Rocksteady bring us the final chapter to their Batman: Arkham trilogy. Batman has never looked so good, nor had as many gadgets and tricks up his sleeve. Does this last instalment of the Dark Knight’s Arkham adventures deliver a fitting finale to one of the (if not THE) best superhero video game franchises around?

If you’ve ever played any of the other Arkham games, this one will feel instantly familiar. Going by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” code, everything from: combat, grappling and gliding around the city, and stalking your prey will feel more or less exactly as you’d expect. Which is not a bad thing; when all the mechanics you are used to really don’t need any polishing. What Arkham knight does do is expanding on Batman’s arsenal of gadgets and of course introduces the Batmobile.

Arkham knight screen
This time around Batman has the majority of Gotham City to explore, which is considerably larger than any map in previous games. Therefore it makes sense that the Batmobile would be included. It is a very fun inclusion, but it can feel a bit intrusive at times. You can transform it into a tank-like state where you can strafe and move diagonally. This is mainly for when you are battling the battalions of unmanned tank drones that patrol the city. While fun, it often feels like Rocksteady shoehorned a lot of these segments into missions that didn’t really need them. Tank combat is fun, but it just feels so un-Batman-like to blow up a dozen or so tanks. There are also some platforming (yes friggin’ platforming) segments that can get very frustrating. These complaints are more of a nitpick and minor annoyance and doesn’t impact the overall fun that much.

The story kicks off nine months after the events of Arkham City when Scarecrow unleashes his fear toxin in a diner with deadly consequences. Under the threat of a city wide chemical strike, all of Gotham’s citizens are evacuated; leaving only the criminal scum and the men & women of Gotham’s police force. As Batman tracks Scarecrow he is introduced to the eponymous villain: The Arkham Knight. The Knight is somebody that was once close to Batman and holds a serious grudge. Anybody that is familiar with the Batman comics or animated movies will figure out the twist very quickly, but the writing is still strong enough that veterans and newcomers alike will find something to enjoy.

This is by far the biggest game in the series to date. Gotham City is huge, and it is evident that Rocksteady put a lot of love and effort into constructing their vision of Gotham. Aside from the lengthy main quest there are a whole bunch of side-quests that all culminate in taking down an iconic Batman villain such as Two-Face or the Penguin. The supporting cast is also a whole lot bigger this time around and there are some really cool and entertaining segments where you fight large groups of enemies alongside Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman. During these co-op sections you can switch between characters on the fly, and perform stylish dual takedowns. It almost feels like a missed opportunity that Rocksteady didn’t offer the option to play through them with a friend. Nonetheless, Arkham Knight offers a ton of gameplay for all you completionists out there.

The Arkham games have always set the bar high when it comes to presentation, but Arkham Knight goes that extra mile. The character models are beautifully designed and rendered, and the aforementioned Gotham City even comes to life. Dark and brooding is the order of the day, and the gothic architecture, coupled with the tragic events of the story and heavy themes makes it feel like the game is a graphic novel come to life. There is a great attention to detail, like the rain dripping off Batman’s suit or the fantastic lighting effects that shine through as you glide across Gotham’s skies. The musical score is spot on, as are the sound effects and the voice acting; with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles of Batman and a posthumous Joker.

Batman: Arkham Knight upholds the series’ claim to the superhero video game throne. While not perfect, the overall quality is just so incredibly high that it’s hard not to recommend this game to any gamer that enjoys open-world action-adventure. Definitively a contender for game of the year.

Batman: Arkham Knight Review
GRAPHICS95%
AUDIO95%
GAMEPLAY88%
STORY85%
PROS
  • Smooth and fluid gameplay
  • Incredible presentation
  • Plenty of content
CONS
  • Batmobile sometimes intrusive
  • No multiplayer co-op
  • Predictable plot for Batman vets
91%I'm Batman!
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About The Author

Ingólfur Ólafsson

Metal head, front-man, natural gamer and editor at Eskimo Press.