It’s been two years since the last Arkham game, and four years since the last Rocksteady developed Batman game. Arkham Knight is supposedly the end to this iteration of the Batman storyline and it definitely carries the weight of the saga’s final chapter. It is the collection of Rocksteady’s finest ideas in the past six years, but is it a good game on it’s own?

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Batman is kept a secret till the end

Arkham Knight follows Arkham City on the timeline, under protection from Scarecrow, big names like Two Face, Poison Ivy and The Penguin team up to take down Batman and the Gotham P.D. after the city’s population is evacuated. The latest antagonist to the story is the infamous Arkham Knight, who’s beef with Batman is kept a secret till the end, the Knight’s reveal is not as big a deal as the game wants it to be, but the game is still full of surprises.

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Apart from the main quest-line, there are numerous activities that can be discovered on the map, these optional objectives are added to your wheel of objective that organizes your checkpoints and shows the percentage of completion of that mission.

Some missions are as simple as taking down a speeding enemy van, while others require you to team up with other heroes like Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman.

Completing these optional errands earn you WayneTech points which can be cashed in to unlock upgrades for your Batsuit, Batmobile, or general upgrades that increase your power in some way.

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The biggest new element to the game (literally) is the Batmobile, which has only been teased in past Arkham Games. The Batmobile is fast, versatile and easy to control, it can also be called to Batman position on the press of a button.

Pressing the left trigger while driving the Batmobile, enables the Battle Mode which converts your car into a heavy, gun guzzling tank, equipped with a 60 mm machine gun and a missile cannon.

Certain objectives require the player to use the Batmobile to progress further, at first the Batmobile puzzles seem really cool and are enjoyable, but doing the same thing over and over again gets a little repetitive, and hence boring. And the fact that it is mandatory to complete in order to progress through the story seems a bit forced upon the player.

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Combat and stealth movement have also shifted forward in momentum, you can fling Batman higher than ever when gliding around, you can chain together grappling points to climb over buildings seamlessly, you can perform takedowns immediately upon grappling to a ledge or even glide straight through a rooftop, the possibilities are endless.

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And what is Batman without his gadgets, one of my favorite new gadgets is the Voice Recorder, which can imitate villains and send their security forces wherever you want.
This is the first Batman game on current gen consoles and it certainly dresses the part, the world is filled with gorgeous details, like the sparks that come out of destroyed enemy drones, or Batman’s rain soaked cape being pulled as you navigate through the skyline.

The most satisfying visuals of Arkham Knight come from various “illusions” presented by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, and Bruce Wayne’s imagination. These interactions make up a good portion of the story, that I would not like to spoil for you, but if you have appreciated any of the Scarecrow’s side stories in the previous Arkham titles, then you should enjoy the many ways Rocksteady messes with your mind here.

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I can’t tell you if Arkham Knight is indeed the end of this Batman’s career, but if it is the last time Rocksteady works on the franchise, they’ve certainly ended their era with a bang.

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Arkham Knight tells a mature story that cares about it’s characters, the missions are a bit over committed to show what the Batmobile can do, but it also feels like the car completes Rocksteady’s vision of a living, breathing Gotham City, a warzone with lots of problems to solve, and lots of fun ways for the player to solve them.

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