By Gemma ~ @Juicygamereviews
Batman Arkham Knight is one of Rocksteady Studios finest moments. This doesn't negate from the studios previous solid attempts at showcasing Gotham's finest criminal sub cultures. Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City are just as immersive but nowhere near as Batman Arkham Knight.
Perched up high about Gotham, our quest begins with Batman looking down over the dark skyline. Gotham looked huge and packed full of detail. IGN reported that Arkham Knight's Gotham is five times as big compared to Arkham City's Gotham. Guy Perkins, Rocksteady's marketing manager commented to IGN about the size of Gotham:
"So that had its place for that story, but then we took that into the open world to give players the next piece of the Batman armour as it were, which is the grappling gun and the ability to glide. The introduction of those pieces really required a bigger game world to support them, but then the big thing that was always missing for us was the Batmobile. It was always missing but wouldn’t have worked in Asylum or City, so to build an open-world around that was crucial.
Gotham certainly feels a lot more alive than it did in Arkham City which is arguably due to it being designed to suit the Batmobile. There has been much contention over the Batmobile mechanics though. Personally, I believe the Batmobile provides a welcome addition to the franchise and it's the first time we've been able to control the car itself. The worst aspect of the Batmobile come at high speed as it slides far too much for my liking. Fortunately, you're able to pop in to Battle Mode which allows the Batmobile to regain some control but comes at the cost of losing momentum. I managed to work out a nice balance of transitioning in and out of Battle Mode to maximise my control. During Battle Mode the Batmobile felt powerful and merciless against Scarecrow's armies so I literally have no complaints there. How do you feel about the addition of the Batmobile in Arkham Knight?
What would a Batman title be without any gadgets? Batman Arkham Knight offers a really solid collection of gadgets with my personal favourite being the Voice Synthesiser. Rocksteady carefully implemented the use of the voice synthesiser in to the stealthier missions. The voice synthesiser worked by matching the frequencies of voices of villains which enabled us to manipulate Gotham's 'baddies'. Opening doors, turning off valves and such like never felt so simple. The diversity of gadgets allowed missions to feel just as diverse. Other notable aids that hung from the caped hero include the remote hacking device, freeze blast, remote electrical charge, batarangs, batclaw, smoke pellet and disrupter.
Now, let's face it guys the characters in any Batman game are always going to be a hot topic. "Can we play as Robin? Can we play at Batgirl? Is Harley Quinn a playable character?" These questions are always popular questions that us gamers ask when it comes to Batman games right? I'm not going to list them off as they can be found in many reputable sources on line but there are a few interesting points that evolved as I played through Arkham Knight. The relationship between Batman and the Joker intrigued me in particular. The Joker appears in Arkham Knight as part of Batman's subconscious (yes there is way more too it than this but I don't want to spoil it). There were times when The Joker's presence added a certain sense of unison between Batman and himself. Here's what I found interesting about this. With some clever writing, Rocksteady Studios play out the relationship very steadily and I felt that the rapport pendulated between good and bad. At times The Joker steered Batman towards the goal and on the other hand he taunted. Did you notice this? My hunch is that is was done on purpose and it was my favourite aspect of the overall storyline.
Batman Arkham Knight posed many challenges for me. More often than not I enjoyed the choices that were presented to me in Arkham Knight. There's a plethora of side quests to choose from (I still need to go for 100% completion) and a huge amount of Riddler Trophies to be sought. I often heard the gaming community talk about choice and how important that is to create the immersion. Rocksteady Studios certainly gave us choice.
Batman Arkham Knight is a solid and welcome title in my PS4 collection despite the minor annoyances of poor mechanics of the Batmobile this game is a must own title!
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