(PCM) Note this is not a Batman: Arkham Knight game review. It’s a review of the Batman game series on a whole – culmatating with Batman: Arkham Knight.
Batman: Arkham Knight is expected to be the most elaborate game of the Batman franchise from Rocksteady games. In fact, they call it the biggest game they’ve ever made. If you’ve played previous Batman games you understand the magnitude of this claim. Being Batman is only part of the experience, yet that immersive element is how Rocksteady nailed it. Imagine dropping off a building and gliding through the city.
You control your glide, freefall, and direction to settle to a building top, ground or even take out a thug. The many gadgets you’ve read about come to life in an intricate but simple to use combat system. Rocksteady has never failed in the Batman game franchise, consistently outperforming previous efforts. For any Batman game player, you can take it to the bank, Batman: Arkham Knight is video game perfection.
How can this be said of a game yet to be released? Simple. History. Rocksteady has never released a broken Batman game.
It all started in 2009 – An all star cast was assembled for Batman: Arkham Asylum with talent from iconic Batman writer Paul Dini and long time Batman voice character actor Kevin Conroy topped off with Mark Hamill as the Joker. The the game didn’t just make a splash. The Batman Arkham series created a massive environment which without a map or aerial view, you’d be lost in. With each new addition to the series, the environment is enriched. Now with Batman Arkham Knight, Rocksteady has raised the stakes. A Batmobile with no rails.
Batman: Arkham Knight hasn’t come without bumps in the road. Originally set for release October 14, 2014. In the fall of 2014 word was a release wouldn’t come until early 2015 and finally during that delay yet another date was set; June 2, 2015. It too was pushed back to June 23, 2015. Legacy gamers may lament the delays but don’t complain. they understand what they are receiving in the end.
Another bump Arkham Knight experienced is its M rating. It wasn’t planned as previous titles were teen rated and the current game isn’t filled with swearing or gratuitous blood.
Every element of Batman Arkham Knight is crucial to it’s expected success. Long ago Rocksteady developed a world for Bat enthusiasts to explore as it’s own character. What are other keys to Arkham Knight as game perfection? Story evolution. After the 2009 success of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady’s second Batman game was released in 2011. Arkham City was as a continuation from Arkham Asylum with a year break and once received added credibility and help by writer Paul Dini. What made these titles special is their replay ability for completionist gamers. Respect for existing Batman canon iced it’s credibility.
It’s a game true to both the world of Batman while mixing up to major elements of gaming, puzzle solving and interactive action. One can argue there are various games within any Batman game.
The Arkham series centers around story. Few know Paul Dini. He’s noted for writing on Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995 Fox TV) and creator of the character Harley Quinn. Dini was instrumental in the first two Batman game stories for Rocksteady.
With a full world created, Rocksteady has opted not to resource Dini for this last episode in the Arkham series. Still, Rocksteady consults with DC directly and does resource legendary writer Geoff Johns to keep the game true to canon. It’s this respect for the Batman universe which plays into the genuine immersive feel during gameplay. Not only has the Batman mythos been instrumental in the game, the game has impacted the mythos with it’s own comics which stand in their own Batman universe.
Each video game release is a story with many many sub-plots. In gaming these are side-quests. Yet unlike most fantasy role-playing games the Batman franchise requires you to stick to the role of select characters such as Batman or Catwoman. In the latest installment of Batman by Rocksteady Studios, Robin is expected to get a bit more love.
In previous games in the the Arkham Series players had a chance to play as alternate characters such as Catwoman. One addition in Arkham Knight is Batgirl.
The Batman Arkham series never holds back with its supporting cast. There is always a full cast of rogues and allies but the latest game offers up a new mysterious character, the Arkham Knight.
If the Rocksteady Batman series has any knocks, it is that the game is not created for children. From the Teen rated titles to the new M rated title the language and gritty realism of the adult situations is far too raw for kids. Sadly, parents don’t regard game age warnings. While parents can knock the game for not making itself accessible to kids, adult fans are thankful for the mature approach in its storytelling.
The Batman franchise has a fantastic engine too. That is the framework in how the game environment plays.
— Earth Prime Weekly (@earthprimewkly) May 28, 2015
One the most remarkable aspects of the Batman Series and the upcoming Batman Arkham Knight video game is the level of visual detail and attention to the existing mythos of Batman’s world. From Batman’s suits, his rogues gallery, to the city of Gotham – all are treated with dear respect. From the beginning Rocksteady secured the long time voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy. He’s been the voice in most all animated TV and features for 20 years.
In fact many who play the video game hold it up as a benchmark to both writers and film makers in cinema as their expected head canon. One look at Fox’s TV show Gotham and you see the similarities of the GCPD’s bullpen in relation to the video game’s design.
Ultimately the success of the Batman Arkham series has created its own Batman universe with comic books which provide additional stories to support the game and take you beyond the game when you’ve finally completed your last Batman mission. Rocksteady may close this series out, but let’s hope they find a new Batman series to helm next. Gamers would be lost without them.
Batman Arkham Series Release Order:
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
- Batman: Arkham City (2011)
- Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
- Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
Batman Arkham Series Chronological Order:
- Batman: Arkham Origins (Timeline – years before Arkham Asylum)
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Batman: Arkham City (Timeline – one year after Arkham Asylum)
- Batman: Arkham Knight (Timeline – one year after Arkham City)
Who are the voice actors?
Kevin Conroy: Batman
Jonathan Banks: Commissioner James Gordon
Ashley Greene: Barbara Gordon/Oracle
John Noble: Scarecrow
Troy Baker: Robin and Two-Face – Arkham City
Nolan North: Black Mask – Arkham City
Who are the actors behind the voices of Batman Arkham Knight? See the video below:
Rocksteady tells the story in the video below:
We hope you learned a lot from Batman Arkham Knight Explained. Look for a full Batman Arkham Knight Review as a game review next.