The Average Gamer

Hands-on With Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham Knight - BatmobileI feel like a superhero. I feel like I can take on any amount of thugs with my bare hands. And damn do I look badass! These were just some of the thoughts zipping around my brain as I played the latest Batman game. It’s that good.

When Rocksteady Studio released Arkham Asylum back in 2010 they changed the way people viewed Batman videogames. Prior to this, Ocean software’s Batman: The Movie released in 1989 was the arguably the last decent game. With Arkham Asylum and its sprawling sequel Arkham City, Rocksteady had captured what previous games, and many of the feature films had failed to deliver. You feel like you are Batman.

The Arkham Knight demo I played delivers this superhero feeling from the very start as it’s straight into battering enemies armed with a menagerie of awesome gadgets and driving a cool car. This time I was battling against one of Scarecrow’s goons called Arkham Knight who has barricaded himself inside a fortress within Gotham. It’s the perfect setup to test out all of your toys while saving all the hostages, obviously.

After completing the first two Batman games, Batman’s controls felt very familiar. It’s a further, logical evolution of the already-brilliant control scheme of Arkham City. The line launcher, bararangs, detective vision and grapnel gun are all back but with some handy updates. You can now instantly switch direction using the grapnel gun for instance, and there’s a batarang sensor to show you the layout of surrounding areas. Batman’s cape also provides even more manoeuvrability to swoop around and boot people in the head.

Takedowns are even cooler than ever as you can now disable up to three enemies in one go using Batman’s fear takedown. If you find 3 bad guys in close proximity and you take out the first person and still remain undetected, time slows down giving you a chance to focus on the next guy and hit the takedown button. And repeat for the final victim. It’s immensely satisfying once you pull it off as it’s easy to become detected particularly after the second takedown. As with previous Batman games, it pays to plan your attacks and then execute them quickly before escaping.

Batman Arkham Knight - Electricity
The Batmobile makes its long-awaited appearance in the series and it’s not just eye candy. Not only can you perform takedowns with the help of the Batmobile’s stun gun but it’s also the most nimble thing I’ve ever driven. It can shimmmy around all over the place, rotate a full 360 degrees on the spot and has a powerful speed boost. It also ejects Batman straight into a glide and turns upat the press of a button. It’s amazing, I want one.

Overall Arkham Knight feels wonderful. The control system works really well, the graphics looks amazing and you get to be superhero. This game is so much fun. Look out for it next year.

Batman: Arkham Knight is due for release on the 2nd June 2015 for PC, Xbox One and PS4.