We like to do things a little different here at CultureMass, so when we’re looking back at the games that make us convey emotion, we’re looking past at “games that made us tear up,” we’re talking about the whole range of emotions a game can make you feel. And from that perspective, not many games spoke to me like Batman: Arkham Knight did in 2015.
Batman: Arkham Knight is an amazing experience; not only it’s the final episode of everything that was set in motion since 2009’s Batman Arkham Asylum, but also it’s one of the first games that properly kicked off what this new gaming generation is all about. Like previous games in the series, developer Rocksteady Studios had only one goal in mind: to make you be feel like the one and only Batman from beginning to end — and on that regard they sure delivered.
Fighting numerous thugs on the streets of Gotham remains one of my favorite aspects of the game, and the new variety of moves, enemies and takedowns, adds a little strategy to the fight than in previous games. Facing armed guards on the other hand is an entirely different experience, and I still find it amazing how well integrated into the gameplay that is. It never feels forced or scripted, you just know that in those situations, using stealth, the wild assortment of Batman’s gadgets, and even using the fear of your enemies against themselves is a better tactic.
Of course, traversing through Gotham has been revamped as well. Not only you can still jump, glide and grapple hook your way to your next objective, now (finally) you have the Batmobile at your disposal, and it is as fast, powerful and awesome as anyone would have expected to be.
Including the Batmobile was a polarizing issue among everyone who has played the game, but this is the thing I like to remark to everyone who asks me why I don’t like a game like the Grand Theft Auto series. I don’t like playing the role of “some dude” driving around in cars; these are videogames. I want to do awesome things in them, driving tanks, flying helicopters or space ships, and doing amazing things with them (attacking innocent pedestrians just isn’t). Having control of the most amazing fictional vehicle ever conceived and doing pretty amazing things with it fits right into that alley.
My big criticism in this department is how much the game made you interact in the Batmobile (between missions, side missions, and collectibles), but still, I would have complained even more if there weren’t enough things to do with it. Besides, chasing enemies APC’s while ramming enemy vehicles on the streets of Gotham was one of the slickest vehicle experiences I’ve ever had in videogames (also, vehicular stealth combat? Was it ever a thing? Now it is!).
Finally, without getting into spoiler territory, let’s just say that the story is incredible, you can feel the stakes are bigger than ever before, and the enemies Batman is facing this time are literally trying to drive him crazy, and while the decisions he takes are something that feels like something Batman would do, you can’t help but wonder if those would have been the right choices.
Wearing the cape and the cowl of one of the greatest superheroes in this game doesn’t only grant you access to all the strengths of the character and versatility of his gadgets, but also makes you the receiving end of his enemies who are more than happy to play all his weaknesses against him.
Batman: Arkham Knight is packed with emotions from beginning to end, from the insane twisted humor of some of his villains, to the twist and turns the story will put you through. The game plays masterfully; it’s fun and intuitive, and the more you learn to play it, the more challenges the game will put you through.