3 Jul 2015

Game review: Batman Arkham Knight

11:41 am on 3 July 2015

Score: 10/10


Amazing story
Variety in gameplay and storylines
Incredibly high polish of every aspect of the game

Developed by Rocksteady Studios, Published by Warner Bros.
PS4, Xbox One

Batman Arkham Knight is the final installment in developer Rocksteady Studios trilogy of Batman games. These games have consistently been a cut above your average third person action title, but Arkham Knight takes it to a whole new level. This is an experience, so thoroughly conceived and meticulously executed, that it easily stands within the highest echelon of video games.

It is, simply put, a masterpiece of digital storytelling.

The story itself a large part of what makes Batman Arkham Knight so sublime. There are few video games, or heck even movies, that spin as epic a tale as Rocksteady has with this game. The premise involves Scarecrow and a new villain, the Arkham Knight, taking over Gotham city. But any more than that quickly falls into spoiler territory.

What I can tell you, is that not since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight has this universe been explored with such skill. The psychology, pathos and tension of not only the main story, but also the many side stories, are beautifully varied, superbly conceived and consistently gripping.

Batman Arkham Knight achieves something with its story that no open world game has ever achieved quite this well, in that the pacing is spot on. Quite often games that allow you to explore and engage with story content at your own speed have terrible pacing issues as a result.

But instead of dumping all of the content on you, Arkham Knight feeds you missions and side quests throughout your play through, which not only keeps the game varied, but also achieves its excellent pacing, maintaining the urgency of the main story while still making side content feel organic to the situation.

The storytelling is supported by the skill with which the gameplay is handled. In Arkham Knight, you get to fight, drive, fly and solve puzzles, murders and crime scenes. Yet with all these different mechanics, everything is handled with the same incredibly meticulous level of detail. The animations, transitions and gameplay all look and feel so good.

Impressively, within this massive array of different gameplay mechanics is a remarkable level of variation in challenge and approach. Throughout the 40 or so hours it takes to complete all of Arkham Knight’s content, the experience and challenge consistently builds and evolves, keeping the game enthralling from start to finish.

Batman Arkham Knight is a creative and technical feat. The storytelling has to be experienced to be believed and is supported by gameplay with more depth, variation and polish than has ever been seen in this genre before. This game is easily a 10 out of 10 experience.

Review by Baz Macdonald aka @kaabazmac

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