When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out years ago, for me it signaled the end of a drought. So many had attempted to make a good superhero-based game, and failed miserably, only succeeding in creating an unplayable piece of trash that was an exercise in futility (for examples, see ANY Superman game ever made...). The Arkham series brought playability to the world of DC, and added the dramatic flare necessary to portray the Batman. It was dark, it was dirty, it was for all intents and purposes perfect.
Years later, they expanded on things. They made Arkham larger, encompassing its own city. And it made things bigger, better. This was the Batman game, not that we deserved... but the one that we needed.
Forget Arkham Origins, because... Yeah....
Which brings us to Arkham Knight, the final piece of the Arkham Trilogy (+1).
The game itself got off with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, partially due to the limitations of the PS4 hard drive, and the space hog that some games tend to be, as well as the 3+ gig update file that was needed for pretty much any functionality in the game. What I had hoped to be a quick trip in to see the opening scenes, and get in a little game play before work, became an exercise in me yelling at my TV and cursing the name Rocksteady (but not Bebop... Bebop is the man) And if you don't get that joke, I'm sorry... you obviously had an awful childhood.
With time at a premium, I finally managed to get into the game, and run through a little bit. The standard game tutorial stuff, this is how you punch, this is how you do this, and that, and would you look here, it's the Batmobile! The Batmobile being one of the things that I saw as making or breaking this game. This was the big addition to the game, the one zinger that would set it apart from the other Arkham games, and decide if this was going to be the brilliant end to a trilogy, or if this was going to be the Godfather 3 of video games.
And in all honesty, the Batmobile thus far, has been the most horrible frustrating bit of gameplay I have seen in the Arkham games, and that is including random game-breaking bugs that could occur in Arkham City.
In particular, the thing that made me nearly chuck the controller across the room in a fit of violent nerd rage, was the Riddler's race tracks... Because, apparently the Riddler decided "To hell with riddles, or anything that remotely resembles my character. I'm gonna be NASCAR tracks, 'cause I wanna go fast!" Suddenly, I found myself stuck in a room, forced to keep going around and around a track, that changed a bit between iterations, but required me to drive the Batmobile on the walls, at one point on the ceiling, and at all points constantly being killed by walls that crushed me because I was just a half second off in my timing.
I called the Riddler some fairly nasty names, and none of them were Mr. Nigma, Sir.
Outside of the Batmobile, it offers up the familiar gameplay elements that I loved in the first two games, while offering up some good variations to help keep things fresh. The story kept me going long after I should have stopped playing for the night, and has so far offered up a few twists that I didn't see coming, as well as some nice nods to the old animated series (Which was the definitive Batman for me back in the day). By the time I stopped at nearly 5 in the morning, I was trying to track down the victim of a kidnapping, and continue along in my efforts to figure out the identity of this Arkham Knight character...
All in all, it is actually really difficult for me to be writing this, as opposed to playing more, and in my books that is a resounding success for the game. This is by no means a full review of the game, though. Hopefully the guy I asked to review the game will be here eventually to offer up his thoughts. This man is a Batman fan through and through, although I have not asked him his feelings on the dreaded "Batcow" So, I am hoping he has some fun insights to offer. Should he tell me he can't do it, I'll be back in a couple of weeks to give my final review.
Until then... Talk to Harley...