Batman: Arkham Knight Review

Like Dislike Save

• Games & Software: Playstation 4 • Technology: Review • Games & Software: Windows PC • Games & Software: Xbox One

I enjoyed playing Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. I'm not a sueperhero or comic book fan but it was nice to see these games done well. Arkham Asylum was new and fresh and Arkham City seemed to build well on that. For Arkham Knight I was expecting great things. In some cases I was pleasantly surprised, in others I'm dissapointed.

Game Play

The game plays much like the other games. The combat is similar but works a little better and feels smoother. On the flip side, the combat also feels too complex. I feel like I'm playing a Mortal Kombat game where I need to remember all sorts of button combos.

I can grapple onto a thing, push A once, then A again but holding it the second time and launch Batman into the air. Neat. Then I get an upgrade to that which requires two A taps and holding A the third time. Everything in the game you do is button combos like this. It just gets, well, old and annoying. Combat just becomes repetitive.

The quick time events seemed to be less annoying at first. If I want to tear off a metal cover I still have to tap A a few times but not as much as in previous games. The real question is why can't I just tap A once? Tapping A repeatedly isn't fun so why am I forced to tap A more than once? It's tiny stuff like this that annoys me.

The Batmobile

Getting to cruise around in the Batmobile would be an awesome addition to the game, right? Yes and no. Parts of it are fun but it quickly feels like you're forced to use it all the time. There are tanks all over the city and you need the car to destroy them. It gets old fast.

You also have to rip a lot of stuff open with the Batmobile's winch. It made sense the first time then felt forced. And don't get me started on the controls for the Batmobile. Ugh. They're aweful. Right trigger is gas but left trigger isn't brake? Instead, left trigger opens battle mode and then right trigger becomes the weapon button. It just does not work at all. Controlling the car, especially at speed, is also difficult. The roads are small, the car is huge, and there is stuff everywhere you plow into.

And what's with the Batmobile sound effects (during animations) ripped right out of a Transformers movie?

Story Telling

And then the cut scenes come in. Wow, the cut scenes. I feel like every time I do anything I get interupted by somebody in the game wanting to chat about something. It all ties into an overly complex story, at least for my tastes.

I'd prefer much simpler stories. Okay, this Scarecrow guy wants to take over the city. Great. I'm Batman, I don't need to know much more than that. Instead, there's all sorts of convoluted plot lines and tangents you have to follow. There are flash backs to the past which are odd and confusing. Then the Joker is back, at least in Batman's mind. That's all kinds of confusing and annoying. Look left and he's there, turn around and he's gone. Why do games need to always go with this mind game plot twist?

Why does the game need this stuff to be fun? I ended up skipping past a lot of the cut scenes. Of course, at times you'll do this and then not know what you're supposed to do next.


As always, there is a main story line with main missions and tons of side missions. In fact, it feels like the developers went out of their way to jam in side missions. Way too many side missions. A few are fun at first but then it becomes repetitive. Some are annoyingly difficult.

The main story missions are pretty good, complete with some interesting puzzles to solve. The save points aren't always quite as good. In one case, I saved a hostage, put him in the Batmobile, and delivered him to Gordon. It involved a lot of cut scene animations. Then I had to head back in for another and I died. Guess what? I had to re-deliver that first hostage all over again, complete with the cut scenes. Why didn't it make a save point after the cut scene?


The graphics are incredibly well done. At the same time, they don't feel that impressive to me. It's hard to explain. On an Xbox One the game supposedly runs at 900p (1600x900) and not a true 1080p. On PS4 it's said to run at a full 1080p.

But it's not just resolution. It's something else. On one hand, the textures, special effects, and animations are amazing. On the other, the world feels overly dark and muted. It's as if a tiny bit of light would really make things pop more. Yes, I know, it's supposed to have a dark feel. It's just too dark and muted.

Many times it feels like there's just too much on the screen at once. Rain coming down, glossy streets, sparks flying, debris from stuff I'm blowing up, gun fire, smoke, etc. Half the time when things get crazy I just button mash which isn't really fun.

The animations are excellent but appear too often. For example, getting in and out of the Batmobile has a circus flier like animation. Open a fuse box and you'll wait for an animation while Batman muscles up. They're neat but once you've seen them you find yourself just waiting for them to be over so you can play. Do I really need to get yanked out of the game play while I watch Batman twist wires together?


Batman Arkham Knight is a good game. It plays well and is fun. But there's far too many "movie moments" in the game for my tastes. The story is too confusing and the animations take me out of the game play far too often.

The Batmobile is fun at times but relied on so much that it becomes annoying. The game controls well but there are too many button combos to remember. It's worth a rent. I wouldn't suggest buying it without playing it first or waiting for it to appear at a discount on the used rack.