Why are there two reviews? Well the start of this post will be my full review of the game. I know it's all said and done but I waited for the DLC to come out before I posted on this one. The second review is while I was recovering from surgery and I ran into an issue. I wanted to show this original review to also show some glimpse of my process while I write. Writing posts is a long couple draft process before I feel comfortable to post.
So here is my review -
Final Score: SILVER
Batman: Arkham Knight is an ok game that was really well built. It looks pretty, the Batmobile is fun to play with, the story is long and expansive. Even though this is the largest game of the franchise, I never felt so much detail in the series since the original game, Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Even though this game is the fourth of the series; Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origin, and finally Batman: Arkham Knight. Arkham Origin is not made by the same studio, Rocksteady instead it was developed by WB Games Montreal.
Let me be clear I enjoyed the game. It's of high quality in most aspects but the pits of the main story were so rough for me that I a few times asked myself if the game was still very good, above standard instead of just being a good game. It still got a score of SILVER because most of my gripes are based on points that I like.
Love the detail in the world. Walking around the Gotham PD HQ was awesome. I spent hours exploring that area and I never felt board. I enjoyed the places like Wayne Tower and and the Stagg airships. The Clock Tower was a great location with lots to see and explore. I love the little details of mechanics in the Batmobile that get lost in the action but when you slow down to look you'll be happy you did.
The graphics were awesome. I like the visual style of the series. Since the beginning of the series the style has had a 90's comic big muscle feel, blended with a realistic presentation of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. The wet effects were nice and the action was well presented.
The voice acting was series standard. Which means it was of the highest quality. Kevin Conroy returns as the voice of Batman and his experience with the character shows. When I think Batman, Mr. Conroy who has been playing the part since 1992.
Gameplay was brilliant. The fluid and chaotic but empowering hand to hand combat got some bumps that put it above the already high bar the series set with the original game. The Batmobile - more like Bat-Tank was fun to drive and shoot. Navigation through the city with the gliding mechanic was pretty good. I have to say the detective events were the best of the series. Also the Riddler trophies were well thought out and included many of the mechanics of the game.
Story was ok - some of the plot was brilliant and some was so, so. The whole connection to the Joker (spoiler free) and how Batman cures himself is well done, almost perfect. When the game was doing its thing it was doing it well, when it stumbled, it do so in a hard way.
I wanted to go back to the Batcave. It and the fast travel system in Batman: Arkham Origins were some of the best details that used Batman 'stuff'. Being stuck at the clock tower was lame. You could start the VR system and the challenges right from the Batcave. You could swap suits, and interact with Alfred. I was looking forward to visiting the place post Arkham Origins since that game was set in Batman's second year of activity. You saw the Batmobile under construction and parts of the save were still being sorted out or built ad-hoc.
The upgrade system was not clear regardingXP and you stop earning XP when out on the streets once you pass on point in the game. At the end of the game, I was missing a critical upgrade to complete the game - you don't get the ending unless you get 100% complete. I was lucky to have discovered that the challenges gave up more upgrade points.
Speaking of the Riddler trophies some were really good. The race tracks were crazy and well done... maybe to far out of his reach logistically but hey were playing a game with a guy dressed as a bat. The puzzles were pretty good, and the riddles were pretty good. I found a few just by looking around at the awesome details that litter the game. My only bitch is really simple, the Question Mark puzzles were some of my favorite in the first two games and I'd have liked to see them return. Also the riddler using only robots and a giant EXO suit was lame for the character. He has better ways to fight off Batman even if it's just a Predator Challenge.
Speaking of which, I missed those. There was simply not enough of those Predator Challenges in the main game. I would have loved to do more of them.
Lastly the Story. The whole situation with Batgirl was brilliantly done. The whole situation with the Joker victims was fantastic. The whole idea with Scarcrow taking over the city with a militia force... pushing the realm. It would have been better had the Scarecrow dropped an agent in the city turning the population into raving hordes that could be controlled by special minions to support the giant gang the Scarcrow put together. Hell breaking out the prison population to roam wild on the streets ala Arkham City would have been just as good.
Now the worst part of the story was the Arkham Knight. It was the Red Hood, aka Jason Todd, aka the second Robin. It was obvious and it was lame that the ads advertised a new character not seen in the comics. Hell while make the Arkham Knight persona, it could have just been the Red Hood.
Historically the Red Hood ran a tight gang, his return to the city and his history with the criminal gangs would have made sense. He's back working with Scarecrow - simple. Instead they added another lair of silly for no reason.
Again this was eventually not my final review but it's an emphasis on my final experience of the game. I fixed the issue the next day but I've never had been so beyond disappointed with a game that I was with Batman: Arkham Knight.
I'm packing up my game of Batman: Arkham Knight. It was a waste of fucking time. I took the Mass Effect 3 endings because to me they made sense, I still felt my choices mattered because for me it was the journey and not so much the end.
I've never hated a game so much as this one.
I've never had a game waste my fucking time to such a degree as this game did.
It was to be the best of the series. An end much in the same vain as the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy. Story arcs were being finished and my game was going for the 100% completion. I'm about to play the last mission of the main quest line.
I have caught everyone - minus the Riddler. I've spent yesterday and today searching Gotham City from top to bottom while recovering from my surgery to find all but one Riddler Trophy.
I'm at 242 trophies out of 243.
I need a particular upgrade to bypass the Riddler challenge. It has to do with the Mine Disarm ability for the Disruptor. I'm at the studio, stage B, there is a place where I need to disarm two mines. I have 2 Wayne Tech points, the upgrade is cost at 3 Wayne Tech Points.
I need 6345 xp to go up the one level so I can get that last Wayne Tech point.
As there are no more missions and enemies on the street no longer allow Xp generation - I am stuck. I spent HOURS - FUCKING HOURS! Playing through this game to have all that fucking time WASTED because I didn't buy a single upgrade! I need to go through the whole game all over again... I need to collect all 242 trophies all over again.
Up until this point I loved this game. I really did... now I just want my money back.
Even more so I want my fucking time back.
Never in a game has all the time spent in it meant NOTHING. It doesn't matter if I complete the whole main quest line, I can't finish the game without playing through the whole thing all over again.
I only played this game to such completion because I've been stuck in bed since Tues afternoon when I was released from the Hospital. I was loving this game - now I'll never get the whole ending, I need to spend all that time again. I need to redo the whole game in new game +.
I won't but the DLC. I almost did...
Folks read your walkthroughs on this one or else you'll have to play through the whole fucking game all over again.
I liked it I really did... now it's a reminder of waste of time I spent playing this instead of painting, or playing ANY OTHER GAME!
Best thing for you to do is just play through the game and look up the youtube video for the secret ending - that's what I had to do...