Rocksteady Games has made a name for themselves over the last decade and that name might as well be Batman. They have created 2 of the best superhero video games ever made with Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and now we have the finale in their Arkham Trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight. This game definitely has that same feeling you had when watching Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises:" It's FINAL. You know as soon as you start the game that this is the last Arkham game you're ever going to play.
First, let's talk about the biggest addition to the series: The Batmobile. The Batmobile was obviously a HUGE addition that fans have been waiting for since this game was announced and it doesn't disappoint. The game relies on the batmobile in several ways and forces you to use it in numerous situations, I found myself in a few sticky situations where I completely forgot that I could remotely beckon the Caped Crusader's trusty vehicle. Having the batmobile to traverse around Gotham City is a wonderful addition. However, I wasn't a HUGE fan of it being used as a tank fighting off drones. Batman isn't really a soldier, he's a vigilante/detective that uses gadgets and combat to fight crime. Having the batmobile being supplied with "non-lethal" cannon fire seems a bit of a stretch and even more so when that same ammunition is used to take out tanks and drones. It's a small complaint considering what the batmobile does to improve the game in so many other ways (like leaping off the top of Wayne Tower toward the ground below and seamlessly sliding into the driver's seat.)
The combat system is relatively all the same here. The same fight style that Arkham fans are used to, with a few updated gadgets and takedowns. It's still an absolute blast to take down a full room of enemies undetected and just as satisfying as the games before it. Batman does have the ability to take out vehicles this time around, which is actually really awesome. By gliding and landing on cars, dropping down on top of them from above, or simply countering an attack from a vehicle coming at you, he's able to take away the advantage from the thugs inside and face them Bat to Man.
I want to simply say that the story here, which can run around 10-12 hours depending, is a fantastic piece of writing. Not that I was surprised, but terrific voice acting from legendary Kevin Conroy's Batman, John Noble's Scarecrow, and Mark Hamill's Joker really sets the tone for what is easily the best superhero story in a video game I've ever played. Scarecrow and the anti-Batman, the Arkham Knight, are the main antagonists this time around with the latter having a fantastic addition to the story overall. Batman must stop the Scarecrow from releasing his fear toxin all over Gotham while the Arkham Knight attempts to stop him. The side missions are a blast this time around. Each one has a "Boss Villain" to apprehend. Two-Face, Penguin, Deathstroke, and the pesky Riddler are all present to keep you busy when taking a break from the main storyline.
Gotham is HUGE. It spans 3 islands this time around and is 100% open to explore. Soaring the skies is still the best way to travel, even with the addition of the batmobile, but with the addition of underground areas around the city, Batman's ride comes in real handy as well. There's plenty to explore around the city, including the infamous riddles and trophies hidden by the Riddler. This time around there are 243 to find and it's not an easy task. Trust me when I say, by the time you finish the main campaign, you want to get to 100% completion. I'm not spoiling anything here, but Rocksteady does reward you and it's the only way to end the final installment in the series.
Batman: Arkham Knight is a fantastic conclusion to the best superhero video game series to date. The storyline and voice acting are terrific and the gameplay is addictive as it has been in past games. The addition of the Batmobile is a great one, with the exception of long and repetitive tank battles that tend to make you forget you're Batman altogether. If you haven't played any of the Arkham series to date, I would recommend playing the first 2 before jumping into this one. You don't need to play WB Games' Arkham Origins, however. If you're a fan of the series, then this should be the next game you play. If you're not a fan of the series, then Black Ops III comes out in November.
Batman: Arkham Knight gets a solid 4.7/5 from us. If you've played the game and want to chat with us about it, head to the forums and let us know what you thought!