Thoughts on Arkham Knight for PS4

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Warning! Spoilers ahead!

I don’t quite want to call this a review even though I’m putting it in the “Review” category. This is really more of a chance to talk about how awesome this game is. I only just got a Playstation a week or so ago and it was really more for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid game, but Batman tagged along and here I am a week later writing about this game I’m continually impressed by.

I’m partly writing because as a fan of comics, video games (generally) and things of high quality I feel the need to talk about this game. Because as Pastor Clever says- G’LAWD HAVE MERCY!

General Thoughts

It should be gotten out of the way that I’m a little behind, technologically speaking. I haven’t owned a system since the Playstation 2. OMG I know right. So when it comes to the most up-to-date tech, if I care about it at all, I’m not looking at the most technical side of it all, but rather the overall product.

This could be part of the reason my jaw drops when I look out over the sprawling city where you’re allowed access to even the most obscure places in the game. Come to think of it, my TV wouldn’t even work when I got the PS4 so I had to get a new one because, as it turns out, my set was fifteen years too old. This is like a caveman finding a smart phone, which I also only got at the beginning of the year. Alright, I’m done talking about how outdated my stuff is. Look at this picture.

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You can’t even fit the entire map into your view. Sure, GTA is the same way and this isn’t the first game to feature such a huge city (Which we should never stop being impressed with), but you’re not just some gangster here, you’re friggin’ Batman. Just about everything you’ve ever wanted to do with Batman can be done. Except Catwoman. Oh! Poor taste? Okay.

Things that were promised in video games about “living breathing citites” is actually made a (virtual) reality here. Some of the more enjoyable aspects of the game come from conversations you can overhear from criminals on the street.

And while this has also been seen before, you’ve got the Batmobile this time around, along with next gen graphics. I’m not saying anything you haven’t heard or experienced before, so let me get to why I really enjoyed the game that the others didn’t quite do for me.

True to Batman

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True to the shows, movies, comics- this game covers everything about Batman you’ve ever thought was cool. There isn’t a medium Batman has been featured in that this game doesn’t draw from. Voice actors reprising their roles from the 90s animated series, the darkness “realism” of the Nolan films as well as the over-the-top Gothic architecture of the Burton films. The comics are the biggest basis of course but the game does something that the comics will never do- end.

And because of this, you do getting permanent style endings with several characters specifically. As in, some of them die. Gasp!

As you probably know, the Joker died in Arkham City. Nobody knew if this was for certain or not but we all knew he would have to play some role in this game, right? He’s the Joker.

Not only was the Joker in the game and playing a major part, but a part I was consider one of the character’s greatest appearances. He’s the inner monologue of Batman himself, as Batman slowly loses control over the night. He’s there to rub it in your face when things get tough and thanks to Scarecrow’s fear toxin that’s affecting Batman’s mind, as well as the Joker’s tainted blood that flows through him as well(See Arkham City), the way things look is that Batman finally losing control means the Joker will take over his mind. So the Joker in Batman’s body, how horrible right? Or awesome, depending on how you look at it.

Personally, I wasn’t quite sure if the Joker taking over Batman’s mind would be a literal thing or figuratively to emphasize that Batman finally losing it and going insane would be the same as the Joker winning since that’s been his message all along- Batman is as crazy as he is and it will just take the right push to send him off and acknowledge it.

So for Batman to be struggling with the idea of losing being the same as Joker winning really shows the level to which Joker has had on our Dark Knight. Which brings me to the next part…

Favorite moments

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Joker’s last hurrah- You’ve gotta love that ending. Playing as the Joker as “Only You” by The Platters plays while you blast away your criminal competition felt great. But what was even better was when you began to realize that since this is all in Bruce’s mind and it’s metaphorical for Bruce losing control, Batman taking his own mind back was, forgive the expression- epic.

The Joker finally losing for good was true to the characters without making anybody lose face. One thing I hate is when certain writers get a hold of this psycho clown and have him beg or grovel when he starts to lose whatever mind games have been played. Now, the guy has got to lose, but that doesn’t mean he has to become a little coward. He’s the Joker! The whole point of him is that he laughs at the worst things humanity can think up. So to see him whine and show real fear like common thug seems out of character.

Here, we’ve got Joker slowly losing his grip on Bruce’s mind in an endless maze created for him, showing him that he’ll just be forgotten despite his criminal genius. And THAT’S what really gets to him. Hurting him doesn’t work and he can’t really be scared…except for the idea that he’s just another loser trying to get the better of a guy who won’t break.

Actually pretty terrifying to play as him backing away from Batman who just doesn’t stop walking toward you. I say bravo to the writers on this one.

Scarecrow done right Nolan did him justice in a way, just by introducing the fear toxin in an interesting way and keeping good ol’ doctor Crane in all three of his films. He’s never the lead villain, but he’s always around it seems. I liked that. But this really is everything the character should be. What Riddler thinks he is to Batman intellectually, Scarecrow really is the embodiment of fear that Bruce is so obsessed with.

With a creepy-looking costume that’s as good as he’s ever going to get, and the right voice provided by Johnathan Noble, Scarecrow is finally getting the love he deserves. Sure, he’s been around. But when the Joker is around, that leaves little room for so many other great villains to leave their mark past anything temporary before it’s back to the Mad Clown show. Now we’ve got a guy you’re not going to be seeing on kid’s lunchboxes but more likely to be seen in their nightmares.

Side missions actually feel relevant- Normally in open world games, side missions feel like they just don’t matter when it comes to completing the actual game. Races, obstacles course, what have you- it’s really the stuff you play because all the cool stuff is done. Not so much here. Side missions often include major characters from the Batman world that can feel just as important in their own way, as much if not more so than the actual story.

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There are the serial killer missions in particular that I loved. Bodies are hung all over Gotham with their faces bandaged and they can only be found by tracing the creepy opera music playing on a loud speaker. Once found, you’ve got to use “detective mode” to scan the bodies for identifying marks that will lead you to who the victim is and what the connecting point to all of them are.

It turns out to be the work of crazed surgeon of sorts, Professor Pyg, who seeks to create the perfect humans, only to discard those he deems to flawed to fix. When you find him, you’ve got to take him, as well as his freaky minions on. They can’t feel any pain and it takes longer to put them down but man, is it satisfying. If you read about serial killers as much as I have, you get this itch every once and a while to punch the person you’re reading about. Well now you can as Batman. Nice little power fantasy there.

And that’s just one mission you go through, with a few more notorious names makes appearances as well. From Harley Quinn (Whose playable side mission was one of my favorite parts of the game. New found respect for her now) to Man-Bat and Deathstroke, there’s a seemingly endless amount of things to do, with time and care being put into all of them. The freaking attention to detail here, man I love it.

Problems

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Aside from a couple glitches I’ve noticed here and there, the Arkham Knight being revealed as Jason Todd felt “Meh” to me. I didn’t care about him and he seemed really whiny throughout the entire game. Props to voice actor Troy Baker though, as he works with what he’s given. But the seemingly long dead Robin not being dead after years also felt a little bland as we’re not even told how Jason Todd, who’s back story at this point is that he was beaten to death by the Joker, escapes the Clown’s clutches.

And if he was gone for so long, where did he go without making himself known for so long? Not a major deal, but some answered questions on top of an already mediocre reveal. It’s like a slight of hand trick that you’re kind of interested to know how it’s done yet the actual method makes it kinda lame.

Still, if you’re interested at all, you shouldn’t keep from getting/playing this game. I would put it up there with some of the best films/series/issues (The Dark Knight, 90s animated run/The Killing Joke, etc.) featuring the characters.

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7 Responses to “Thoughts on Arkham Knight for PS4”

  1. Skinny Pete Says:

    Even if you don’t play the story mode all over again, new game plus + does have a slightly alternate beginning which is worth checking out

  2. yojimbo Says:

    When the Phantom Pain comes out. It would be awesome if you made more analysis takes for the characters of that series.

    For FUN: I would guess that OCELOT is either ENTP or ESTP.

    I say ENTP because he never seems to change in essence, he consistently projects MEMEs that are a combination of Russian & North American pop culture. In a way this sort of compliments his way of seeing the multiple sides of things that most of the other characters miss.

    He almost always relies on some weapon, gadget, drug, or machine in order to battle whatever snake he’s up against & when any of those things fail him, he looses often.

    Lastly, he fights on one side or the other at all times, but his allegiance is often questionable. Perhaps more than anything else he’s just interested in partaking in the conflict for it’s own sake, which could relate to how an ENTP would enter a debate for the love of an engaging experience.

    I would sway to ESTP tho because… The guy has flair & serious attention to detail with his getup(the flashy spaghetti western attire is all decked out with it’s Russian colors).

    Next to nothing gets past his nose, except for say a cyborg ninja. The dude could deflect bullets… Which isn’t probably possible irl, but sets the tone for the character’s senses perhaps. He obsesses over the “smell” of cordite & craves the function of reloading during battle. This guy also probably gets off when killing people.

    Finally on this side of it, if they weren’t interrupted by Grey Fox. He did mention to thee ISTP snake that he WAS just getting warmed up… So, perhaps Snake lucked out because Ocelot’s lead Se was about to make work of Snake’s Auxilary Se.

    Or maybe I’m way off… Idk. Either way, it is fun to consider.

    • Taylor Says:

      I got you. Been planning to type him for a while now, just waiting to do it a little closer to the release date of Phantom. Him and a few others. So many SPs!

  3. Sairor Says:

    The Arkham series is good but this one was relatively the weakest after origins.

    Using the batmobile was less fun than I had expected.

    The story was good though, Batman and the Joker make good partners.

    But I just hope they let him die for good and the devs focus on other interesting villains like say Lex Luthor or Doctor Hurt.

    • Taylor Says:

      Ha, don’t hear many people mention Doctor Hurt. I’ve heard rumors Rocksteady is going to be focusing on a Superman game similar to the style of Arkham.

      I should have mentioned that completing 100% is messed up considering you have to find all of Riddler’s friggin’ trophies to do it. So annoying.

  4. Mudibarát Says:

    I you want a not “Meh” Jason Todd appearance, watch the Under the Red Hood animated movie, it’s pretty wizard.

    • Taylor Says:

      I’ve seen it. One of the few animated DC movies I can stand. Hated Red Hood’s voice though. Just about everything else was cool though.

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