Meta-Review: Batman Arkham Knight (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Arkham KnightBelieve it or not, it has been four years since Rocksteady’s last Batman game. Sure Arkham Origin came out in the meantime, but it was developed by a different team and it never felt quite true to the thematic arc of Rocksteady’s brooding franchise. I have been very excited to see what next gen (current gen) hardware would allow for a new Batman experience, and from everything I have seen, Arkham Knight has shown itself to be a beautiful, if not somewhat scary, vision of the Batman’s stomping grounds. Colour me excited. I do have one fear, and that is those blasted Riddler trophies. I feel like Arkham City lost what made the Riddler challenges so excellent in the first game, nearly each one tied to a new easter egg in Batman lore. Instead, City pushed it as a collection obsession mini-game and in doing that removed all the onus and purpose from the challenges. So if Arkham Knight can improve just that one area in the game, I will be happier than a kid in a candy store. Oh who am I kidding, I have a new Batman game. I am already happier than some fat kid with chocolate!

The reviews here are pretty glowing, including several much coveted 10s. The one outlier seems to be Game Spot who did not seem to enjoy the experience nearly as much as other outlets – especially the Batmobile aspects of the game. Here are what the reviewers have to say:arkhamknightbatmobile

Polygon: Rocksteady has said this is its last Batman game, and I’m praying to the New Gods that they’re on the level. After Arkham Knight, trying to find more meat on the Batman bone would define futility. After Arkham Knight, Batman has been perfected — and the end result is the best game of this console generation. (10/10)

Videogamer: Batman: Arkham Knight is not only the best Batman game ever made, but a game that will be remembered as exemplary. Obviously being a fan of the license is going to help no end – the Arkham trilogy as a whole is as important and impactful as its filming equivalent – and how this will ever be topped in terms of donning the cowl and being Gotham’s protector is anyone’s guess. But even those who don’t frequent themselves with Bruce Wayne and his many adventures will still walk away feeling they’ve experienced something special. (10/10)

IGNIf this is in fact the last Rocksteady-developed Batman game, the series will end on a high note. Arkham Knight is the biggest Batman game yet, not just in map size, but in the wide range of different types of gameplay, and its collection of characters. The addition of tank combat thematically clashes with everything Batman stands for, but it is fun, and having access to the Batmobile for the first time gives us a new world of possibilities for interacting with Gotham City. Arkham Knight is an outstanding game on almost every level. (92/100)

Games Radar+: Arkham Knight offers an unparalleled interactive superhero experience that’s as rich as any fan could hope for – this is one of the best open worlds I have ever had the pleasure of exploring, and one of the nicest-looking games on PS4. Without overcomplicating the Batmobile’s purpose in Arkham Knight and a slightly less disappointing campaign, this would’ve been close to a perfect sign-off for Rocksteady’s Caped Crusader. (4/5)

Game Spot: What Batman: Arkham Knight does well, however, it does really well. Gotham is a dazzling playground where neon lights pierce through the rain and mist; all it takes is a single glimpse to tell you that this is a city in need. Moreover, many individual elements are so carefully constructed, and presented with such flair, that appreciation is the only reasonable reaction. Yet most of these elements–excellent acting, wonderful animations, moody soundtrack–are ones that Batman: Arkham City also excelled in, making Arkham Knight’s missteps all the more noticeable. Rather than escape the pull of the games that spawned it, The Bat’s newest adventure refines the fundamentals; it is a safe but satisfying return to the world’s most tormented megalopolis. (7/10)

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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