What Rocksteady Studios did with Batman video games is similar to how Christopher Nolan revitalized the Batman movies. Rocksteady Studios has crafted an epic trilogy of games and arguably Batman: Arkham Knight is the best one yet.
Batman: Arkham Knight takes place shortly after the events from the previous game as Batman/Bruce Wayne is still in rough shape. To add insult on injury, the Scarecrow has come into Gotham City and has threatened to release his fear toxin to all of its citizens.
Not only does Batman have to stop Scarecrow, he realizes that Scarecrow is working with a mysterious new villain who calls himself the “Arkham Knight”. This Arkham Knight character is dangerous as he knows everything about Batman.
I have to say, the story from Batman: Arkham Knight is excellent. It borrows some elements from the recent movies, and also from some of the famous comic books too. It’s the most personal story out of the Arkham trilogy as we see Batman at his most weakest. There are also numerous plot twists that will surprise fans and new fans alike.
In terms of gameplay, Batman: Arkham Knight brings everything you love from the series, but also adds a few new things to keep the gameplay fresh. This game is far from just your average beat-em-up title. Arkham Knight forces players to use their brains sometimes to solve crimes and puzzles. It is also the first in the series to allow you to drive the Batmobile.
The Batmobile in Batman: Arkham Knight is a great addition to the game and doesn’t feel like it’s being “tacked” on for the sake of it. Rocksteady Studios has managed to design the levels so that Batman really needs the vehicle to help him out.
The Batmobile has a lot of cool gadgets and is fast and agile. Driving the Batmobile is one of the best things you can do in the entire game. You can even sometimes drive it along rooftops and jump off of ramps. Batman can also use the Batmobile remotely if he’s not around to physically drive it himself.
The Batmobile isn’t just a vehicle for you to travel across Gotham City either. There are many unmanned tanks that Batman has to take out as well. The Batmobile has an awesome battle mode that lets you fire machine guns and rockets. These sections almost feel like you’re playing entirely different game. It’s like playing a Twisted Metal game during the parts you have to go “tank-mode” with the Batmobile.
Batman: Arkham Knight also adds in some cool crime scene investigation segments that you have to solve as well. Players will have to analyse CCTV footage or find clues on fingerprints and more. These elements are a nice surprise and add something you don’t normally see in other games. Not to mention you feel smart once you solve the investigations.
As for the core gameplay in Batman: Arkham Knight, not a lot has changed but this is still a good thing. Batman still has all of the gadgets he has from the previous games such as his explosive gel, batarangs and grapple gun. The excellent free flow combat system is largely the same; although there are segments Batman can do tag-team moves when Robin and Catwoman are nearby.
If you’re not fighting, you can still take out several enemies using stealth in Batman: Arkham Knight. The levels are designed perfectly for Batman to hide under vents or on top of gargoyle statues. The great thing about this game is that it gives players options. You can choose to take out enemies quietly, but punching them head-on sometimes works too.
The best part about Batman: Arkham Knight is just how many missions Rocksteady Studios has managed to pack into it. Not only is there the lengthy main story to play, but littered throughout Gotham City is the chance for you to do all of the side-missions too. With the main story focusing on Scarecrow and Arkham Knight, other villains like Two-Face and Penguin show up in the side-missions.
Graphically, Batman: Arkham Knight is without a doubt the best looking game in the series to date. Gotham City is always raining at night so you will always see Batman's suit or shiny and wet. There are also a lot of cool looking neo lights that brightly glow throughout the city too. This game is also several times bigger than Arkham City was.
If there is any flaw to Batman: Arkham Knight, it's the tank vs Batmobile battles. There are a lot of times you need to use the Batmobile to face off against many tanks. These parts of the game get really hard if you haven't upgraded the Batmobile's attacks and defenses. Also, there aren't as many boss battles in this game like in the previous two titles.
Thankfully, the PS4 version of Batman: Arkham Knight holds up really well. Apart from a minor issue with leaderboard scores, I didn't encounter any huge glitches and bugs throughout my playthrough. It may be common knowledge now that the game is sadly in a bad state for PC gamers as of time of writing. Hopefully patches will fix them soon.
Aside from a few flaws in the actual game, Batman: Arkham Knight ends the series in explosive style. It is the best of the Arkham series of games and will keep Batman fans happy for countless hours.