It definitely seemed worth the tedious task of solving all of Riddler’s cryptic riddles and finding almost 300 little green trophies scattered throughout the corners of the game. It took me awhile, but alas, I finally did it...and after a bitter sweet final team-up with Catwoman to apprehend Mr. Nygma in his “Riddler-mech” (much cooler than it sounds), I got to finally activate “Knightfall protocol” and well, I won’t save the specifics but it is most definitely looks like Rocksteady’s exclamation point on the trilogy.
Of course, being a huge Batman fan my whole life, these games were an absolute dream come true and without a doubt my favorite Batman games of all time...if not my favorite VIDEO GAME SERIES of all time. I would even put WB Games Montreal’s Arkham Origins in there, even though it was definitely the weaker of the games and not produced by Rocksteady, it did serve as a decent opening chapter for the series.
Not only is the game probably the tightest in terms of gameplay, graphics (they utilize the next-gen graphics like no game I’ve seen so far) and fight mechanics, it is probably the best story of the series as well. The plot with Scarecrow teaming up with a new player in Gotham, the mysterious Arkham Knight to not only destroy The Batman, but to control the city in a state of permanent fear was absolutely phenomenal. Of course, an assortment of villains return and debut for the first time in the series. Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Man-Bat, Hush and more all make appearances. And there are more amazing plot twists that I simply cannot spoil. Are there casualties? Oh, you betcha. Your jaw will drop to the floor more than once.
Now, the identity of Arkham Knight is a major plot point and it unravels gradually throughout the game and even though hardcore Batman fans will be able to spot the clues as to who he is probably halfway hrough, it does not at all ruin the reveal, as it is a very strong and powerful moment or Batman fans. You will actually be shocked at how dramatic it is for a video game. There are spoilers all over the internet, and I’d advise you do your best to avoid them and let your keen detective skills solve the mystery on your own.
Now for that big purple and green elephant in the room: Is the Joker really dead after the events of Arkham City? Does Mark Hamill voice the Joker in this game? Well, yes on both accounts. What Rocksteady does to close out the twisted “love story” of The Dark Knight vs. The Clown Prince of Crime is genius and frightening at the same time. I actually got chills at certain points. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Being able to drive the Batmobile finally is as awesome as we all expect and while the controls are tough to get used to at first, once you get the hang of it....you feel like a total badass in this thing. I don’t know if I’ve ever had more fun driving a vehicle in any game.
Another amazing aspect of the game is the teaming up with various members of the Bat-Family. Along with Catwoman, we get to fight alongside Nightwing, Robin (Tim Drake) and even take control of Azrael as he trains to possibly take over the mantle of the Bat. When I first saw in the trailers there were going to be double-team moves, I assumed this was exclusively for some sort of multiplayer online mode, but I was delighted to see that it’s actually incorporated into the one player fight mechanics and through a team-up fight you literally switch between Batman and his partner by performing these awesome double team takedowns. It’s so much fun and I was elated every time I got the chance to team up!!
And most importantly, by the end of the game we get to see Batman’s bittersweet goodbye to each of his allies. Some of these relationships are tested and end awkward, like in the cases of Tim Drake and Jim Gordon...and some are almost heart wrenching like Batman's final kiss with Catwoman (it’s an awesome moment!!!), but I think all Batphiles are gonna geek out at Rocksteady’s uncanny writing and understanding of what each of these relationships mean to Bruce.
At the end of it all, Rocksteady achieved something with video games that literally NO other medium has ever done with Bob Kane’s legendary creation. And that’s END Bruce Wayne’s journey in a way that is satisfying and all the while keeping the character's legacy intact. I hate to say it, but the current DC Comics Scott Snyder run couldn’t quite do it with Endgame, Grant Morrison couldn’t do it with Final Crisis, Christopher Nolan definitely didn’t hit the spot with his film trilogy, even Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns honestly never really rubbed me the right way as a fan of Batman.
Okay, I admit that as a superhero fanatic, I am a tough sell when it comes to “FINAL” stories about these superheroes that I’ve grown up adoring. Who ever wants their heroes to die? But this little video game company that out of nowhere came along and began making BLOCKBUSTER Batman video games? They pulled it off. They pulled it off remarkably. If Batman was to ever go out...this is the way you want it to go down.
This is the final chapter of Batman that Batman fans deserve. There I said it!
Now I urge EVERYONE (I don’t care if you have a next-gen console or not...it’s worth buying one to play it) to experience Arkham Knight for themselves!!!
Well, I don’t know if this was a review or just me needing to let out how this masterpiece of a video game made me feel, but there you have it, Bleeder Buds! Get playing!