Riddle me that, why is the latest Batman game getting so much flak? (PC people I feel you though)
Batman: Arkham Knight puts you in the boots of the Caped Crusader one last time as he fends off evil doers who have now invaded the city of Gotham. This time Scarecrow gets the spotlight after the sad passing of The Joker. With the help of a new enemy, dubbing thee Arkham Knight, Batman faces his toughest challenge yet as he must fight an entire mercenary group equipped with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos. Not only does Bruce have these nemesis' to worry about, he also has another that hits too close to home, deep within his subconscious as he finds out he has been infected with The Jokers blood.
As you progress through the story and soar around Gotham, you "see" the Clown Prince adding his own twist on certain events by adding some ingenious dialog. The more the infection spreads the more frequent his appearances become, and when things finally come to head you are treated to some pretty darn good scenes. So even though he isn't the star of the show...he still sort of is.
But getting back to Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight. The Knight wants revenge on Batman but his identity is a mystery. All you know is that he wants the Bats dead and has his own private army to help get the job done. Crane teams up with him to deploy his own plan that will leave Batman's legacy and City tarnished by releasing a massive blast filled with his fear toxin. Gotham City dwellers have evacuated leaving the entire City as one giant playground.
With the odds always against the Bats, he has some new toys including the famous Batmobile...tank. Cruising around Gotham while bringing the hammer of justice beat downs is just a blast. Controls do take some getting use to but once you get it down maneuvering around the City will be cake. I also liked how few objects can halt your momentum to help eliminate possible frustrations while driving, especially in some high speed chases. I also thought that not force feeding you this new piece of equipment down your throat was a nice design choice. Usually when something is new they have the damn thing attached to you at the hip. There are instances when the Batmobile is required to progress to through the story, and have some tank on tank action, but it didn't feel overly used.
Also, a knew combat mechanic is introduced when pairing up with other characters like Robin, Nightwing, or Catwoman. You can switch on the fly between two characters and ultimately doing a combo take down when your combo meter is full. It's a small new feature, but fun as heck. Unfortunately there aren't many of them. Outside of those two features and a couple of gadgets, there isn't really much new to fighting mechanics, which is perfectly fine by me. I like the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto. I do wish they had some engaging boss fights however. This part of the game was pretty lacking as the battles just didn't feel as in tuned as previous installments.
Once you dive back into the Arkham series, everything will feel exactly the same. Now if you're like me and haven't played a Batman game since City, it will take a bit of time to get yourself reacclimated to the controls as there are a lot of button combinations to use your gadgets quickly in battle, pick up weapons, or deal a knockout blow. Once you get it, it is smooth sailing as the combat in the series is extremely fluid and enjoyable. Every bone shattering kick and jaw breaking punch is visually satisfying.
And speaking of visually satisfying, Rocksteady brings new life into the world of Gotham utilizing the current generation hardware. The heavy, constant rain leaves specks of water droplets on the batsuit as they drip off, or even glide down the Batmobile. The new update has Photo Mode which gives the user the ability to take pictures of a still frame with freedom shows off some impressive detail to character models that catches wrinkles, and some skin imperfection.
There are some hiccups on the technical side of things that almost included a game breaking bug where Batman fell to infinity beneath the City of Gotham. I tried to restart, quit but eventually it was sorted out...thank god. Also sprinkled in were some rendering issues, and odd AI behavior but nothing worth harping over for too long.
Once you finally stop gushing over the visuals, there is still much more to do in Gotham. Plenty of side quests with variety will break you away from the main missions if you are looking to take down some notorious criminals. Those annoying Riddler trophies are there to collect too. If you choose to complete it all, you will certainly be rewarded to the true ending. AR missions are scattered around too that will have you doing certain tasks in order to complete the mission.
There are also a couple of preorder DLC packs if you were able to get. Nothing spectacular as you get to play in very quick missions as the Red Hood or Harley Quinn. Basically there are just small rooms and you must take out the enemies. Definitely cool to play as someone else, but nothing major in terms of the plot or even the game as a whole.
Batman: Arkham Knight wraps up one of the best gaming trilogies in recent memory. When it was announced that this would be it, you can only hope for a game that is familiar to the Batman universe, true to the series, and a send off that is all but satisfying - that's what I at least got. I got a game that of course reminded you of Batman. With some of B-Man's notorious villains and the explorable city of Gotham. I got a game that stayed true to the series by not implementing too many features. The gameplay is certainly not broken so why mess with a good thing? And the send off to the Arkham series was nicely wrapped up with Bruce Wayne playing role of hero one final time.
Being the Batman never felt so good.