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"[GAME] Batman: Arkham Knight"

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Tue 07/07/15 at 00:01
Regular
Posts: 261
There was a time when there weren't many high quality licensed super hero games and then came along Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum to show us how it's done. There was much fun to be had as a caped detective silently waiting in the shadows, and taking down vulnerable scared enemies. It was also fun to use Batman's detective mode to observe the environment and find out which array of gadgets would need to be used to overcome obstacles and aid him in combat. The free flowing nature of the combo & counter combat was fun too and other developers weren't afraid to copy it afterwards. This successful gameplay formula was used once again in the more open world sequel Arkham City. Now we have Arkham Knight, which once again has all the tried and tested gameplay of its predecessors but they also introduced something new to the series: The Batmobile.

My first thought when reading about this was whether it was really necessary; I felt cool and super hero enough when grappling and gliding over Arkham City. I then thought that the Batmobile was iconic to Batman and that racing games can be a high speed adrenaline rush and this could be an interesting addition to the series.

I'd say the Batmobile is used to solve some interesting environmental puzzles both during the story and when solving the riddlers challenges. Apart from the riddlers puzzles, he now has his own crazy death race courses to drive through. You have to press a button to open/close doors, pull in/out platforms with good timing and it is quite satisfying and flows well when you do it right. However, you do have to figure out when you are expected to slow down for more precise manoeuvres and it can be a bit jerky with all the stop/starting.

The majority of the gameplay with the Batmobile is spent shooting drones with missiles and gunfire. For most of the game this didn't do much for me. The enemy drones didn't seem to fire very fast and so were quite easy to dodge and I thought it was child's play at the beginning with so few of them. I only started to like it in the final encounter with loads of drones and a fully upgraded Batmobile where I could enjoy some mass destruction.

Fighting seems pretty much the same over previous games, although we have medics which revive downed enemies and ninjas who dash about with their swords.. they don't throw shurikens though

There are sections where you fast forward and rewind footage and scan specific parts of the screen to pick out evidence, which I thought was pretty cool.

Upon reflection, I'd say that the Arkham series hasn't been that strong when it comes to boss fights. I'd say the best boss fights are ones where you use what you've learnt along the way to overcome them and my favourite was Arkham City's Mr Freeze. I know that most of it was just takedowns, but you needed to know the different ways you can perform them plus you had to use a gadgets to perform an environmental takedown. Arkham City also had Clayface as a boss fight. I'd give second place to Poison Ivy in Arkham Asylum with all the vine whip dodging, but you also fought Killer Croc, Bane and The Joker. In Arkham Knight pretty much all of the major iconic enemies are taken out with a single takedown press of a button. The only exceptions I can think of are the Batmobile tank Boss battles and the final encounter with the Riddler, which is only an exception as you need to switch to the correct character to deal damage. Arguably, Arkham Knight is a bit of a disappointment on this front.

You never really feel alone in the Arkham games as usually your enemies are usually speaking and providing running commentary as you make progress. Although this is the case in Arkham Knight, the story also provides a reason for you to have a visible companion to allow for some physical comedy as well as some running commentary which I thought was a nice touch.

I'd say that Arkham Knight has the strongest story moments in the Arkham series with themes of guilt, fear and failure. There are quite a few memorable jump scares to boot. There is a stealth section which is similar to the scarecrow section of Arkham Asylum except it is of a more musical nature. For me Arkham Knight is the most memorable in the series, but I'm hesitant to say it's the most fun Arkham game with the amount of time spent on tank battles. However, it has some fun moments in the story and riddler challenges and it's certainly a good Arkham game to end the trilogy on

8.5
Thu 09/07/15 at 11:58
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Good review.

I've managed to grab about 3 hours play of the game so far and it's pretty good but, like you, just doesn't feel like the experience I had playing Arkham Asylum.
Wed 08/07/15 at 23:52
Regular
Posts: 261
Thanks chasfh

Yea, I don't know what I was thinking with the lists. Didn't list all of Asylum and didn't mention hardly any of City's battles.

There's a part of the ra's al ghul fight where you are dodging and throwing projectiles like the Poison Ivy fight which was good and Solomon Grundy was a good fight too

The joker seemed like a mini boss, although it was a fairly challenging part of the game

The Mad Hatter fight, while memorable in theme, just felt like fighting regular minions

I don't remember fighting Bane in Arkham City. In Arkham Asylum he was a decent fight, but he fought similar to the regular Titans. I'll admit I've only just bought Origins, so it's just the Rocksteady ones I've played
Wed 08/07/15 at 17:06
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474
Nice review.

Not entirely in agreement with some of your comments on the series however, there have been loads of fine boss battles...

R'as al Ghul for example...

Joker in his funhouse...

Solomon Grundy...

The Mad Hatter...

Bane, both in AC and in Origins...

I always thought this was one of the series' stronger points, which was why I was so annoyed by the obvious balancing issues in Origins. Deathstroke, for example, was ludicrously hard for an early-game boss...

I'm about 42% through the game, and it feels much more polished, much more "Batman-y" than Origins did, so that's good. I don't much mind that the bosses are less "in yer (two-)face" than previous games either, because AK seems far more geared toward the "Detective" persona rather than the superhero one. Lots more puzzles, lots more lateral thinking.

Having said that, the "combined takedowns" and new combat moves are awesome...
Tue 07/07/15 at 00:01
Regular
Posts: 261
There was a time when there weren't many high quality licensed super hero games and then came along Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum to show us how it's done. There was much fun to be had as a caped detective silently waiting in the shadows, and taking down vulnerable scared enemies. It was also fun to use Batman's detective mode to observe the environment and find out which array of gadgets would need to be used to overcome obstacles and aid him in combat. The free flowing nature of the combo & counter combat was fun too and other developers weren't afraid to copy it afterwards. This successful gameplay formula was used once again in the more open world sequel Arkham City. Now we have Arkham Knight, which once again has all the tried and tested gameplay of its predecessors but they also introduced something new to the series: The Batmobile.

My first thought when reading about this was whether it was really necessary; I felt cool and super hero enough when grappling and gliding over Arkham City. I then thought that the Batmobile was iconic to Batman and that racing games can be a high speed adrenaline rush and this could be an interesting addition to the series.

I'd say the Batmobile is used to solve some interesting environmental puzzles both during the story and when solving the riddlers challenges. Apart from the riddlers puzzles, he now has his own crazy death race courses to drive through. You have to press a button to open/close doors, pull in/out platforms with good timing and it is quite satisfying and flows well when you do it right. However, you do have to figure out when you are expected to slow down for more precise manoeuvres and it can be a bit jerky with all the stop/starting.

The majority of the gameplay with the Batmobile is spent shooting drones with missiles and gunfire. For most of the game this didn't do much for me. The enemy drones didn't seem to fire very fast and so were quite easy to dodge and I thought it was child's play at the beginning with so few of them. I only started to like it in the final encounter with loads of drones and a fully upgraded Batmobile where I could enjoy some mass destruction.

Fighting seems pretty much the same over previous games, although we have medics which revive downed enemies and ninjas who dash about with their swords.. they don't throw shurikens though

There are sections where you fast forward and rewind footage and scan specific parts of the screen to pick out evidence, which I thought was pretty cool.

Upon reflection, I'd say that the Arkham series hasn't been that strong when it comes to boss fights. I'd say the best boss fights are ones where you use what you've learnt along the way to overcome them and my favourite was Arkham City's Mr Freeze. I know that most of it was just takedowns, but you needed to know the different ways you can perform them plus you had to use a gadgets to perform an environmental takedown. Arkham City also had Clayface as a boss fight. I'd give second place to Poison Ivy in Arkham Asylum with all the vine whip dodging, but you also fought Killer Croc, Bane and The Joker. In Arkham Knight pretty much all of the major iconic enemies are taken out with a single takedown press of a button. The only exceptions I can think of are the Batmobile tank Boss battles and the final encounter with the Riddler, which is only an exception as you need to switch to the correct character to deal damage. Arguably, Arkham Knight is a bit of a disappointment on this front.

You never really feel alone in the Arkham games as usually your enemies are usually speaking and providing running commentary as you make progress. Although this is the case in Arkham Knight, the story also provides a reason for you to have a visible companion to allow for some physical comedy as well as some running commentary which I thought was a nice touch.

I'd say that Arkham Knight has the strongest story moments in the Arkham series with themes of guilt, fear and failure. There are quite a few memorable jump scares to boot. There is a stealth section which is similar to the scarecrow section of Arkham Asylum except it is of a more musical nature. For me Arkham Knight is the most memorable in the series, but I'm hesitant to say it's the most fun Arkham game with the amount of time spent on tank battles. However, it has some fun moments in the story and riddler challenges and it's certainly a good Arkham game to end the trilogy on

8.5

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