gliding through Gotham (with the wind beneath your wings) it really feels like you’re soaring with Batman, feels like you’re in the cold damp city of Gotham.
Fast forwarding a little into the game, once the city is evacuated and you start to see the thugs and villains take over, you pan up to Batman who is crouching on a tower looking down on his Gotham City starting to go up in flames.
Now the fun starts, you glide down into the anarchy caused by scarecrow and start the tutorial, this flooded back my knowledge of the controls that made this series GOTY each time, don’t get me wrong there are new methods of control here with the interrogation and loads of the old skills for the fanboys to feel right at home.
Rocksteady have kept the basic but effective button mashing combat system with the classic “Y” button counter attacking, I feel like shouting “BOOM” “POW” “SMACK” and “BLAP” everytime I start on a group of thugs. Especially when you hit them with a finishing blow in the awesome slow motion cutscene, I felt like THE MAN every time Batman slammed down the last thugs face!. The developers have also Included some awesome new combos like the Dual takedowns with other characters in the game (like Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing) and the new Fear takedown feature, let me paint the picture for you…
You’re swooping down onto a rooftop and you start to take out the thugs, you notice whilst in your detective mode that there is a small building with 3 guards and a hostage! All of the guards are armed and VERY trigger happy. You look and find yourself an underground entrance through a grate (classic batman) and think to yourself, “I need to be quick!” using the fear takedown you can jump up through the vent and in the amazing slowmotion/quicktime attack sequence you beat the 3 thugs down within a blink of an eye!
I will warn you now though, after clocking in a number of hours into the game, the combat does start to get repetitive. I felt I ran out of moves and felt myself getting a little bored of the fighting aspect of the game. but then “Drum roll please”
THE BATMOBILE!! this new feature that Rocksteady have implemented into the game is used in so many cool ways. There are so many awesome features that they have added to give you the best experience in the Batmobile, one of them being the remote control access. This feature gives you control of the Batmobile without Batman being behind the wheel, this helps with taking out thugs and drones around gotham and also helps you to complete various trials set by the Riddler. Whilst roaming the streets of Gotham in your fancy “tank” car you get the chance to take out a crap-load of unmanned drone tanks with your 25mm Vulcan Gun and your 60mm cannon, that also helps with a new assisted takedown feature when near your car to help take down thugs! Who said that size doesn’t matter to a man?
Whilst there are huge guns, very fast afterburners and slam rounds (non-lethal suppressive rounds for thugs), there is also a very cool new feature called the Power Winch, this helps you maneuver around gotham rooftops… YES ROOFTOPS, climb up the sides of buildings and power up certain generators throughout the City. This feature helps you a lot when trying to complete the trials set up by the Riddler.
Even though the Batmobile is a great new feature and is a lot of fun, for some it could take some time getting used to the controls. The key mapping that has been implemented isn’t what you would expect if you play a lot of driving games or the usual action adventure controls. You use the “x” button to reverse and brake and you use the “LT” to bring up the battle mode ALSO, a bit of a tip press “a” whilst moving the left thumbstick in a direction to do a cool boost slide whilst in battle mode … I didn’t know you could do this until I nearly turned the game off after dying around 5-6 times :|. “Listen to the Tutorial!”
You will be happy to know that the Detective mode is still in the game, this helps when looking into certain side missions (crime scenes) and to help solve the Riddler’s trials. For all of the achievement hunters and guys looking to complete the game 100% you will be happy to know that the Riddler trophies are still in the game, you’ll need to solve 243 riddles this time around. There are also some cool gadgets and perks for you to use during this game to help you control batman and help you defend yourself throughout Gotham. these include, upgrading your suit, the classic gadgets like exploding gel, improving your batarang, souping up your car and so much more.
Who is this guy?… that is the exact thought that was on my mind when I heard about a mysterious character that was made especially for this game. The Arkham Knight first shows up to help Scarecrow with his plan to gas the whole of Gotham with the Fear gas, this character looks built to kill in an awesome looking copy of Batman‘s classic suit with a ultra-techno revamp to it. The Arkham Knight is very dark and mysterious and uses a robotic effect in his suit to hide his real voice from you, you will also notice that somehow this guy knows exactly what you are going to do next…. “I know what you did last summer!!”
I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed this game and would definately recommend to get your teeth stuck into this finale to an amazing series of The Batman game. If you like a good bit of action, want to relive the comic books with the “BOOM’s” and “POW’s” or, you just want to glide around the beautiful scenic Gotham City, then go out and grab yourself the game and take over Scarecrow and the other familiar Villains, so all that there is left for me to say is, it’s over to you… Go and save Gotham one final time!
All in all I think this is a great game and would definitely recommend playing it for yourselves to be taken through a thrilling action packed story, with some awesome graphics. I think Rocksteady have done well to end a great series on such a huge high note. I just wish that wasn’t ending and that they would bring out another game to this Batman series… PLEASSSSEEEEE!