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Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight
Studios: Warner Interactive, Rocksteady
Platforms: PS4, XBox One, PC
Home Video Release Date: June 23rd, 2015

Synopsis: Batman: Arkham Knight brings the award-winning Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios to its epic conclusion. Developed exclusively for New-Gen platforms, Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady's uniquely designed version of the Batmobile. The highly anticipated addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City. In this explosive finale, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city that he is sworn to protect, as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham and destroy the Batman forever.

Further, the Batmobile is brought to life with a completely new and original design featuring a distinct visual appearance and a full range of on-board high-tech gadgetry. Designed to be fully drivable throughout the game world and capable of transformation from high speed pursuit mode to military grade battle mode, this legendary vehicle sits at the heart of the game's design and allows players to tear through the streets at incredible speeds in pursuit of Gotham City's most dangerous villains. This iconic vehicle also augments Batman's abilities in every respect, from navigation and forensics to combat and puzzle solving creating a genuine and seamless sense of the union of man and machine.

Also, live the complete Batman experience as the Dark Knight enters the concluding chapter of Rocksteady's Arkham trilogy. Players will become The World's Greatest Detective like never before with the introduction of the Batmobile and enhancements to signature features such as FreeFlow Combat, stealth, forensics and navigation.

Be the Batman...


Available to own on PlayStation 4, XBox One and for PC!


Batman: Arkham Knight Review
By James Harvey

The conclusion to Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham trilogy is here, and yes, it's basically everything you want it to be. The story is riveting, the graphics beautiful and the action unrelenting. No Batman video game has ever looked better. It's the epitome of everything Rocksteady set out do, a perfect build up to what they started with Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City all those years ago (Note: Rocksteady did not develop Batman: Arkham Origins, so it's not considered part of the company's storyline). With the Batman: Arkham series, Rocksteady ended up making the best super hero franchise of all time, and they didn't buckle under lofty expectations when bringing Batman to current gen systems. They have definitely gone out on top. Rocksteady bids adieu to Batman in one of the best games of the year and of the current console generation so far.

For those highly invested in the Batman: Arkham universe, this game will particularly resonate. Batman: Arkham Knight feels like a culmination of everything that has come before. The final chapter in a dizzying, draining and even daring storyline. Even with the Joker's death in Batman: Arkham City, there's still so much story left as we deal with the fallout of removing such a major player from Gotham's underworld and, to the surprise of no one, there are devastating consequences.

To reiterate, Batman: Arkham Knight is an absolutely gorgeous game. The visuals are striking and incredibly detailed. The upgrade from the last gen to this one is staggering and immediately noticeable right from the very first scene. I initially just assumed this game would feel like the previous Batman: Arkham games, only with a flashier coat of paint, but the upgrade from Batman: Arkham City to Batman: Arkham Knight is massive. The detail alone, especially when Batman's charging through Gotham on foot, and just how much work has been put into bringing Gotham City alive, is stunning. Batman's home turf looks absolutely vibrant here, filled with personality and heft. The near-constant rainfall not only adds to the atmosphere, but is beautifully animated. Whether it's rain beading off Batman's cape as he glides through the city, or as it whips by while our hero tears through the streets in the Batmobile, no corners have been cut in the game's visual presentation. So much attention has been giving to making this game look gorgeous and it shows in every frame.

And worry not, the story hasn't been neglected one bit. Thankfully, Rocksteady spent just as much time crafting the story as they did the game's look. As I said, depending on how invested you are in the Batman: Arkham universe may determine how far the story goes for you. Even with a couple of the game's predictable twists, it's still a thoroughly engrossing story that honestly caps the game series the only real way it could've. While the story can feel a little overstuffed at times, the game never collapses. The Scarecrow, Arkham Knight, revisiting events from Batman's past and from the previous Batman: Arkham games ... it's a lot to handle. All in one night, no less, but Rocksteady is able to deftly maneuver it all, for the most part. We get a couple clunkers (such as the very obvious secret identity of Arkham Knight, for one) but that pales in comparison to the pretty impressive overall story constructed to suitably close off the Batman: Arkham mythos (for now).

Characters on all front remain complex and layered, even though some project more emotional maturity than others. Decisions make sense in terms of the story, never feeling like any decisions made are being done solely to force the narrative along. There are plenty of times when the characters here are pushed to the breaking point, and not once does it feel out of place. While Rocksteady may have made Batman a wee-bit too aggressive when it comes to some of his actions in the game, it seems like the crew has managed to nail the essence of every character in the game's roll call. Oracle gets a pretty substantial role in the game, one with some pretty heavy material, and the frequent appearances by Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman are welcome. They each get a good story beat or two, nicely getting involved in the fisticuffs for some very awesome dual-hero takedowns and character moments.

And for those who favor the bad guys - worry not! There are plenty of familiar Bat-foes to deal with during the course of the game's main storyline and the assorted side missions, including one that will scare the living daylights out of (it's reminds me of the infamous "dog" moment in Resident Evil). Like the good guys, a fair offering of Batman's enemies also get a telling moment or two.

With a story this big, Rocksteady is deftly able to keep everything nicely in order. There are smaller stories that also play out through the night, primarily the side missions, and they're all actually pretty engaging. Even the Riddler trophy missions seem more thought-out and relevant as compared to Arkham City. These little secondary tasks do allow for some much needed recovery time, since the story does get fairly bleak at times. Make no mistake, Rocksteady had a clear agenda to wrap up everything up with this game and they do not hold back.

Batman: Arkham Knight goes for the jugular with the combat, giving the familiar free-flow combat some juicy additions to mix things up a little. Not only can Batman's allies join the fight, and players can actually control them, but there's more environment interactivity this time around. He can smash foes through fences and pipes and can pick up more objects to subdue them. Rocksteady has refined the combat system and predator modes here, pretty much perfecting the formula they created in Batman: Arkham Asylum. And, as with previous games, there are different types of thugs, some which require a bit more skill than others to take down, but it's nothing knew for the veteran Arkham, but it's also easy for newbies to pick up. On top of that, he has a wealth of gadgets to aid in his bad guy beatdowns, so things will never get boring.

My only real gripe with the games has to do with one of the major pillars of the game's marketing - the Batmobile. Without a doubt, some of the most aggravating, frustrating moments of the game came from that four-wheeled monstrosity. While I eventually got a handle on the thing, it was a struggle for the most part. The Batmobile handled like a car perpetually stuck on a patch of oil. The controls never felt as snug as they should've, and the car veered off more than I like. I lost a lot of time struggling with it, as on more than a few occasions it never really went where I wanted it to go. I had to resort to Battle Mode on more than a few occasions to get where I needed to be without driving off a road or bank. Whenever I had the option, I would glide over Gotham instead of getting behind the wheels of that thing. I only used that contraption when absolutely necessary.

As for the Batmobile's Battle Mode, that too left a little something to be desired for. The entire tank experience is either pulling down or up walls and floors, or basically very telegraphed attacks and shooting something until it blows up. And then doing that again over and over. Granted, it does offer a bit of a breather from the usually more intense fisticuffs, but it kills the momentum and even feels a out of place and character for Batman.

Thankfully, my car problems didn't pull me out of the game that much nor ruin my overall enjoyment of it. Once those tasks were over, I found myself fully re-submerged back in the world of Batman: Arkham Knight and thoroughly engrossed. The world that Rocksteady created here is a fantastic one - dark, but not overpowering or crushing. The story is basically what you'd expect from Batman - over-the-top stakes, wild reveals and a finale where everything is put on the line and sacrifices are made.What's amazing is how the story is able to ebb and flow without missing a beat or really going off track. One minute you're discovering a huge twist in the story, seconds later you're trying to dismantle some thugs while processing what just happened. For the sake of keeping this review spoiler free, despite the majority of major plot points out wide on the internet, there are some really huge moments from the Batman mythos brought to life here, and they can really throw you for a loop. Do yourself a favor and avoid those spoilers.

To the surprise of no-one, voice acting is top-notch across the board. Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Injustice: Gods Among Us) is, as always, pitch-perfect as Batman, and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) is great as Commissioner Gordon. However, the real standout is John Noble (Superman Unbound, Fringe) as the Scarecrow. Genius casting. Frightening, frightening stuff. Ashley Greene (The Twilight Series) also deserves props for her work as Oracle in the game, as does Grey Griffin (Batman: Arkham City) for her sultry work on Catwoman and Tara Strong (Batman: The Animated Series) as a manic Harley Quinn. Such an incredible cast of assembled actors.

Overall, the game's tagline says it best - "Be The Batman." Batman: Arkham Knight offers just that and delivers on nearly all fronts. There's a real sense of power here that's completely enthralling, and it just pulls you right into the story. This game earns every last moment, and it especially holds enough cache that those big pay-offs in the final hours of the game actually hold some weight. It's a riveting, rousing conclusion to Rocksteady's Arkham saga, one that feels earned and worthy of everything that's come before. Not everyone will agree with how things end, but there's really no other way these games could've. There are a couple small bumps in the road - namely the frustrating Batmobile, a few plot choices and Arkham Knight's somewhat lacking reveal - but those severely pale in comparison to everything this game nails. For Batman and video game aficionados alike, this game hits the high score on pretty much every level - the excellent combat, the graphics, the stroy, the haunting score, the acting - it's a legitimate massive achievement that is a testament to the skill of Rocksteady of their vision in creating the ultimate Batman experience. It's an unforgettable finish to the best superhero video game franchise of all time.

Batman: Arkham Knight is not to be missed! Must Own!

A PlayStation 4 edition of this game was provided by Warner Bros. Interactive to review.

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