I am The (K)Night! Be the bat again once more in the exciting conclusion to Rocksteady’s stellar Batman series. Months have passed since the Joker’s death in Arkham City and crime is on the decline in Gotham. In those months Scarecrow has been developing a new neurotoxin and joining forces with the mercenary army of the Arkham Knight.
Together they turn Gotham into a war zone. The city is evacuated leaving only gangs, mercenaries, a depleted GCPD, and Batman. With Commissioner Gordon’s forces spread thin, it’s time to punch Gotham’s problems in the face as only Batman can. All the favorites have returned. Penguin is running guns, Two-Face is robbing banks, Firefly is burning things, and Riddler is tagging Gotham with question marks.
Also, Poison Ivy grows plants, and Catwoman plays “Damsel in Distress?” OK, let’s Batman. Gotham is a big place, so now driving the Batmobile is finally a reality! It has the sleekness of “Batman,” the stockiness of the “Tumbler,” and the fins of the TV series Batmobile. The paint job of the second Batmobile that you get in the game pays homage to that series enough to bring a tear to this reviewer’s eye.
The new Batmobile packs a lot of surprises including a “Battle Mode” sporting a 60mm cannon, Vulcan gun and missiles to take on the Arkham Knight’s drone tank forces in the streets. Batman is not alone in these mean streets. There are also team up sections with Robin and Nightwing which add an interesting new aspect as Robin and Nightwing can be controllable characters instead of simply AI. A click of a button swaps between Batman and his allies, to set up takedown combos, or just to see the abilities of Batman’s more capable allies.
There are more than enough side quests to spend hours on this game. The most intriguing aspect of the story is the shift of Batman’s attention. In the beginning, the focus is on stopping the Scarecrow from enveloping Gotham in his neurotoxin, while the Arkham Knight carries out a vendetta to end The Dark Knight for good. After soiling Scarecrow’s plan Batman seeks out the identity of the Arkham Knight. Is it because of a ghost from Batman’s past, or is it in his blood?
There are some new things to get around here. Some are streamlined, others take some getting used to. Let’s start with the most glaring. Batmobile Battle Mode vs. brake. When in the Batmobile LT/L2 engages “Battle Mode” instead of stopping the car like every other driving sim out there. So, get used to it.
Gadgets are now on a radial menu controlled by the down D-Pad. A decent addition, although I still find myself using the old D-Pad configuration in a clutch, which sometimes works out. There is much to do in Gotham, and the mission selection menu blew me away.
Rather than hunting out missions on the map, it utilizes the same radial menu as the gadgets. This makes mission selection a breeze. It also has a percentage completed graphic for each mission, which is an incentive to keep going to 100%!
Is this a satisfying end to the Batman Trilogy? Yes. Do I want to see it end? Heck NO! While there may be some BYFC moments in there where the difficulty ramps up, this is a great game full of satisfying moments.
Many times I found myself just standing around listening to the radio chatter of the city. Sometimes I’ll just pick fights with the random gangers around the city. Maybe I’ll help my allies with the missions that they have been working on.
Then there are plenty of jumps to launch the Batmobile off. Then, there is driving the story forward, taking Batman through what may be his last night in Gotham.
Batman Arkham Knight Review on Xbox One