Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight is the fourth game in the ever popular Arkham series, but is in truth, the official cap of developer Rocksteady’s Arkham Trilogy – published last year, Origins was developed by a different team, and featured Roger Craig Smith as the voice of Batman. Well the Kevin Conroy, the definitive Batman voice, is back and so are Rocksteady with a game that looks like that Batman game we deserve and the one we need right now. Arkham Knight looks to realise – finally – a living, breathing, labyrinthine Gotham City for the Dark Knight to explore and protect.
There’s a reason Arkham Knight is only going to be on next gen consoles (and eventually PC) – the PS3 and Xbox 360 (and sadly the Wii U) just can’t handle the size of the game, which is five times larger in scale than Arkham City. As many as 50 enemies can be on screen at a time, allowing Batman to take on entire riots of criminals. The graphics bring the kind of fidelity that we expect from the new generation machines – Rocksteady are quoted as saying there are as many pixels in one character model from Arkham Knight as there were in the entirety of Arkham City. Batman never looked better, and Gotham city has never been a more vivid and atmospheric playground for the caped crusader.
The biggest addition to the Caped Crusader’s arsenal this go round is the Batmobile. Half Burton, half Nolan, all total badass Batman’s vehicle of choice provides a fantastic and iconic method of travel in Rocksteady’s Gotham, and can be remote called by the Dark Knight whenever it’s needed. The Batmobile drives like you would expect it to as well – when colliding with walls the vehicle won’t slow down and the walls will suffer cosmetic damage.
Not content with bigger and better gameplay and graphics, Rocksteady look to be attempting to cap their trilogy with their biggest story yet featuring the titular Arkham Knight as a brand new Batman villain. Normally specially created villains for superhero games are quite average but given Rocksteady’s fantastic treatment of Bat-lore thus far it seems fair to grant them the benefit of the doubt when giving something back to the stories that have given them (and the players) such a rich world to create with. Set one year after Arkham City, Arkham Knight sees Batman at the height of his powers going up against his now united rogue’s gallery, as well as dealing with the emotional aftermath of the ending of Arkham City. To make things even worse, come Halloween Night fan-favourite villain Scarecrow returns to wreak Havoc on Gotham and Batman will once again have to go it alone against many formidable foes.
When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out in 2009 it seemed inconceivable that 5 years later that a superhero game would be one of the most anticipated games and biggest franchises of 2015 – both critically and commercially. Yet here we stand awaiting Rocksteady’s epic conclusion to their already masterful trilogy excited as we would be for the next Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, or even Uncharted. It can’t come soon enough.