Game Review: 'Batman: Arkham Knight'

It's the Caped Crusader game Batfans have been waiting for...and they won't be disappointed.

Here it is, Batfans! The final installment of the Arkham series—the big one, the one you’ve been waiting for, the one with a Batmobile—and it doesn’t long as you’re not playing on a PC. Set after the events of 2011’s Arkham City, Knight picks up in a Gotham where the Joker is nothing but a ghostly remembrance, Scarecrow is running amok, and the city needs the Dark Knight more than ever.

Arkham Knight builds on the foundation that was laid out by its predecessors. This is a huge open-world game where Batman can take to the skies or the streets in an epic final battle against every villain you remember from the comic books, and some that were introduced especially for the game. Gotham is bigger, Batman has a whole bunch of new toys, and the story—one that blends elements of some classic bat stories—will keep you on the edge of your seat. We don’t want to spoil it for you but, trust us, it’s that good.

One of the biggest additions to Arkham Knight is the inclusion of the Batmobile. The sandbox of the previous Arkham games practically begged for GTA-style vehicular mayhem, and now we’ve finally got it. Better still, it’s shockingly fun. The Batmobile motors through waves of enemies on the street, afterburns over giant gaps and pulls down pesky walls, but it also changes into full-blown battle mode with the push of a button (left trigger to be exact), standing and fighting against legions of baddies in a way that’s somehow reminiscent of a first-person shooter, but still perfectly suited for Batman’s world.

The new Batmobile is also an integral part of the puzzles spattered throughout the game and acts as a new device to help when you have to think your way out of a jam. Arkham Knight puts even more emphasis on these puzzles than its predecessors. There are still a huge variety of Riddler puzzles scattered throughout the bigger Gotham City, but the story paints you into corners more than ever before, corners where only clever thinking and utilizing your bat-gadgets can get you out. Batman is the world’s greatest detective, after all.

And Bat-brawlers, worry not. As much as Arkham Knight challenges you to use your brains, the combat system is still one of the best in all of video games. Batman is a furious fighter, and you’ll wind up dropping into a 30 v. 1 melee as often as you’ll have to escape from diabolical mind traps. Batman handles it all with ease, fluidly traversing rooms full of cannon fodder to take out the guys packing heavy weapons and then jiu-jitsuing through lowly minions like Bruce Lee through two-by-fours. It’s a combat system that is miles ahead of the rest of the adventure-game landscape (we’re looking at you, Assassin’s Creed) and one that will put a supremely satisfied smile on your bat-loving face.

Whether you’re a fan of the Dark Knight, a fan of the Arkham games or just looking for an excellent open-world adventure to take up your free time, Arkham Knight excels on all fronts. As the final piece of the Arkham puzzles, we’ll look back as fondly on Batman: Arkham Knight as Bruce does on his dead parents.

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