Holiday Sale Purchase 1: Batman: Arkham Knight

Holiday Sale Purchase 1: Batman: Arkham Knight

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Commentary, featured, PS4 |

PSN’s holiday sale offered Batman: Arkham Knight. I originally wanted to wait until the game of the year edition to get all the DLC but at half-price the deal was too good to pass up.

The first thing I noticed about Arkham Knight is the graphics. The game looks gorgeous. Everything from the character models to Gotham City itself is rendered beautifully. The grit that you’d expect from a Batman title is there, but the lighting and textures do an impressive job of bringing things to life. Gotham is a neon-lit, troubled city that exists not simply as the player’s playground, but as a character itself.

While I enjoyed the reunion of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as the voices of Batman and the Joker respectively, what really struck me was what they did with the latter. The Joker is not merely a villain, he’s a presence. He talks to Batman. Taunts him, laughs at him, ridicules him, judges him, and sometimes just looks at him. He’s there. He lingers, existing as a malevolent reminder of how close Batman walks the line between dedication and obsession.

Now, I can’t talk about Arkham Knight without mentioning the Batmobile. If you’ve played any of the recent Transformers games other than Devastation, then Batman’s ride will feel familiar. It looks, drives and fights like one. It works. It’s functional. You’ve seen it before and it’s nothing special. Yes, it’s definitely a cool car, but it adds little value to the overall package. The gameplay mechanics that it provides are monotonous and, in some cases, even hinder things from becoming fun. For example, one of the side quests is to disable mines around Gotham, a process that involves fighting drones that defend those mines. Fighting ten of them is okay. Fighting forty? That’s a chore.

In sum, Arkham Knight is a good but not great sendoff to the Batman: Arkham series. It looks fantastic and plays well. It doesn’t take any risks so it’s more of the same. The Batmobile is not a stellar addition to the gameplay. I’m glad I waited till it went on sale.