Why we live in hope that Arkham Knight really is Rocksteady’s last Batman game
When the QorC regulars pull a wad of cash out of their threadbare wallets to buy a game on launch day you can guarantee that the game in question is a special case.
Batman Arkham Knight was one such game. Rocksteady’s latest ‘The Batman’ simulator does what only the other Arkham games have done before it, by injecting credence and finesse into the nocturnal activities of everyone’s favourite Dark Knight.
So with cold beer poured and controller in hand we prepared to do battle, each of us convinced that there could only be greatness in store. After all, Arkham City was fantastic, and now we’d have the Batmobile to play with. Oh, if only we knew then what we do now.
Batman Arkham Knight – why it should be Rocksteady’s last Batman game
It’s well documented that the Batmobile turned out to be a tanking failure. In fact, for something called the Batmobile it’s all too often immobile, as Batman transforms it into some kind of Bat-Panzer to take down crappy drones. Not the kind of takedowns we expect of an Arkham game.
Now a taste, just a taste, of said tank warfare might have been cool. We could have said ‘Yep, that was different, cheers Rocksteady’ as we sank yet another flirtini. But sadly, that’s not the case as drone-after-drone battle is forced down our necks like so much 0% alcohol.
The same could actually be said of all of Arkham Knight’s scenarios as tank battles, silent predator and group punch-ups are continually cycled. Worse, it gives us a slew of side-missions that simply repeat the exact same tropes as the main Arkham Knight-led campaign, with the notable exceptions of the Man-Bat and serial killer mysteries.
Indeed, I’d go so far to say that, so-so Batmobile Chase HQ-lite missions aside, Arkham Knight attempts no new ideas with it until its final act.
And talk of the Arkham Knight brings us expediently to our final problem. He is just about the least interesting character that Batman meets all night. OK, he’s second dullest to the Riddler (maybe), but that doesn’t hide the fact he’s a whinging, boring mess whose final reveal is about as uninteresting as could be.
With all this said the crazy thing is that I played Arkham Knight to death – I’ve beaten all of it but the Riddler trophy chore-a-thon. But the experience is one that’s tinged with a mixture of over-familiarity and a feeling of what might have been.
Did I enjoy Rocksteady’s final Batfreak game? Absolutely. Am I glad it’s the studio’s last? You better believe it. Thanks for showing other studios how to do justice to superhero games guys, now go pick up some other franchise that’s completely different and wow us again.