Batman: Arkham Knight

Another solid Arkham game, but may not be for everyone.

So I'll start off by saying that criticisms of Arkham Knight are fair. They may not matter to everyone to the same degree, but they're definitely fair. Arkham Knight is a return to form after the horrendous Arkham Origins (pretend it was good if you want, but it really wasn't), but the tweaks made to the system weren't for everyone.

The primary change in AK is the addition of the playable Batmobile, which is close to, if not more than, half of what you'll be spending your time doing in the game, at least in the main story. The Batmobile is half car, half tank, and you'll have to manage both of them to navigate the game. On the tank side of things, I had fun. The "Battle Mode" portions of the Batmobile game sections were a lot of fun to me, and were a fun take on the vehicular combat genre. The mechanics are fairly tight, there's a good variety of enemies, and there's a good challenge to a lot of the tank portions of the game. On the other side of things, the driving mechanics left a lot to be desired. The Batmobile, somehow, has terrible handling, and you'll spend more time crashing into walls than you will actually driving where you intend to. Sure, you could argue "get gud scrub," if you want to, but 1, arguing that makes you a douche, and 2, this is the Batmobile. The idea that BATMAN'S CAR wouldn't handle like an absolute dream and automatically compensate for any difficulties on the road you encounter is absurd, and it does break the immersion in the game to a degree. You do get used to it, but it's a weak point for sure. Fortunately, at this point in the game's life cycle, there is enough DLC where you don't really need to master the Batmobile to 100% the achievements in this game, so it really lessens the frustration for me. So again, while I think it's fair to say there was too much emphasis on the Batmobile, which really needed some work, you can get by without mastering it, so for me, it didn't detract from my enjoyment at all. It also added some fun variety to Riddler's challenges, so that's a plus.

The second main criticism I've heard of AK is the spoilers. At this point, almost everyone knows who the Arkham Knight is (I won't say on the off chance you aren't one of the ones who knows), and it really takes the punch out of the big reveal. I went in knowing who he is, and I can only guess at how awesome it would have been to be guessing right alongside Batman and experience the big reveal from the same perspective. But c'est la vie. It's still a great story, and while it does mute the wow factor a bit, it certainly doesn't ruin the story at all.

Overall, this game very much takes a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to gameplay (Batmobile aside). Combat mechanics work the same as they always have (with the balance shifted the tiniest bit in Batman's favor), and only a few moves and gadget tactics have been added, so if you've ever played an Arkham game before, there's really nothing new to say. Predator encounters have changed a bit more by comparison. Enemies now have new technology (and so do you), so you do need to add a few more tactics to your bag of tricks. That being said, the tried-and-true approach of hiding and doing hit-and-run silent takedowns is still going to be your bread and butter.

Arkham Knight is a great way to close out the series (assuming it DOES close out the series...), and if you've enjoyed previous Arkham games, you'll enjoy this one too, even if it isn't your favorite of the bunch.
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