Friday, August 21, 2015



Batman is one of the most iconic and favored superheroes of all time. Who wouldn't want to be Batman? In light of the impending Batman VS Superman movie, I would still say that I’d root for Superman but when it comes to videogames the whole modern Batman franchise, initially created by Rocksteady Games with the first part Arkham Asylum back in 2009 clearly stands out. In these games you really are the Batman without doubt!

I have mentioned it a lot of times before, but actually Arkham Asylum is one of my favorite games of all time. I know I am probably heading out on thin ice but for me neither Arkham City nor Arkham Origins came close to the feeling of the whole and complete experience the first part offered. Maybe because they – well, at least the third part – weren’t directly developed by Rocksteady anymore? I was pretty relieved that the master himself ultimately laid hands on the newest and allegedly final part of the series.

So, a little overdue, but here are my thoughts about the latest spectacle:

I guess you probably want to hear my thoughts about the most controversial thing behind this release (the fact that it is still not working on PCs), right? So let’s start there and get over with it. If I think of it, actually I have only one thing to say: “Haha!”… and the rest can definitely be described best with a facepalm. – Sorry, but if you outsource a port to a third party, you still have to make sure it’s meeting the standards,… in this case it should at least work. On that note, I guess I should mention though, that it really worked perfectly on Xbox One. In hours and hours of gametime I haven't had a single bug or glitch. - Bravo! But how could you mess up the PC version so much? Who is nowadays forcing all these multiplatform releases? – It stinks and it is absolutely not necessary. Here’s an idea, mainly for the publishers and not necessarily for the developers, but think about it: Make a game perfect for one, dedicated platform and then take your time to bring it to another. Nobody cares! Of course nobody would buy a whole new system just to play one single game anymore but they will wait a few months – I for one am even willing to wait a year or more. Only one thing is sure: People want to have their game working when it’s released. So please just take it easy, ok? Well, I know it’s not that simple; I’ve heard about the third party, I can imagine that they were pretty overwhelmed, I heard about the new nvidia features and so on, but in the end this whole situation is nothing more than another sad example of money policy and greed… a reality that should concern us all more than we might think. Anyway, since I feel like fighting against the windmills all over again, I will stop here and focus on the game at hand.


As I said, given the more or less disappointment parts 2 and 3 were to me, compared with the first game, my expectations were really, really low for this one. The coverage of the game before release was the same contemporary story like everywhere else; bigger, faster and prettier – so in a sense nothing to get me excited. Also in retrospect, I have to say that I didn't think the city was all that big. Yes, definitely bigger than in the previous parts but really not that big of a deal. And then there was also all this talk about the Batmobil... seriously, I have hardly had a conversation or read something about the game without constantly being reminded that Batman can now drive his car.

“Great”, I thought “now the new Batman will be a GTA or what?” or something like: “Why would this guy drive, if he can already fly? – Isn’t that supposed to be faster?” But!!!!! – Hold your dear horses, because this thing did really positively surprise me quite a lot! Yes, the feeling persists that the car is way too overused in the game, but at least to me it really plays absolutely great. The driving, the puzzles where it is tied into… everything is damn well done and adds a fresh wind to the overall gameplay. Especially the tank shooting mechanic is awesome in my opinion and could easily be a game on its own. If you ask me, I think the Batmobil is precisely what this new part of the franchise needed. Without it I think the game would have been pretty boring and surely attacked from everyone for being repetitive and nothing new.

Also story-wise Arkham Knight managed to hold up against the tide. The story – basically well thought-through and exciting till the end – could only have been told better in my opinion. Somehow there is too much confusion. I guess that is what the developers intended but I couldn’t relate to well to all this madness and the constant questioning of “reality”. Not only that Scare Crow is gassing the whole city, there is also that thing about Batman having Joker’s DNA inside of him and being mentally torn apart… seriously: pure insanity! What I did like a lot were the jump scares. – Yes, you heard right; this game offers some! And totally unexpected I often found myself not on the couch but on the floor in front of it. That is really well done and absolutely surprising!

The rest of the game doesn’t need too much analysis or reviewing in my opinion. It is pretty much the same good old Batman we learned to love: Great fighting – again with updated thugs and new battle mechanics, great riddling – again massive but fair, nice side quests with familiar as well as new bosses, great characters and great atmosphere! One new battle mechanic that made me a bit skeptic at first is called “Fear-Multi-Takedown”; justified due to Batman having a new “super scary” suit and being able to move faster with it, he can now chain single (silent) takedowns up to six foes. If you haven’t played it yet you might also think that this sounds a bit overpowered… and it clearly is at the beginning of the game, but after the enemy numbers start to increase and you on the other hand start having a hard time with all their abilities, you will also feel the necessity of it.
Personally I think the biggest applause regarding this game (once again) should go to Mark Hamill and what he (again) did with the character of the Joker! – Seriously that performance deserves a videogame Oscar!


I can absolutely recommend this game to all fans of the franchise. Like I said, in my opinion this game ranks right after the brilliant first part of the series. It is kind of sad the franchise is supposed to come to end with this, but yeah… not really, right? We all know that the cow is not milked dry as long as she is still standing. It would really surprise me if there was a sudden change of heart in the industry… What I do want to believe however is that Rocksteady is now finally done with it and that they will concentrate on the next big thing. At least I hope so while reminding myself that even Kojima once broke his “promise” and continued to work on Metal Gear games after Guns of the Patriots

Play more! Takedown more!