Condemn O.R. Condone – Batman: Arkham Knight (PlayStation 4)

Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham series is one of the strongest gaming series to come around in a long time. Both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were praised for being not only fantastic games based on the iconic Batman lore, but also for being fantastic action-adventure games in their own right. However, when Warner Bros. Games Montreal took over for the prequel called Arkham Origins, fans were starting to tire on the gameplay a bit as it didn’t really offer anything new. Thus, Rocksteady Studios returns to not only take back the reigns from the previous developers, but to also finish the trilogy that they began several years ago. In my not so humble opinion, they friggin’ nailed it.

So, Arkham Knight takes place a year after the events or Arkham City and literally begins with you pushing the button to fry The Joker’s lifeless corpse. Gotham City’s baddies are left reeling after his death and crime dramatically declines with Gothamites feeling safer than ever. However, that calm doesn’t last for long as it gives a chance for Scarecrow to rise up and reek his bleakness on everyone. On Halloween night he threatens to suffocate Gotham with his new fear toxin and also has bombs wired throughout the entire city. The Gothamites (being as intelligent as they are) tear ass out of there as soon as they can, resulting in Gotham only being inhabited by cops and bad guys now.

Sounds like a solid enough Batman story, but the big twist here is the Arkham Knight. While all of this other chaos is going on, this unknown character who goes by the name Arkham Knight shows up and that despises Batman and wants his head on his mantle. This adds a lot of mystery to the game because for most of the playtime you’re left wondering who this dude is and how he knows so much about Batman. While the character himself might not be one of the best villains you’ll ever see, I felt that the mystery and backstory that the character ultimately has made up for that. Plus, there’s a certain other villain that shows up that completely steals the game, but I can’t go into that because it’s a major spoiler. Just allow me to say that it was one of the several story beats in this game that made my jaw drop.

Being the concluding chapter of a trilogy, Rocksteady Studios really had to up the ante in terms of gameplay to make it stand apart from the first two games. Three games in (four if you count Arkham Origins) of the same exact gameplay is only going to give you diminishing returns so something needs to be done to shake that up. They elected to add in a huge new gameplay mechanic for their swan song, and that is the batmobile. The batmobile is a friggin’ tank that you can call upon with the touch of a button to speed your way through Gotham towards your next objective, and can even be used as a kind of slingshot to give you momentum and altitude to glide around Gotham like a badass.

However, the big new mechanic that has left people divided on the batmobile is the tank mechanic. You can go into battle mode with the batmobile, which literally lets you shoot missiles and bullets to destroy these unmanned enemy drones. These drone battles pop up frequently throughout the game in which the gameplay switches from stealthy and tactical Batman combat to Batman: World of Tanks Edition. Whether or not you like this addition to the gameplay will really depend on whether or not you like battling tanks, but for me I thought it was pretty sweet. The tank battles are always action-packed and require you to use maneuvers and various types of attacks to avoid being blown up, and were honestly just a lot of fun for me.

That’s not to say that the traditional gameplay from the other games isn’t there, because it is. There are still plenty of scenarios where you’ll be silently stalking bad guys and taking them down in the shadows then grappling hooking your way onto a gargoyle statue to avoid being spotted. They’ve actually improved this aspect of the game with what is called multi-fear takedowns, which allows you to takedown several baddies in a row in a really cool slow motion sequence. So, basically, the gameplay that everyone loved from the previous game is here and better than ever, but it’s just sharing the limelight with the batmobile.

The one vs. a dozen bad guys combat system is also back, with Batman regularly having to take on hoards of dudes all by himself. It’s usually never a problem, though, because Batman has insane reflexes and handy gadgets that make any crowd a pushover. However, things get really interesting when you’re in combat with other characters like Nightwing or Catowoman, as you can switch between them on the fly to really spice up the battle. To make these situations even better you can initiate dual team takedowns between the two characters that are always a blast to pull off and watch happen. It always involves one character getting a few hits in and then sending the bad guy flying in the air where the other character zooms in to land the finishing blow in style. It’s awesome every time.

Gotham City is a huge place and is jam-packed with side content for you to take on, which is actually all necessary to complete if you want the game’s best ending. Riddler trophies are strewn all throughout the city, dead bodies are hung in various places that you need to analyze to track down the culprit, kidnapped firefighters need you to rescue them and a whole lot more. Gotham always feels like a living and breathing place that you’re journeying through, and it is a very regular situation where you’ll be on the way to one mission and one or two other side missions will come zooming past you that makes you drop what you were doing so you don’t miss the chance to sort them out. I love the spontaneity that this game’s world has, as it gives each gameplay sessions a ton of variety.

Again, there’s a lot more to this game that I could talk about, but it’s spoiler territory. Batman’s psyche takes a nose dive and goes to some pretty dark and twisted places, which makes this my favorite story and overall experience in the Arkham series. The gameplay is so polished and is packed with loads of content, while the story is multifaceted and has several jaw-dropping moments that need to be seen to be believed. This is the ultimate batman video game experience, and one that will be incredibly hard to top by whoever ends up being in that tough position. I would honestly put Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham trilogy on the same level as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and that is about as high of a praise that I could possibly give.

CONDONE

New Batman: Arkham Knight PS4 Patch Fixes Leaderboards Issues

While the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight has been getting all of the heat due to its myriad of problems that popped immediately following its launch, that doesn’t mean that the other versions of the game are completely glitch free. In fact, Rocksteady has just released a new patch for the PlayStation 4 version that brings the game up to 1.03 that fixes the game’s leaderboards issues.

According to the patch notes this is simply fixing the failed connection error that users were receiving when trying to access the leaderboards for AR challenges and Gotham’s Greatest. Still, it is expected that there will be some issues at first as the updated leaderboards take a while to repopulate.

I was recently having trouble getting the update file itself to even download, but it has now finished for me and everything regarding the leaderboards seems to be going smoothly. If only the fixes were that easy for the PC version, eh?

Warner Bros. Suspends All Sales Of Batman: Arkham Knight PC

Due to widespread negative feedback regarding the PC versions of Batman: Arkham Knight, publisher Warner Bros. has decided to halt all sales of the game.

A representative of WB posted the following on the publisher’s forums:

“We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards.”

They go on to discuss their efforts to fix the game for everyone to play the game as intended:

“Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played,”

The console build of the game, on the hand, has been absolutely flawless and has received critical acclaim across the board. I would have no desire to play a game like this on PC, anyways, but for those that do you’re in for a bumpy ride!

GMG To Give Refunds To Arkham Knight Buyers If Patch Doesn’t Fix PC Problems

Batman: Arkham Knight has been receiving critical acclaim on consoles, with both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game regularly scoring in the 9-range. However, things have not been so sweet on the PC version, with their being a myriad of issues that are keeping people from even getting the game going.

Of course, people want their money back if the game doesn’t even work, and Green Man Gaming is coming out to confirm that they will be doing just that. A patch for the game is coming very soon and they claim that if it doesn’t fix the issues then they’ll begin the refund process. You can check out their full article on the issue right here.

So, yeah, if you’re playing Arkham Knight on PC it sucks to be you, but a patch *might* fix some issues soon. Either that, or get your money back!

This Lame Arkham Knight Trailer Does More Harm Than Good

All of the footage released for this game had been awesome… until now.

Every little piece of content that had been released for Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight had been consistently jaw-dropping, getting me more and more amped for the game’s release next month.

Well, that streak has come to an end, as the devs have decided to release a live-action trailer for the game that is just plain lame. In it we see various people having to step up to the plate to make a big move, with it all ending with the video saying to “Be the Batman.” No thanks!

Check out the trailer below.

Batman: Arkham Knight is developed by Rocksteady Studios for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It will retail for $60 when it launches on June 23rd, 2015.

Batman: Arkham Knight Voice Cast Contains Some Big Names

Batman: Arkham Knight has a voice cast that is very strong.

Warner Bros. released a behind-the-scenes video for their upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight game that shows off the game’s voice actors, and they have some heavy hitters.

The new voice actors that have joined the game and the characters they will be portraying are as follows:

  • Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) – James Gordon
  • John Noble (The Lord of the Rings) – Scarecrow
  • Ashley Greene (The Twilight Saga) – Barbara Gordon
  • Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) – Nightwing

These actors are joined by returning actors Kevin Conroy (Batman), Troy Baker (Two-Face), Nolan North (Penguin) and Tara Strong (Harley Quinn). You can hear from some of these actors via the video below. 

Batman: Arkham Knight is developed by Rocksteady Studios for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is set to launch on June 23rd, 2015.

New Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer Shows Off Playable Robin, Catwoman And More

This trailer introduces a brand new mechanic to the series that will allow you to swap between characters mid-combat.

Rocksteady has released a new trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight that shows off some new playable characters that you can team up with in the game.

The game will feature a dual-play mechanic that lets you switch between Batman and his allies Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing in the middle of combat. Check out the trailer below.

Batman: Arkham Knight is developed by Rocksteady Studios for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It’s set to launch on on June 23rd, 2015.