Batman: Arkham Knight – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Open world
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Batman: Arkham Knight – Review

Site Score
9.2
Good: Visuals, Story, Atmosphere
Bad: Batmobile: Arkham Knight at times, Stiff combo system
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Just like The Dark Knight Rises ended a new Batman saga in the movie industry, Arkham Knight will end a successful trilogy in the games industry. As the previous games have left Gotham City in ruins, Batman seems to have taken a blow or two for the worse as well. Dive back into this Tim-Burton-esque world in order to be the hero in the shadows again. Nonetheless, prepare to face inner demons as well as those running amuck on the streets.

Batman-Arkham-Knight-Game-Logo

Story

Even though the Joker, perhaps Batman’s greatest nemesis, has died, it seems the city has not evolved for the better with the disposal of the mad clown. Scarecrow has taken his place in order to demolish the entire city, instead of occupying himself with petty crimes. He has released a fear inducing neurotoxin all over Gotham City, making everyone go crazy and do whatever they can to run away from their (imaginary) fears.

When the city is evacuated, only Batman and a handful of law enforcers take up the fight against the city which is currently crawling with criminals. When Batman receives intel from Oracle, commissioner Gordon’s daughter, that Ace Chemicals is the brewing spot of the toxin, Batman spares no effort in trying to stop the madman. Sadly, it seems another evildoer is out for Batman, who is also in cahoots with the dreadful Scarecrow. This mysterious figure is known as the Arkham Knight, who looks like a Batman copycat with a more ‘mecha-like’ suit.

The main plot of the game progresses in a fairly fast pace, if you solely concern yourself with the main quest. Overall the story feels like a theatrical experience, with great story sequences throughout the journey of the main objective. Believe us when we say, many unexpected events will unfold.

Graphics

Batman: Arkham Knight looks stunning and makes us feel as if the Xbox One’s potential is finally starting to be used as it should. Whilst the city shows not that much life in the sense of many inhabitants running around, it does so in many other ways. You’ll be cruising through streets with buildings with heaps of details, great textures and a lot of the smaller obstacles are destructible. Whilst the latter may not sound that impressive, it shows a lot of interactivity with the city and even more, that the developers wanted their city to be alive.

Arkham Knight 1

Characters in the grim city look detailed, albeit that some enemies are overused. Batman and the main characters all look great, with the same dark vibe surrounding them. It seems the harsh existence has taken its toll on all the warriors of justice and this is quite clear with how everyone looks.

Overall the game aims for a very dark atmosphere and it more than succeeds in accomplishing that goal. The game follows the overall gritty atmosphere of the latest movie trilogy, but perhaps even more the darkness of the 1989 Tim Burton interpretation of the Batman universe.

Sound

With mood setting music, loud punch noises and enough explosions to please Michael Bay, the sound also does its best to set the mood. Whilst everything is already top notch, it will still be the voice acting that steals the show. We guarantee you that many voices will be recognizable from other franchises or even the Batman universe but we are certain that the voice of Kevin Conroy will immediately be recognized by longtime Batman fans. As he has been voicing Batman on many occasions since the nineties, he is simply a top asset for the atmosphere of the game.

Gameplay

Batman: Arkham Knight is an action-adventure game in a fairly open world setting. You’ll mainly occupy yourself with cruising the city in the Batmobile, knocking out evildoers and solving puzzles in order to plow yourself through the main plot or the side quests.

Arkham Knight 2

As the game has a reasonable open world, you’ll be able to consider what your next course of action will be, but no matter what you choose the overall idea will stay the same. You’ll be able to use your high tech gadgets to swing around the city without having to have the powers of Spiderman, glide through the air with your cape and most importantly, use your Batmobile as your most powerful weapon. As the car is remote controlled, you can use it in combination with Batman in order to access new zones or solve puzzles. Sometimes you’ll have to open a locked gate and call in your precious car mere moments later. Even though the Batmobile is controlled quite easily, with a more arcade-ish feel instead of a realistic one, it sometimes feels as if the game should have been called Batmobile: Arkham Knight, due to the extreme focus on the fancy vehicle.

Luckily the Batmobile will not only be able to get you from one spot to another with the much appreciated flair and speed, the vehicle also has a proper combat mode as you’ll not be limited to your fists and other gadgets. The combat mode will present you with heavy weaponry, which will switch to nonlethal when attacking humans, but also with a ‘hover’ mode that allows you to navigate through tight corners, on rooftops and many other risky locations.

When your trusted four-wheeled companion is not able to escort you, you will have to rely on the vast fortune of Bruce Wayne that has presented you with many gadgets and the necessary training to bash some skulls (even though Batman does not kill, the bodies of many men seem to disagree). As mentioned earlier, your grappling hook will be your biggest help in order to reach new grounds. Other than that, the Batarang will aid you in combat and the necessary explosives will help you break walls and other rubble for you to access new areas. If all of these fancy items fail, you’ll have to use some fist- and footwork to convince some thugs in ‘helping’ you out.

Arkham Knight 3

Combat feels intuitive but also stiff at the same time. Punching your foes into submission and pulling off basic counters works quite well and will make sure the combat is rather fluent, while on the other hand the extra commands and combos feel annoying, as they are often only available for a very short amount of time. The same can be said for aerial attacks, as the command for the much appreciated attack does not always appear/trigger when you want it to.

Of course the game offers ample upgrades for you to choose from when you gain more experience. Like in many games, Arkham Knight works with different skill trees where you can choose new upgrades, combos or skills from. The options seem rather confusing at first, but after a bit of investigation they become easy to work with.

Outside of the main objective there’s enough of side material for you to process. You’ll be able to ‘solve’ the Riddler’s puzzles, which is simply gathering collectibles and there will be other side quests available as well. Enough content if you’d rather level up a bit, before tackling the main problem at hand.

Truth be told, in many ways we feel as if this review is only scratching the surface of many areas in the game. That being said, we’d rather keep it a bit shorter for you to discover more about the gadgets, side quests and of course the main plot of the game.

Arkham Knight 5

Conclusion

Batman: Arkham Knight proves to be a great mix of gameplay, graphics and sound with a grand, yet grim, storyline that reigns supreme. Whilst the Batmobile proves to be an overused asset of the game, you’ll still find plenty of other things to do that will occupy you for hours to come. Explore an amazing city and try to stop fear from spreading even further. What was that quote again? To conquer fear, you must become fear.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Batman: Arkham Knight - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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