On August 25, 2009 developer Rocksteady shocked the world when they made a great Batman video game in Batman: Arkham Asylum. They followed it up on October 18, 2011, with Batman: Arkham City, a sequel that was as good as the first one. The final installment and first to be released on the Xbox One and Playstation 4 Batman: Arkham Knight, will release on June 23, 2015, and is a game everyone should consider.
I rented the first Arkham game after good reviews and hearing writers and voice actors from Batman: The Animated Series were involved with it. It was as good as the critics said, and I preordered the sequel. What makes the Arkham games special is how the game feels like a realistic Batman experience. Watch a Batman movie, cartoon, or read a comic, and imagine what it would be like to control Batman in any of these stories. That is exactly the feeling I get playing one of the Arkham games.
Batman is supposed to be an expert at hand-to-hand combat, and every Arkham game displays this perfectly. It has a combat system that is very similar to Assassin’s Creed, but an Assassin’s Creed that made more improvements to its attack and counter gameplay mechanic than the series had the last time I played it (Assassin’s Creed III was the last one I played). The first Arkham game had enemies attack one at a time and you could only counter one of them. The second upped it to three enemy attacks at a time and allowed the player to counter all three of them. What really makes it different than Assassin’s Creed is the diversity in enemies and Batman’s upgradable abilities. You have to do a special jump attack against enemies with shields, do multiple of strikes to enemies wearing armor, and focusing on taking out enemies carrying guns first. Since you play as Batman, you have gadgets that are upgradable that gives players more options in combat.
There are stealth sections and boss fights that help make the game unique. The stealth sections have the normal sneaking behind and taking them down, but most of the time it involves staying above the enemies on top of gargoyle statues and taking them out one by one. This usually occurs anytime Batman is in an area with several enemies carrying guns. Since Batman is human and often takes out enemies hiding in the darkness, this makes gameplay sense, story sense, and is fun to play.
When it comes to boss battles only the Metal Gear Solid franchise can compete. Almost every Batman villain shows up in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and you can expect several to show up in Arkham Knight. Each boss battle is different from the last, with standouts being a fight against Mr. Freeze where you had to knock him out four or five times using different techniques and a fight against Killer Croc that turned it into a horror game where a monster pops up out of nowhere similar to older Resident Evil games and Dead Space. The major villains also add to an entertaining story that were some of the best stories I experienced playing video games.
Batman: Arkham Knight will introduce the Batmobile. Batman: Arkham City was the first game to feature an open world, and the Batmobile adds new gameplay mechanics. According to some reviews the Batmobile can be hit-or-miss, but it does change the game significantly. With the Batmobile’s ability to turn in tank, expect some Twisted Metal and Burnout moments in a Batman game.
As the only major game to released in late June to late August, there is no reason not to consider Batman: Arkham Knight. Obviously, if you are only interested in first person shooters this is not the game for you. There is also no multiplayer, so if you only enjoy playing video games with others there is no reason to consider this game. It currently has a Medacritic score of 91 out of 100, a website that collects reviews from several different websites and adds them together to give a game an overall score, and sure to a best selling video game. It is unlikely you will be disappointed.