Now before I end this month dedicated to one of the most satisfying game series of the last generation, know that I have very little experience with it. Shocking I know, why would I avoid a series that has been so great over previous years and not rush towards the conclusion? Well that is because the newly released game brought with it certain fears, and not because of the main villain. Scarecrow unfortunately was relegated to one of those villains who does a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. So what were the thoughts in my head that traveled down my spine causing it to tremble uncomfortably in my anxiousness? Well, of course it was the big new mechanic that was going to be introduced during the game: the Batmobile. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I felt that Batman: Arkham Asylum was pretty contained in terms of what in wanted to do and while Batman: Arkham City was a lot more spread out and felt less cohesive, it somehow felt like it was trying to get closer to what would be the definitive Batman experience. I believed that was what their intentions were again when adding in the Batmobile to this game, but I still couldn’t help but be worried about it. Also I didn’t have a lot of money at the time and so my empty wallet sat me down and told me to sit this one out. After it did come out and I heard different opinions, I wasn’t sure exactly what to make of the game. However, coming back to this game now, I have learned that my fears weren’t entirely groundless.
When I say that I don’t mean that the game is bad. This game is still a solid addition to the Arkham series of games and still manages to deliver in both the stealth aspects as well as the fighting aspects. Although I feel as though that could be because after a while the fighting style eventually becomes second nature. However, the game isn’t just about those two aspects anymore. I thought Batman: Arkham City was being ambitious with how much was added to the game and then Batman: Arkham Knight wanders up throwing in entirely new game mechanics into the fray. Talk about innovation. You have to give some respect for bringing in entirely new game mechanics in this late in the game. However, the question is whether the new mechanics enhance the game. For that, I will say I do think the control of the Batmobile is good and it is entertaining to blaze through the streets of Gotham in it. If the majority of what the Batmobile was used for was chasing down criminal scum through the bleak streets of Gotham then I would be calling shotgun on that ride. However, they decided not to fully take advantage of the capabilities of having a fast car and decided to make the Batmobile more like a one man army vehicle. The Batmobile may be the most versatile piece of equipment at Batman’s disposal, and yet that also make it one of the game’s biggest pace breakers. Let me explain.
For those who need a refresher, the Batmobile is not just a means of cruising around quickly in Gotham City to apprehend criminals. It also functions as a tank as I mentioned before so you can deal with the army that has invaded Gotham City thanks to the help of the titular Arkham Knight. In fact, since the Batmobile is your only line of defense for fighting enemies in vehicles then you spend a good portion of the game in the Batmobile just for combat sections. The combat involved with using the Batmobile is nearly the same type that was seen a lot in Batman: Arkham Asylum where sometimes the game had nothing better to do than throw waves of enemies at you. I will credit to the sequel game for spacing out the amount of time it feels like you are doing nothing but fighting wave after wave of disposable grunts. Although that game is still guilty of it to an extent. In this game, instead of random bad guys we have changed things up with random tanks. I appreciate trying to mix things up but the combat in the Batmobile isn’t as enjoyable as the combat while fighting as Batman. The big reason for that is the flow isn’t there. With the ability to counter and jump around dealing out damage, there was a lot more control with your input whereas the Batmobile essentially is just lock on dodge and shoot. There just isn’t enough in the combat in my opinion to keep the combat in the Batmobile engaging for the whole game. However, that isn’t the real pace breaker here. No, the thing that grinds the game to a halt is the puzzle sections involving Batman’s favorite ride.
I say puzzle sections, but what I mean is that there are times when you cannot progress without the Batmobile so you have to find ways to maneuver your tank over rooftops so that you can proceed on in the story. Now not only are these sections incredibly slow paced, but they also feel so bizarrely out of place. I can understand that the Batmobile needed its own action moments to make it feel like more than just an extra toy, but did they really need to have it get its own platforming sections as well? It just feels kind of weird honestly to lug a tank around to do platforming and it is even more ridiculous to think about how people would react to seeing such a thing. The puzzle honestly feel more like a way to pad out the use of the Batmobile, something we already have plenty of in this game. It just kind of feels like they had the idea for the Batmobile, but they weren’t sure how best to use it in the game. However, unlike in Batman: Arkham City, the extra stuff they included that felt kind of forced wasn’t something that you needed to deal with in the main game. I am not saying that the Batmobile is a deal breaker, all I am saying is that I wish it had more polish and focus is all. You see the reason I started off this month talking about the stealth in these games is because I wanted to highlight that what Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City nail is the fear enemies feel for Batman while in stealth and in combat. the problem with the Batmobile is that while it is cool, it does nothing to add to that fear factor that the series is so well known for and is relegated to blowing up tanks. I guess if I were to sum my thoughts up I would say it is a fun extra that starts to get old when the tank kill count increases. Anyway those are my final thoughts on this series and we are now concluding the Month of Arkham. Yes, calling it the Month of Arkham has always been a thing and not something I came up with just now when the month is ending. That would be ridiculous. Also it is me or did the posts get longer as the month continued? Nah. I’m probably just imagining things. Anyway, see you next time!