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"Arkham Knight - Holy Alabaster Sea Mammals, Batman!"

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Thu 03/11/16 at 22:31
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 439
According to UrbanDictionary.com, a white whale is 'something you obsess over to the point that it nearly or completely destroys you.' The same site then goes on to provide several less savoury definitions for the same term, though for politeness's sake, I'll stick with the first one. Thankfully, no game has yet managed to kill me yet, but Arkham Knight has come pretty close.

Batman: Arkham Knight, the third game in Rocksteady's Arkham trilogy, came in for a lot of flack when it was released. Leaving aside the fact that the PC version was and still is horribly broken, the game received some criticism for introducing the Batmobile as a game mechanic. However, what really frustrated me about the game, and made it my white whale, was the way that you didn't get to see the game's full ending unless you collected all the Riddler trophies, all 200+ of them.

Collectables have often featured heavily in open world games, as a means of extending a game's longetivity and giving players an incentive to explore the furthest reaches of the map. Arkham Knight was different in that it locked away part of the ending until you'd collected all the trophies, the majority of which were hidden in unmarked locations. I spent hour upon hour dipping into Arkham Knight, trying to hunt down those trophies.

Every time I played, I got closer and closer to my goal, but at the last count I still had roughly a hundred trophies to go. At which point, something snapped in my brain. Maybe it was the Riddler's constant taunts that got to me. Perhaps I simply couldn't comprehend why Batman, a billionaire with access to military-grade technologies, couldn't just tunnel his way into the building where the Riddler was hiding. Most likely, it was the sudden realization that I just wasn't enjoying myself, and what had started as a game had become a tedious chore.

Whatever the catalyst was, I decided I was done. Not done with the game as a whole, that is - I still dip into it every now again, mainly because I find it disturbingly entertaining to dress as Sixties Batman and dispense spine-breaking justice. Adam West would not approve. But as for the trophies? I've broken off my pursuit of my white or should that be green whale, and haven't looked back.

On reflection, I do still harbour some contempt for Rocksteady's decision to block off content, albeit a small amount of content in this case. I don't begrudge their inclusion of collectables, since I know there are lot of completionists who get a kick out of hunting down every last item, seeing that glorious - to them - 100% complete stat pop up. But that's content that I, the gamer, had paid for, and was being denied, in a rather clumsy and obvious way. At least, unlike Captain Ahab, my white whale wasn't the death of me, nor did it kill my interest in gaming.

(This originally posted on my Destructoid blog)
Fri 11/11/16 at 18:00
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474

Hannard wrote:
I'd heard that it'd had a lot of work done, but was still a bit flakey. Apparently they've fixed up Mortal Kombat X, though I suspect they've still lost a lot of goodwill.


Arkham knight, quite honestly, was no worse than any of the previous Arkham games on release (they were all pretty shoddy in one way or another), and is now...

... no worse than any of the other Arkham games. Get yourself playing all of them on PC, see if I'm right.

Again, just unwarranted bad press...
Fri 11/11/16 at 01:00
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 439
I'd heard that it'd had a lot of work done, but was still a bit flakey. Apparently they've fixed up Mortal Kombat X, though I suspect they've still lost a lot of goodwill.

Fri 04/11/16 at 13:53
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474
I see your point, but isn't that simply showing you a different ending depending on how much you achieved during the game? In the same way that Fallout New Vegas gives you a different ending depending on what you do during the game, or Bioshock's choice-dependent ending, or Dead or Alive's unlockable content that only unlocks if you use particular characters....

In all the above cases, and dozens of others, you have to do more than simply complete the game to see all of the content. Not sure that Rocksteady's choice is any more "clumsy" than any of the others.

I have, by the way, only ever 100% completed one of the Arkham games, and that was Arkham Origins (yes, the Warner Bros "black sheep" of the series, which I actually really liked).

Also, just a point to note, the PC version is not "still broken". The original release was a problem for some (not me, fortunately!), and probably should have been better, but it runs like liquid silk now. I think the PC version got rather a raw deal with the gaming press, considering some of the complete disasters that seem to slip under the radar and never get fixed (the original Crysis, anyone?)

I seem to recall a similar issue with Origins, with many people complaining about performance problems at higher settings on release. Bizarrely, that particular issue was completely overshadowed by a more fundamental game-breaking problem that meant you were unable to progress much further than 20% of the game; they "fixed" this within a few weeks, and that had the effect of soothing the angry mob which meant that WB were pretty much left alone to sort the performance issues at their leisure. I'd never suggest that the game breaker was intentionally added, but...

WB admitted they were aware of the performance problem prior to release, sooo....

Funny how people forget those things...
Thu 03/11/16 at 22:31
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 439
According to UrbanDictionary.com, a white whale is 'something you obsess over to the point that it nearly or completely destroys you.' The same site then goes on to provide several less savoury definitions for the same term, though for politeness's sake, I'll stick with the first one. Thankfully, no game has yet managed to kill me yet, but Arkham Knight has come pretty close.

Batman: Arkham Knight, the third game in Rocksteady's Arkham trilogy, came in for a lot of flack when it was released. Leaving aside the fact that the PC version was and still is horribly broken, the game received some criticism for introducing the Batmobile as a game mechanic. However, what really frustrated me about the game, and made it my white whale, was the way that you didn't get to see the game's full ending unless you collected all the Riddler trophies, all 200+ of them.

Collectables have often featured heavily in open world games, as a means of extending a game's longetivity and giving players an incentive to explore the furthest reaches of the map. Arkham Knight was different in that it locked away part of the ending until you'd collected all the trophies, the majority of which were hidden in unmarked locations. I spent hour upon hour dipping into Arkham Knight, trying to hunt down those trophies.

Every time I played, I got closer and closer to my goal, but at the last count I still had roughly a hundred trophies to go. At which point, something snapped in my brain. Maybe it was the Riddler's constant taunts that got to me. Perhaps I simply couldn't comprehend why Batman, a billionaire with access to military-grade technologies, couldn't just tunnel his way into the building where the Riddler was hiding. Most likely, it was the sudden realization that I just wasn't enjoying myself, and what had started as a game had become a tedious chore.

Whatever the catalyst was, I decided I was done. Not done with the game as a whole, that is - I still dip into it every now again, mainly because I find it disturbingly entertaining to dress as Sixties Batman and dispense spine-breaking justice. Adam West would not approve. But as for the trophies? I've broken off my pursuit of my white or should that be green whale, and haven't looked back.

On reflection, I do still harbour some contempt for Rocksteady's decision to block off content, albeit a small amount of content in this case. I don't begrudge their inclusion of collectables, since I know there are lot of completionists who get a kick out of hunting down every last item, seeing that glorious - to them - 100% complete stat pop up. But that's content that I, the gamer, had paid for, and was being denied, in a rather clumsy and obvious way. At least, unlike Captain Ahab, my white whale wasn't the death of me, nor did it kill my interest in gaming.

(This originally posted on my Destructoid blog)

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