Nana nana nana Batman!

Ok, Batman Arkham Knight more specifically.  The one with the tank.

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Seriously.

I’ve played nearly every single Batman game that has hit the market.  I am a massive Batman fan, and really enjoy the various interpretations over the years.  I think it hard dismiss what Batman: the animated series had as an impact on comics everywhere.  Even that video game tie-in was gold.  I see Mark Hamill more as the Joker that Luke Skywalker now.

So with the various Rocksteady games, I’ve take a chance to get 90%+ completion.  I really enjoyed the first one, as it provided a fresh take on the games – mind you the last battle against the Joker was horribad.  Arkham City and Origins were opposites.  The former had a great story and so-so controls, while the latter’s story was a mess and the controls were spot on.

Arkham Knight does away with the concept of “Batman without tools” and starts you off in the thick of it.  You have a tank.  You have Batarangs.  You can glide.  You can punch the lights out of anyone.  It’s solid mechanics and doesn’t treat you with kid gloves.

The Batmobile Bat-tank is weird.  It makes zero sense in the world of Batman but from a gameplay perspective it adds some nice variety to the game.  Either shooting other tanks, racing other vehicles, fast travelling, destroying buildings, or just climbing up them – all of it works well.

The plot is solid enough, as aside from the Joker, I think that the Scarecrow is one of Batman’s best foes.  He’s like a darker version of Batman.  Joker is still there of course (spoiler I guess) but not to the point where he takes center stage.  The noted Arkham Knight does a good job as a villain, being able to predict what Batman will do.  A tad to “rage” focused for my tastes, but a smart combatant.  It could be that every other villain has 20-50 years of backstory and this guy is fresh to the table though.

I find the game more challenging that previous ones, where it puts you up against stronger and denser enemy packs.  I took out a group yesterday of 6 armed guards and 4 automated turrets that took about 10 retries to figure out.  Where previously I’d stay in investigative mode and pick them off slowly, this game has you run in and out quickly, with enemies who can detect you if you use the mode too long.  Plus there are mines and traps, so you need to use different tactics in those fights.  It means a lot of button pressing, and nail biting, but also means that much more fulfilling fights.

I’m about half-way through now, completion-wise, so that means about 75% of the main quest.  The Riddler challenges I’m going to skip a fair chunk but the rest of the side quests (and there are at least a dozen) all provide ample diversion.

Solid game, glad I picked it up.  Even more so since it was on sale.  And now bug-free.

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