Basically, the Game of the Year Edition includes the base game disc, which includes the Game of the Year Edition box sleeve and a code that allows you to redeem the Season Pass code. This in turn, allows you to download every DLC from the Season Pass separately. However, not every DLC is included in the Season Pass, so you must download them separately from the PlayStation Store or from the game's menu.
This game takes place after the events of Batman: Arkham City. Gotham City is now under attack by a group of supervillains under Scarecrow's leadership, and Scarecrow planned to use the fear toxin in order to terrorise Gotham City's residents. Batman has to work together with usual allies to combat this new threat, as well as capturing other supervillains.
The story is pretty good. Interesting lore and villain backgrounds, and surprisingly some of the villains from Batman: Arkham Origins also appear in this game.Batman as always, a static yet great character who is clearly troubled due to certain events in previous games.
Other villains also get good amount of screentime, with Scarecrow being the major highlight of the game as the main villain. I personally think this is the way Rocksteady should focus on different villains on different games, instead of padding their story arcs in sequels as the main villains. This is actually the main issue I had with Batman: Arkham City's story: too much focus on Joker as the second main villain next to Hugo Strange. One major issue I have with this game's story is the Arkham Knight's true identity. It is not surprising nor being an original character, and the reveal is disappointing to me, personally.
The downloadable Arkham Episodes give some story closures to most of the villains in the game. A Matter of Family basically sheds light on Batgirl's adventure before her injury before the start of most Arkham games, and many other Arkham Episodes basically take place after the game's ending.
Season of Infamy missions also give a bit of extra lore and closure of the villains encountered in previous Arkham games. Two of the Season of Infamy missions have mediocre exposition and story, but the other two have stronger lore and exposition, particularly In From the Cold's mission. All of the Arkham Episodes and Season of Infamy missions serve as decent closures to the character arcs in Batman: Arkham series, but they may be too short for many people's liking.
1) Main Gameplay Section
The gameplay remains the same as previous Batman: Arkham games, albeit with more refined controls. The basic game controls remain the same, however you do have some new moves, new gadgets as well as the ability to drive Batmobile.
The exploration and progression is the same as previous Batman: Arkham games. This time, you can explore Gotham City by either running, gliding, or driving the Batmobile. There are also many different buildings where you can go, as well as finding different collectibles in the game. The story progression is also similar, as you must progress the game's story by completing the story missions. Many objectives are varied, such as using Batmobile to solve some puzzles.
The upgrading system is the same as previous games, where you earn experience points by defeating enemies in direct combat or predator encounters. Once you have accumulated enough experience points, you will gain a Waynetech Point, which you can spend to learn a new upgrade. Different upgrade requires a different amount of Waynetech Points, so you must choose your upgrades carefully as you will even harder enemies in both combat and predator encounters as you progress in the game.
The combat system remains the same as previous games, such as the Freeflow Combat system and the stealth gameplay system. Enemy A.I is more smarter now, such as charging towards you, grab you from behind, and a bit more aggressive. There is also a bit more enemy types in the game, such as medics who can revive downed enemies, as well as brutes who can use a minigun in predator encounters. There is also a new combat feature called Dual Play, which allows you to switch to another character in a combat or predator encounter, in different story sections or side missions.
Batmobile is the most notable addition in this game, as it acts as your vehicle for driving, exploration, as well as combat against drone tanks. You will be using the vehicle extensively in both main missions as well as side missions. Driving controls is tight, and you can also use the Batmobile's Battle Mode to knock out regular thugs or destroying enemy drone tanks.
2) Downloadable Content Section
This game has massive amount of downloadable content, which includes both paid and free content. The Season Pass code in the Game of the Year Edition includes all DLCs for the game, except for Scarecrow Nightmare missions and some of the Batman costumes.
The most notable DLC is the Season of Infamy pack. It adds four more Wanted Missions in the main story campaign, which acts as story closures to villains who appeared in the previous Batman: Arkham games. Arkham Episodes act as standalone character episodes for different characters in the game, such as Catwoman and Nightwing. A Matter of Family is one of the most robust Arkham Episode as it has more content than the other Arkham Episodes, as well as serves as a good introductory to Batgirl's story, which takes place before Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Other DLC includes different AR Challenges in the game, which include the ability to use different playable characters in both combat and predator maps, as well as different AR challenges for the Batmobile. You may also choose different costume for Batman with the DLCs.
3) Gameplay Conclusion
This game has very good gameplay, surpassing previous Batman: Arkham games' such as the improved game controls, the improved enemy A.I., some good boss fights such as Albert King and Arkham Knight, more enemy variety, toms of side-content, great Gotham City design and more puzzles. The Batmobile also has excellent controls, for both driving and the Battle Mode controls.
However, this game is not without faults. First of all, no story boss fights against other notable villains such as Scarecrow, Two-Face, Penguin, and Deathstroke. In the main story campaign, the human boss fights are too few, and there are too many Batmobile Battle Mode-related boss fights in this game. Secondly, the over-reliance of Batmobile's Battle Mode in combat. While the Batmobile has lots of utility in both exploration and combat, I find that there are too many combat sections involving the Batmobile in the game. I wish there are more chase sections in the game using the Batmobile, such as chasing a supervillain's vehicle in the game or escaping from other enemies via Batmobile.
This game has amazing graphics. One of the best looking games on PS4. Batman's character model looks amazing, as well as all other character models such as the villains, thugs, and other NPCs. The game has amazingly detailed environments, buildings, and indoor areas. This game has excellent game performance all round, although I did notice small screentearring issues at the end of the game, which occur in a pre-rendered cutscene. Otherwise, the game looks fantastic.
This game has amazing voice acting. Excellent casting on all characters in the game, such as Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tara Strong (Harley Quinn), Wally Wingert (The Riddler), Matthew Mercer (Robin), Nolan North (Penguin), and most of all John Noble (Scarecrow). While I am disappointed that some of the characters' voice actors have been replaced such as Oracle, Jim Gordon, and Scarecrow, I am extremely happy with the recasting of the voice actors, unlike other games.
The soundtrack is great. Dark, brooding, and memorable. Some of the predator encounter themes are also well-done, and there are other good pieces such as when Batman first uses the Batmobile in this game.
This game has high replay value. You can play the game again in New Game Plus mode, with the fixed Knightmare difficulty. You may also complete every Side Mission available in the game, as well as collect all collectibles. You may also complete the AR Challenges in the game. With the Season Pass code, you can also play with the rest of Arkham Episodes, Season of Infamy side missions in the main game, as well as the additional AR challenges with different playable characters.
This is a great game, but it is not the best Batman: Arkham game in the series. The main story plot is pretty good, but some of the sub-plots feel unfulfilled as well as having too reliance on Joker's background story. The Arkham Knight reveal feels underwhelming too. This game also has the most refined gameplay system, but the lack of story boss fights as well as imbalance usage of Batmobile sections in this game are notable issues in the game.
It is recommended for interested players to buy the base edition of the game as it includes the Scarecrow Nightmare challenges, and then buy the Season Pass separately from PlayStation Store. This edition is good, but incomplete. The quality of this game varies from being great towards good, and despite being not as good as previous Batman: Arkham games, this game is still worth playing for any action open world game fans.
Final Score: 8.75/10 or 35/40
Pros and Cons
- Interesting plot.
- Scarecrow is an excellent main villain.
- Great exposure of other villains in this game.
- Good variety of story progression objectives.
- Great combat, for both normal fights and predator encounters.
- Great addition of Batmobile.
- Tons of side-content.
- Excellent graphics.
- Great voice acting.
- Good music.
- High replay value.
- Slightly weaker story than previous games.
- Disappointing Arkham Knight reveal.
- No Scarecrow boss fights like in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- Too few supervillain boss fights, in both main missions and side missions.
- Some poorly designed Batmobile Battle Mode boss fights.
- Too many Batmobile Battle Mode combat sections.
- Underwhelming story in most Arkham Episodes.
- Missing some DLCs such as Scarecrow Nightmare challenges.