Batman Arkham Knight is another single player joint from Rocksteady Studios. Similar to Arkham City, however, players will have an open world Gotham City to traverse. The lion’s portion of the story-driven missions and gameplay involves investigating clues and leads setup either by Commissioner Gordon, the wheelchair-bound Barbara Gordon and/or Batman himself.
At any given point Batman will have several unfinished tasks in his mission overview. Select one and travel to it either by bounding, swinging or gliding over rooftops. Or call in the near-autonomous Batmobile and rocket yourself through the narrow streets of Gotham to your destination. Sounds awesome, doesn’t. Well it is in spurts.
Unfortunately, the Batmobile is easily the least appealing feature in Batman’s new arsenal. Moreover, the Batmobile gameplay is mostly reduced to ho-hum strafing back and forth dodging highly telegraphed rocket fire from predictable slow moving tanks. To meet the threat, your Batmobile can transform with a simple press of a button, from a rocket-propelled bullet-proof ebony vehicle worthy of the Caped Crusader to a heavily armored but slow moving tank. Car battles, which are incessantly frequent, lack excitement. The transformation animation is quick and ultra cool. But the game forces you to play in this mode far too often and car battles are rather boring, reminding us of old Twisted Metal games minus the challenge.
Taking out performance frustrations on the local goons.
The Batmobile isn’t all bad and shines in some areas, however. For instance, the vehicle’s cannon can be operated remotely and included as an attack in mid hand-to-hand combat. Batman can smoothly take out a few enemies toss another in the air and remotely fire the cannon to dispatch the suspended foe. It’s slick and satisfying. Most fun of all, is rocketing down a narrow Gotham City street at break-neck speeds and then ejecting from the Batmobile. This will propel the Dark Knight high into the air where you can use your cape to glide high over the city and survey your next move or just enjoy the sights.
Oh I always keep a half-naked super-villain botanist in my trunk. You never know...
Much of the general gameplay stands unchanged from previous games. Gather clues to solve cases, using Batman's seemingly limitless trove of tech gadgets. Fight wave after wave of meatheads wielding swords, bats and military grade weapons. Batman himself can now disarm and use these melee weapons against his enemies. Yet like the previous installments, it's best to learn how to quickly counter incoming attacks and unleash your counter-attacks. There are many new moves and several ways to quickly take out multiple enemies. Still, again, the bulk of the gameplay will be very familiar to returning fans of the series. It’s a blast if you can a) get it working and b) when Batmobile commuting is kept to a minimum.