Batman Arkham Knight Review
After playing through the entire main story line and about 8 hours of extras, it is safe to say that Batman Arkham Knight could possibly be the best Batman game, ever. I’m not comparing this to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City; no, I’m comparing it to all Batman games. This title builds on the positives in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and goes above and beyond to create one of the best open world games I have ever played. This title will receive serious Game of the Year consideration come December, at least here on Games Reviews.
What we are given should not be surprising. It is a Batman game after all, and we have received plenty of them. You encounter plenty of thugs, a variety of famous Batman villains, and get to converse with your closet advisors such as Alfred and Lucius Fox. You would be doing yourself a disservice to pass this off as just another Batman game. It is more than that, much more.
The worst part of open world games is time constraints. Realistically, we have too many good games to play and not enough time. Open world games now seem to stretch north of fifty hours. That is why I’ve been enjoying Batman so much. It is open world, but it can be finished in a realistic amount of time.
While many games are filled with fluff – for example, the flags one would have to collect in Assassins Creed – Batman focuses on the main story line, and fits that into the open world. In games like the Witcher 3, it seems as if the story is just there, whereas the real fun is exploring the world. Not so in Batman. In fact, when I play open world titles, I generally finish most of the side quests before ever taking on the main quest.
The story line was compelling and the missions exciting. The true tell of a good game is when the story is the best part. This isn’t to say that the minimal amount of side quests in Arkham Knight are not compelling and fun; they are, but where this game really shines is in the main story, how it progresses (at an excellent pace I should say), and how fun and diverse the missions are.
The use of the Batmobile is OUTSTANDING. The number one issue I’ve seen reviewers take with this game is the tank battles, and the use of the Batmobile in them. I could not disagree with them anymore. I loved the tank missions, and turning my Batmobile into my own Bat Tank. The Batmobile also comes in handy when trying to solve puzzles within levels, whether it is pulling down walls, creating ramps, or raising and lowering elevators. One of the best levels early on is infiltrating the chemical plant. The use of the Batmobile in that particular level is one of the best in the whole game.
Visually, very few games currently compare with Arkham Knight. Despite Gotham being incredibly dreary – drenched in rain and burning with fire – somehow the world still feels alive. Groups of thugs roam the streets, cops chase down fleeing vehicles, and like you would expect, very few civilians. The goal was to create a Gotham that had been decimated by villains, and this is what we get.
The voice acting is just as impressive. Everything is voice acted in the game – with the option of subtitles – and every voice fits. Villains sound like villains, heroes like heroes, and Batman is, well, Batman. No voice feels out of place; every line is delivered with the quality you would find in movies, even those of random cops or thugs. The constant conversation you here as you cross Gotham are always fresh; although I feel the comments are probably playing on a loop, I cannot recall a line I’ve heard more than a few times. And that is over a 20 hour period. The audio pushes the story along, and keeps you playing and hungering for more.
Rocksteady Studios really deserves an award of some kind here. If Batman Arkham Knight is not a top 5 Game of the Year candidate, than 2015 will be one hell of a year for video games. Do yourself a favour. If you have a remote interest in Batman, and even if you haven’t played the previous games in the series, head out and grab a copy of Arkham Knight. You will not be disappointed.