I have been a Batman fan almost my entire life. I’ve watched the films, got every bit of physical merchandise there was, and binged the TV shows. One thing I never got the chance to do, however, was get myself involved in the video game aspect of the franchise. A few weeks ago, I purchased Batman: Arkham Knight for the “end of year” sales. I did not expect it to be as overly challenging and demanding as it was.
In Arkham Knight, you follow Batman on Halloween night as he copes with the criminal power vacuum left by Joker, whose death took place in the prior game, Arkham City. This allows Gotham’s citizens to finally feel a sense of security, only for many of Batman’s other adversaries including Penguin, Two-Face, and Harley Quinn to rise from the ashes and attempt to kill him. Meanwhile, Scarecrow enacts his plan to release his fear toxin throughout the city with bombs and a mysterious foe with an army known as the Arkham Knight brings upon another major conflict.
The audio is stellar. A strong voice cast boosts the dialogue to unimaginable levels with Kevin Conroy as Batman (reprising his role from numerous installments), Troy Baker in a dual role as the Arkham Knight and Two-Face, Nolan North as Penguin, and Wally Wingert as The Riddler. The sound effects for vehicles like the Batmobile and other aspects of Batman’s gear provide for a truly immersive experience.
“I own the sky now”
Gameplay is by far the best part. You have the ability to quickly counter enemy moves with forceful attacks, use gadgets like the Batclaw and Batarangs for offensive and defensive maneuvers, crouch and dodge for sneak attacks/ambushes, and hack just about any enemy system in the game to allow for easy access or to turn weapons against the opposition.
My sole criticism (as many others share) was the overuse of the Batmobile. While it was consistently emphasized as a way to defeat enemies and reach platforms Batman couldn’t himself, it took away from potential battles in the long term. One major boss, Deathstroke, was reduced to a “tank battle” against the Batmobile as opposed to a hand-to-hand battle where he is well known for being at his best.
Overall, Batman: Arkham Knight is a glorious experience that allows you to explore everything Gotham City has to offer. The cast, story, and gameplay will keep you hooked for weeks upon weeks of entertainment. You’ll almost never experience a bigger challenge in the Arkham franchise.