While the latter is the current standing of the game the former was actually the status of its reviews not long after its release. It was disastrous. A lot of people reported technical issues; complaints came from users who had the then best hardware on the market and were unable to get a steady 60 FPS in Arkham Knight. Crashes were reported and some of the issues were only present if we used the Batmobile. This was disappointing from Rocksteady following the release of 2 really good AAA games.
Purchasing the product early this year at a discounted price (all DLCs inclusive) was a good decision as we were 2 and a half years after the release and the many patches. I am happy to confirm that the game worked well for me. Here’s my rig: i5 3570, 8 GB RAM, GTX 1060. With this I got a solid 50-60 FPS and during the 110 hours I spent with Arkham Knight it only crashed twice.
Dark Deco still in Unreal Engine 3
I praised the art design of the franchise in my review of Asylum when comparing it to the animated series back in the ’90s. Arkham Knight follows the same pattern and as usual the new episode has some new eye candy special effects. Both fog and smoke react during fighting sequences and raining looks tremendously good as we glide with Batman in Gotham City. And everything looks pretty detailed anyway. I frequently changed Batman’s skin and enjoyed fighting while wearing the Keaton suit from ’89 or the futuristic Batman Beyond costume with its glowing, red eyes.
John Noble a.k.a Scarecrow
At first, I did not want to believe Scarecrow could actually be taken seriously. Especially after Joker and Hugo Strange. Yet, folks at Rocksteady managed to deliver an enemy who takes over Gotham City with the release of his new toxin gas. To a certain degree it is a rather silly concept: following the first attack (as seen in the intro) people get on buses to leave the city. In a couple of days millions of home become vacated and only GCPD remains to fight the bad guys running on the streets.
Scarecrow is voiced by the excellent John Noble. Fans of the Fringe and Sleepy Hollow series will recognise his voice. Also he played king Denethor in the Lord of The Rings. Jonathan Banks is a new voice-over – he played Mike in the TV show titled Breaking Bad. Another great addition to the game’s roster. Now, Scarecrow looks terrifyingly good – this is in a literal sense following his run-in with Killer Croc. He was maimed before if you remember so he now looks like an undead.
The title is a reference to another major character in this story – one of the more effective henchmen of Scarecrow, the Arkham Knight appears to know how Batman thinks and what his next move will be. Naturally, along the way you will all be curious to know who hides under the mask. Joker will also return and he will be more important than you think so we can conclude there’s no Batman game without Mark Hamill’s laughter.
Batmobile, the moot point
If you managed to overcome the technical hurdles Arkham Knight might still disappoint with the introduction of the batmobile. Personally, I welcomed Batman’s new “gadget” as there was nothing else they could have introduced as a new addition when it comes to gameplay mechanics. The combat was already very dynamic and Wayne’s gadgetry was pretty much complete. The voice synthesizer, as a new gadget, is a neat little tool to give false orders to thugs (very useful during predator sequences) but after a couple of takedowns it is rendered useless. Plus, one gadget doesn’t mean much in a story you can complete in 30-40 hours (optional missions included).
With Batmobile comes vehicular combat. The Arkham Knight utilises his connections to send in a paramilitary group whose APCs and tanks you regularly need to fight. The regular driving mode and the battle mode (which allows slow movement in all directions) require some getting used to but after a while it becomes exciting. Our car has its own gadgets (a winch to remove obstacles or a scan to follow clues) and the story relies heavily on their use.
Due to this there are a lot of wide streets in Gotham and even the thugs use cars to try to ram us. It’s fun that Batman can alone use a takedown which is not only effective if we are on the ground but also cars can be taken down while gliding in the air. The Batmobile arrives just by pressing a button and Batman quickly jumps into its seat. The opposite can also happen: we are ejected into the air to continue our journey in gliding. There is this seamless connection between man and machine and it is great fun using both separately depending on our leisure. Oh, talking about separate usage: some sections require Bruce to remote control his mobile (another interesting and great way of puzzle solving).
Side missions also return beside the main story. There are new villains as well as familiar faces. It is unfortunate that some of the more interesting ones (Killer Croc, Mad Hatter, Freeze and Ra’s al Ghul) are only available in the form of a DLC. In any case, these side missions gradually unlock as we move along the primary objective. Gotham City is also taken over by the Knight’s troops so doing a little cleanup will be required in all 3 of its districts. It’s fun to return to GCPD and see how the cells gradually get filled up with more baddies. The best part is the room with all the evidence – weapons or items used by villains (including those of previous games’ bad guys); Aaron Cash comments on each as we approach them. A blackboard shows the numbers so we know how we are progressing towards 100% completion (and utilising prison space limitations).
Challenges, of course, also return. Beside the brawling and the predator stages we can do a lot of driving. For racing we can use pretty much all the skins from the previous Batman movies. Did you like Bale’s robust Tumbler? Or you’d rather prefer the 1960’s Lincoln Futura? I personally picked the Tim Burton version (1989) as it was most reminiscent of the dark deco style of the video games. Some of the racing stages are from the movies: we can drive on the set of the 1960’s TV show while the theme song is being played or we can opt for the 1989 movie tracks while listening to Danny Elfman’s memorable score.
I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!
The campaign is so long that after a while I felt I wanted the story to end. Batman has a lot of dialogues with Alfred, Oracle, Gordon and even Lucius Fox and for all this not only do we get an audio but a video feed that appears on his forearm. This looks supercool!
During some of the brawling sequences we get assistance. Nightwing or Robin step in and they have their fair share of the fight. We can utilise a dual takedown (there is a special meter for that) and when we do this we jump from Batman to his partner to continue the fight.
Once more we have Enigma to annoy us. If you want to explore every nook and cranny in Gotham there isn’t a better side mission for that. In order to find all trophies we will need to use the Batmobile and once again my least favourite puzzles, the “sights” do return.
Riddle me this
As the credits roll after the successful completion of New Game Plus (another 30 hours just for one more achievement) I can’t stop thinking about what a great journey it has been. I thoroughly enjoyed all 4 games (yes, even Origins) and I was happy to have made the decision of waiting 2 years for playing the last episode. The characters, the missions, the voice-acting, the overall production value is all there and top notch. And we get a rather surprising, yet, satisfactory ending (the 2nd, slightly different one is achieved in case of apprehending all villains).
Arkham Knight is recommended for all the fans and in case Rocksteady caused only dissatisfaction almost 3 years ago go back and give the Bat another chance.
How To Download and install
1) Download APK + OBB file
2. Extract the zip files by WinRar
3) Install APK file
4) Obb folder move to Sdcard/android/obb/
5) Enjoy playing the game