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Review: Batman Arkham Knight (PS4)

 

 
Overview
 

Game Length: + 50 hours (Including all side missions, Riddler trophies, etc. )
 
Developer(s): Rocksteady Studios
 
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
 
Platform(s): PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
 
Release Date: 23 June 2015
 
Platform:
 
Gameplay
10


 
Visuals
10


 
Audio
10


 
Gratification
10


 
Value for Money
10


 
Total Score
10
10/10


User Rating
35 total ratings

 

Positives


Gotham City - beautifully well-imagined game world | Gotham's threat feels real | Unparalleled story | Being the Batman is no lie | Villains are freaky | The Batmobile!

Negatives


It is the last one :(


Bottom Line

Being the Batman has never felt so good!




73
Posted June 19, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

review-batman-arkham-knight

The Arkham series has come a long way since its debut in 2009, taking everything that we loved in the previous titles, polishing it up, adding some gloss, and creating a better experience. Batman Arkham Knight hits you hard in the gut, it successfully delivers a feeling of terror, a constant feeling of anxiety, and that feeling when you know something terrible is about and there is really nothing you can do to stop it. Batman Arkham Knight is the darkest entry to the franchise, it slowly peels away your layers, leaving you vulnerable and nervous. The story slowly drops you into a pessimistic state. Like Scarecrow it emits gas from the game and it slowly creeps its way into your mind.

Gotham City is in chaos, Scarecrow has threatened to bring about a wave of fear with his toxic fear gas. About 6.3 million people have been evacuated in 24 hours, and once again it falls to the Dark Knight to save Gotham. An even bigger threat looms over the Bat; a new mysterious villain threatens to end him once and for all, the Arkham Knight. Armed with military tanks and a weaponised army, this new villain is not to be taken lightly.

One thing is clear from the start of the game, whatever the Joker was up to in the past, whatever Dr Hugo Stranger tried to accomplish in Arkham City, it was nothing compared to the threat that Batman faces this time. Scarecrow is a dark and twisted villain, horrific and vile. He has this presence that might not get to Batman, but definitely feels real to the player.

BAK 3

This time you have the entire city to yourself, and if you think traversing it would be a strenuous task, think again. The Batmobile has landed in the game, and it is gorgeous, and full of surprises. Rocksteady really went out of their way to imagine what it would be like driving around in an armour-plated billion-dollar vehicle. They crafted one super hero vehicle that is easy to control, thrilling to drive and makes you feel like you are Batman. The Batmobile is a true example of great implementation and how Hollywood still has no idea what they are doing.

Please Be Careful With the Car Mr. Wayne, She’s One of a Kind

From the start of the game you get to call upon the Batmobile to whisk you away in any destination. One quick press of a button and it will come to your location, you could even be gliding across the city and you will instantly dive to the ground, or straight into the car, all in one epic animation sequence. It has two modes of control – a Battle Mode and a standard mode. The Battle Mode is the ideal mode when taking on enemy tanks and moving through tight spots. It allows you to move slowly and precisely. Battle mode is activated by holding down the L2 trigger. Yes, this might feel weird at first because L2 is normally reverse or brake. But after a few smashes into walls and taking the wrong corner, I finally mastered switching between the two modes. The Standard Mode sees you racing across the city, ramping off bridges, and using your thrusters to go even faster.

Shootouts with tanks feels like a combat battle, but with wheels. You switch to Battle Mode and strafe the area with ease, dashing in any direction if need be. The Batmobile can predict enemy fire, giving you a chance to get out of the way before being hit. Shooting missiles and using the riot suppressor to take out airborne incoming missiles is key to surviving. Missiles deal damage and takes tanks down, this fills up your Missile Barrage attack. The more tanks you take down without getting hit the higher your missile barrage attack grows, the higher the level, the more tanks you can take down instantly when you execute it.

Miss Me?

The Batmobile is far more than just a battle tank, it comes in handy while playing through the game. At times you will need to remote control the car even if you are in a building and use it to open a new route using the winch to take down a wall. At times you will need it to solve some Riddler puzzles by using its gadgets or speed. One of the greatest Riddler puzzles saw me racing through a tunnel triggering a switch to lift bridges and close gaps as I tried to get to the end in time. It was not only thrilling, but the closest I was going to get to experience what it was like to be Batman.

BAK

Talking about Batman, he has also been improved, and just when you think you have it all, another upgrade catapults your Batsuit to 8.03. This upgrade changes how you played before and adds a whole new way to take down enemies, jump into the Batmobile and even glide through the city and explore areas. You start off with most of the gadgets that you ended Arkham City with, making the combat at the start of the game familiar, but as you progress you will find yourself leaning away from those dated techniques, and testing out new stuff.

The combat has been tweaked, but still keeping to the traditional counter, punch, use gadget, takedown scenario. Later in the game, with a few upgrades unlocked, you get to really show what Batman can do as takedowns can be performed during a combo instead of waiting to lower an enemy’s health. There were some hiccups I experienced where I took damage with a 70 combo even though I countered, but maybe it was just my combat skills.

Batman Brings His Friends! 

During certain parts of the game you will be able to play as other characters. These scenarios are mostly combat based, allowing you to switch between characters with an easy press of a button. One scenario saw me kicking butt as Catwoman and charging up a combo to execute a dual-takedown, instantly moving to Batman’s position and performing one bad ass takedown together. The same goes for other characters like Nightwing.

BAK 4

There are some side quests that show off some of DC’s characters fighting abilities too, these are simple combat arenas that feature the same combat scenes arena-like gameplay that you would experience as Batman, but with other characters. Not to spoil anything I will just say that these side-missions are pretty epic, and bring out an even deeper DC Universe setting in the game.

Either way, the combat is just another polished up, and shiny mechanic to the game. It could be overwhelming to those who have never played the game, there is zero tutorial during the start of the game, and even I had my ass kicked a few times while I tried to remember the basics.

You Gone Get Your Upgrade On!

You level up Batman by performing well in combat, Batmobile shootouts, and completing different villain scenarios. As you level up you earn Wayne Tech. You could also earn them in abundance by finishing “Super-Villain” story lines that focus on the many villains that have come into Gotham. Each of these super-villain scenarios are like the side-missions in Arkham City, but with more meat to chew on. As you gain Wayne Tech skill points you can spend these in different upgrade trees such as combat, stealth, Batmobile, Batman, gadgets, and more. To max out everything you will need some time and patience as some of the later upgrades in the skill tree need up to nine Wayne Tech points.

Predator missions still take place during the game, and they too have been given a good old rework. The new Batsuit allows for a quicker and stronger approach to stealth. When possible you can now take out a couple of enemies at a time with slowed-down Fear takedowns. You can also use one of many gadgets to help you along the way. As you go through the game the enemies get tougher, and the gadgets do not work as well, relying on you to be stealthy.

BAK 5

The Riddler is back as mentioned before and he is as crazy as ever. This time he has over 240 trophies for you to track down and find. Although most of these trophies are all about finding that green “?” by either getting into a tough spot, or coming back when you have the right gadget. There are some that add a new substance to the whole treasure hunt, like hunting down a victim who has had a bomb planted in his brain, or using your Batmobile to get into a building to grab the trophy. You even find yourself racing across the city in a time-trial scenario. This all adds to the side quests which are really enjoyable and often needed as the main story is extremely daunting at times and you really just need a moment to take everything in.

Don’t Forget Your Brollies    

The game is utterly gorgeous in every way. Characters and emotions are shown off with great facial animations, the city is beautiful with light accurate light reflections hitting pools of water, and every single area is crafted to the finest detail. It is a huge city with three main islands, and areas to explore in-between. You can just grapple up the top of a radio tower to take it all in, and it is quite something to take in. Gotham City is a feature of its own in the game, it is alive and beautiful, even with all that darn rain!

When you’re not busy saving Gotham City from Scarecrow, you are busy hunting down the countless riddler trophies, uncovering unique plots based on other super-villains, and disarming nuclear bombs on the streets of Gotham. There is always something to do and you will always feel compelled to start a new side mission just to uncover who is behind the problem. The further you dive into a scenario, the further you can upgrade Batman, so it is a win-win.

BAK 2

The game is a long one, so get your nerves ready. As much you feel like a bad-ass Batman, it is twisted and your emotional ties with Batman will be broken and rebuilt a dozen times over. Main characters will break your heart, and villains will question your own sanity. The game is massive in scale. The main story is about the length of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City put together, and with all the side missions and Riddler trophies to find, be ready to spend a good 40 + hours in Gotham City

Not-So Unbreakable

Batman Arkham Knight never failed to impress me once. Just when I thought the game hit a steady pace, I unlocked a new ability that changed the way I approached a situation. The story is one of the best ever told and holds out right to the end. Not once did I get the feeling that the story was being stretched out and lost its pace. It kept me on edge the entire time and even made me shed a few tears every now and then. Everything is on point, from the soundtrack, to the thunderclaps. The voice actors are professional, the presentation is flawless, and the story is one of a kind.

It is a rare occurrence to have such a big franchise, (based on a comic book of all things) become such a success for a third time. Rocksteady Studios have done an exceptional job on Batman Arkham Knight, it is as good as it could possibly get. Being the Batman has never been so kick-ass.





Marco Cocomello

 
Dream big, play games, take over the world, play more games. Marco loves playing games, did he mention that?


  • Kikmi

    FUCKING TEN WHAT COME AGAIN WHAT???!?!?!
    That is so awesome

    • I had sleepless “Knights” trying to decide on a score. It is not easy to rate a game a with perfect score, it puts a lot of pressure on you as a journalist. I have only given 6 perfect scores in my entire “game reviewing career”. This was very tough indeed.

      • CrawleyCreative

        May I ask the other games that you’ve given perfect scores for? 😀

        • I recently gave The Witcher 3:Wild Hunt a 10/10 on one of the other sites that I write for. Last year Bayonetta 2 just knocked me off my feet also a 100%. In previous years Super Mario Galaxy, the first Bioshock, GTA V, and The Last of Us. 🙂

          • CrawleyCreative

            That’s pretty rad. I really enjoyed all of those titles, Bayonetta 2 being the exception as I haven’t played it yet 🙂

  • AndriyP

    WOW im quite impressed, from Asylum its been going downhill slowly for me, nothing was able to get my attention since the eerie feeling i got from playing the first game, i will play this since its the last installment, not sure if it will be a 10 for me judging from the other 2 games

    • I get you, Asylum had that feel to it. it was missing in Arkham City and Origins, but I experienced the same feeling in Arkham Knight. It is really a showstopper of a game that will kick you in the gut and make you feel awesome all at the same time.

      • AndriyP

        They had the right recipe for Asylum and for the next two games they added a huge scale to the recipe and i think that’s what broke it for me, and this games scale seems even larger.

        • The massive scale made the experience feel like it was all over the place, and the story failed to make an impact on the player because of this. They somehow managed to keep everything woven together seamlessly without making the player feel lost. As much as the city is huge, it now feels like a feature of the game, and not just a place for you to fly about.

          • AndriyP

            Now that got my attention, Thanks for that!

  • Awesome!

  • Void667

    Great review! I cant wait to be the Batman next week! Bring it on!

  • Trebzz

    Saw the user ratings and got a cold chill down my spine 😀 if what your review says is true. I will need many tissues (no not for that) and can’t wait to get my hands on this.

    • I have no idea where the User Rating comes from actually. I was one of the only two people in SA that got to play the game for a review, so whoever rated that must of played a different game haha!. Best get those tissues out, 🙂

    • Brendon Bosch

      Many tissues. Hand on this. Sound like your just short of some lubrication

  • FoxOneZA

    It seems open-world is the way to go for AAA.

    I know I can trust a 10 from SA Gamer 😉

  • Sir GIF Sexy

    Mind — Fear Gas. Come on, man. Fear Gas.

    Also, 4 more days… 4 more days…

    https://ikttvs.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/batman-crying.gif

    • Haha! I knew I left a “mind gas” in there somewhere! It has been rectified. Scarecrow is more powerful than you think ;P

      • Sir GIF Sexy

        You will find out how powerful I am if you don’t tell me who the Arkham Knight is. WHO IS THE KNIGHT?! WHO?! MARCO!

        • I don’t know! I swear!! I don’t know! No really, I signed papers that prevent me from even thinking about him. hahaha!

          • Sir GIF Sexy

            Well, a looot of people have their copies, so I’m sure there are going to be spoilers galore (I guess people aren’t that far in the game?) by the weekend. I should go hide in the Batcave until Tuesday to avoid them.

  • fred

    Yeah , Rocksteady kicks ass.

  • Graeme Selvan

    Is the embargo released for this? No one else has it up?

    • It has been released. I think the review copy procedure was a little different for this title Graeme. 🙂

      • Graeme Selvan

        Good stuff chap, wow looking good. Roll on Tuesday!

    • Locally I have not seen any reviews, but there are few out internationally.

    • dawid22

      We break embargo dates. You should know that by now [/sarcasm]

      • Richard

        If the review wasn’t positive distributors wouldn’t loan you folks copies in future.

        The review made me place an order.

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  • Brendon Bosch

    DAMN. A 10. A friggin 10. This is going to be tough but i’m going to hold out for the GOTY edition. That strategy has served me well so far

    • I don’t know how you do it. I would die knowing the rest of the world is playing a game like this and I am not. 🙂

      • Savouring The Witcher 3 is a good way to wait. 🙂

      • Brendon Bosch

        Patience bro. Also I have witcher 3, dragon age inquisition, south park stick of truth and games I can lend from my buddies. That is a huge helping factor in this. Busy with second playthrough of Bloodborne because I got the crap ending. All in all due to being a family man my time is limited which has resulted in there being a bit of a backlog. A backlog of RPG’s isn’t a good thing but that allows me to take in as much of the games I play without putting pressure on myself. But I totes get what you saying because when Mass Effect comes out I will be in your shoes

  • Jivesh Hanoomaun

    Great review, looks like Witcher 3 is gonna have some stiff competition.

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  • momo

    So eager to play! but i’ll have to wait till the 25th 🙁

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  • dawid22

    Thanks Marco, now I have to spend more money. Though, I might just wait for that ‘Game of the Year’ Edition.

    • No GOTY Edition! This game needs your attention now!! 🙂

      • Richard

        Awesome salesperson. BRILLIANT article

    • Richard

      Hahahaha. We should start a charity fund for you dawned. . Hahaha that way you can buy all the games your heart desires

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  • Raidz19

    Well know aren’t I glad I pre-ordered this!! I rather didn’t read the review, I want to be surprised.

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  • Keoagile Chadibe

    I just wana drive the batmobile!

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  • AchtungBaby_

    Hmm you’re making me want this game but I donts have tha cash. Haven’t enjoyed a Batman game since Arkham Asylum and I think I need to find a way to get this one.

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  • Jaguarpf

    Tomorrow is the day!

  • CrawleyCreative

    Can I jump into this game without playing any of the other titles in this series?

    • I guess you could. I would do some reading up on the back story of each title though, just so you know what happens to who, and how.

  • GrimmGP

    The game looks fantastic!

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  • André Heydra

    I think your rating is way to high for this game, yes it might be a great game, but a 10. Most gaming Review sites gave it a 9.2 out 10 or 4.5 out of 5.

    • André Heydra

      It came out with a Day1 Patch of 3.5 gig, PC version is broken.

    • dawid22

      Well, that’s why there’s a user review option at the top where you can add in your rating. It’s now at 9.3 after 32 votes 🙂

      • André Heydra

        I can’t give this game a rating, Have not played it yet… Waiting for Game of the Year Edition. Seeing that you will get all DLC for free with the game.

        • dawid22

          I hear you. Look, at the end any review is an indication if you’ll enjoy the game or not. Words can often tell you so much more than a mere number. Saying that, being on 9.3 after 32 votes or 10 after one review – it’s still a great game. At least you know that it’s well worth your money (obviously taking into contention the PC version’s downfalls, if that’s what you’re after).

          • André Heydra

            All the batman games were great and this is the best yet. The Game looks amazing. And yes its loads of fun. And yes its definitely going into my collection. I just think that 10 is too damn high…

          • dawid22

            Haha. Next game – 11/10 😉

  • Uzumakinaruto02

    awesomeness

  • Absolutely agree, I’ve never enjoyed being Bat(wo)man so much! :p