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My thoughts on Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4): Batman versus Batmobile. Batman loses.

genre: action, adventure

So I feel compelled to share my thoughts on this game since I am a little angry about it. I am close to finishing up the main story and already have completed several side missions. Normally I finish a game fully before writing a review or giving my thoughts so that must give you an idea how annoyed I am. 

Ever since the title was announced I wanted to play it. Arkham Asylum was awesome and it's sequel Arkham City rocked even more. I also enjoyed Arkham Origins even if it was not made by Rocksteady and seemed more like a lazy but flawed rehash of Arkham City. Still the fact that it was more like Arkham City and that despite it's issues did accomplish making you feel like you were Batman makes it a better game than Arkham Knight. There I said it. Sure Arkham Knight might look better and maybe is a little more streamlined when it comes to old mechanics but it is also plagued with some major flaws.

First flaw that becomes apparent very soon that the story is hardly engaging. It only manages to surprise you once or twice but other than that it is unimaginative and lackluster. That Rocksteady has blatantly lied about the supposedly new character named Arkham Knight is unforgivable especially when it's tied to retelling an old Batman story most fans already will be familiar to. From the huge character roster in the Batman universe they went for the most obvious. This is proof of how lazy Rocksteady has been concerning this game. I understand they were aiming to shock us and if they had not been so predictable it might have worked. Although if I think about it even if they would have chosen someone else there is nothing that extraordinary about this Arkham Knight. I never truly got the sense that this adversary was Batman's equal in any way. So I am puzzled why they went with this story. The side stories showed promise at first but then after completing some of them I can honestly say that they also weren't that special. However I liked them better because most of them were more in tune and spirit of the previous games. 

Second and hugest flaw of the game. THE BATMOBILE. When I saw some footage of it on Youtube I was intrigued. It looked like it was going to be a cool addition. It might have been if not for one thing. The damn thing is forced upon you 95 percent of the time. You have to use this car / tank in almost every mission or activity in some shape or form or you can't advance the game. And most of the time it does not even make sense of why I should be using the car instead of one of the so many gadgets at Batman's disposal. In some situations I was digging it since it was extremely cool to be able to use the car remotely. Only the majority of the time you will be using it to destroy drones and other tanks which gets repetitive and tedious. Then there is the cloudburst mission. Let's just say that it was the first real mission in the game that made me furious. Up until that mission I was able to stay cool but seriously this one will make you rage. Since Rocksteady then decide to handicap you severely.  Not only does your burst not work like it should (in battlemode) you can't race like you normally would. Because for some inexplicable reason the huge ass super tank with the cloudburst device not has more firepower it also is extremely fast. If this was a Transformers game or something similar then maybe I could have tolerated this. But since this is freakin Batman I am dismayed. When would Batman be driving tanks and shooting up the place like this? It's so out of character. The only reason why Rocksteady forced this travesty upon us is because of pride or maybe even narcissism. They wanted to make sure we would make use of their precious batmobile since that essentially is the only innovative thing in Arkham Knight. 

Not cool Rocksteady. You might have been able to fool some of the players but not this guy. You failed. You sucked out all the joy of being Batman. 

Edit 19-07-2016: 
So I finished the main story and more side missions and I have to say that it is even worse than I initially thought. Before I go into this further I will be heading into spoiler territory so you might want to stay clear if you have not reached this point yet. 

There is no excuse for ending the main story like this. It is very presumptuous of Rocksteady to assume that I feel compelled to finish all of the most wanted missions and what not to get the endings you really deserve. And after having seen those endings on youtube I think I would be outraged by them since they went all The Dark Knight Rises on us but with added twist that Batman is not gone yet but comes back in slightly other more scary form. Side missions are optional. If I choose to play and finish all of them and then you reward me with a nice cut scene adding to the main story then I have no problems with that. But forcing to let me play these missions and then not even giving me an ending that is satisfying? I don't like to be forced to do things that aren't necessary. It defeats the whole purpose and function of side missions. But ok, Rocksteady went that route and apparently is something you will have to accept. Do I have to accept bad storytelling though? None of the side stories were as good or rewarding as they were in Arkham City. And I preferred it that these stories were their own little stories that had nothing to do with the main one. Now every villain is tied to the main story in such a lazy and boring manner that I can't even begin to express my disappointment. It does not help that the main story itself is quite average and predictable apart from The Joker twist. Also the story is very contradictory. If Batman truly is ready to give up his cowl why then does he still push his friends and allies away. If they are the ones to take over the crime fighting should he not let them do more instead of less? The Batman I know and like is a Batman who will never give up. The one in Batman Beyond still fighting the good fight even when he is far too old to carry on. And while he hands over the cape to Terry he still considers himself Batman. Because he is. He would not have to resort to something like The Knightfall Protocol. Seriously how would that even work? Everyone knows Bruce Wayne is or was Batman. If he would return in some ghostly shape it might scare off simpletons and goons. But surely not villains like Riddler or Deathstroke. They would connect the dots very easily. I It just does not make sense.  And before people go start raving it's not Bruce Wayne but Azrael or Jason Todd. No. It is Batman. Batman doesn't retire ever. Would a guy who initiated something like The Knightfall Protocol and has problems throughout the game of letting go of his responsibilities just stop being Batman and hand it over to someone less capable? Think again.

So no no Rocksteady. You dropped the ball with this last part in the franchise. Sure you managed to seduce me for a while but once I got deep into the game I saw it for what it truly is. A disappointment.

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