Batman: Arkham Knight Doesn’t Trade Puzzle-Solving For The Batmobile

By Robert Ward . June 17, 2014 . 1:04pm

Batman: Arkham Knight is shaping up to be quite the game. It’s just too bad the titular Arkham Knight himself is a naive punk that lands somewhere between Gears of War’s Cole Train and an angry kid.

 

The demo I played started with Commissioner Gordon meeting with Batman on a bridge to a chemical plant, which is promptly destroyed by the Arkham Knight and his armed helicopter. Batman walks to the end of the bridge where the Knight’s helicopter is hovering and stares his Gatling gun in the eye without so much as batting an eyelid. The Arkham Knight says that this is the end of Batman, but is stopped by a voice that tells him “he has nothing left to fear,” and orders him to pocket his revenge for now. Gameplay started here.

 

Overall, my favorite thing about the new Batman game is the Batmobile. You can perform Batmobile-assisted takedowns where an enemy is punched into the air and knocked unconscious by a riot suppressor (rubber bullet), cross obstacles like a tank when it enters combat mode (by holding the left trigger) and perform donuts. The Batmobile can also be called to your location, controlled remotely, be used to store enemies/allies in the back as needed, and it can even be used to eject Baman high into the air for surprise attacks or reconnaissance.

 

All of these abilities plus the new Batmobile Remote only further the Legend of Zelda-like puzzle-solving that is one of the Arkham series’ staples. Criminals shut down an elevator you needed to ride? Bust the wall open, grapple onto the pulley, and lift it yourself. You don’t need no stinkin’ buttons. Incidentally, the mission we were tasked with completing during E3 involved using the Batmobile’s entire arsenal to find and transport hostages to safety.

 

Bats’ new ride isn’t his only new gadget, though—I also used a modified boomerang called a Bat Scanner to search for hostages in the chemical plant. As you’d use the left stick to scan for noise, you’d pick up chatter from various enemies, including the Arkham Knight himself. Of course, when you go to find them, you’re bound to run into enemies, and there are more ways to take them down than ever.

 

There’s also a new option called “fear takedown,” which lets you chain instant knockouts when you’re in groups of enemies that are in close proximity. Hits are sharp—fast and hard-hitting—and Batman doesn’t pull his punches this time around. At times, you can even use the environment to your advantage, dropping light fixtures on criminals’ heads or throwing metal boxes at them from a distance.

 

When they revealed Batman: Arkham Knight, I wasn’t excited—Ishaan can attest to that. Seeing Arkham Knight in action, though, has piqued my interest. The stealth elements weren’t compromised by the combat-crazy Batmobile segments. That’s why I now feel Arkham Knight’s worth looking into, even if its new antagonist sounds like Robin’s dark inner-conscience.

 

Food For Thought:

 

1. I can’t decide what looks better—Batman, Metal Gear Solid V or The Witcher III. They each have incredible visuals and a unique approach to storytelling.

 

2. Oh, I completely forgot! The blimps with search lights that make an appearance in the iconic Batman: The Animated Series intro are seen floating over Gotham in the distance. Judging by my brief time with the demo, of all the Batman games to date, this one feels the closest to capturing the spirit of that show.


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  • Herok♞

    Does it feel like a major step up from City or more of the same?

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      As far as I’ve seen, it’s looking better than City, but it’s story I’m not sure. Gameplay looks so polished I bet it runs just as well as City too. I worry… Is Scarecrow really the best choice for the last villain of the Arkham games? Sure AK’s in it, but Scarecrow and the usual rogues are now match for Bats now. I’d rather they bring in/back the foes he’s fought only once (Slade, Lady Shiva, and maybe add Amazo).

  • http://natenayshun.tumblr.com/ Rikku Ishida

    Angry kid eh? Rocksteady isn’t making it easy to say its well you know? UMMM IDK RED HOOD

  • Shippoyasha

    I always felt that the puzzle elements truly made Arkham stand out. I had so much fun with Riddler puzzles, I completed then twice over in all the games so far. The combat and story were very nice, but the great level designs and puzzles made the game pop and feel great to play. Just a great flow to the gameplay with combat and exploration intermixed.

    Glad to hear that the Batmobile isn’t just a cool ride, but a major tool in Batman’s arsenal. I wonder if we will see the Batwing as well.

    Rocksteady is just insanely on point with so many of their design choices in the series.

    I wonder if they will tackle Justice League next. TMNT would be nice too.

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      I don’t agree with TMNT but Justice League, I’m all for.
      I always thought WW or Supes should’ve made cameos in the Arkham games. At least to assist with something like Solomon Grundy.

      • Shippoyasha

        TMNT would be a weird choice but knowing Rocksteady, they will somehow pull it off. Would be nice to see all the vehicular play if they do a TMNT game too. But yeah, Justice League sounds like the logical choice with the Justice League movie coming in a few years.

        • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

          Either JL or Nightwing. If they did NW I’d have Tim Drake and Damien guest star and maybe have it as a party system like an Action RPG.

  • TheFoolArcana

    “the Legend of Zelda-like puzzle-solving that is one of the Arkham series’ staples”

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve read all day.

  • Paul Rodriguez

    After playing the last 4 Batman Arkham games, it barely felt like there much puzzle solving anyway. Most things involved little to no thought. Finding Riddler trophies, data packs, using the cryptographic sequencer, dealing with the Comms towers was something that was just a few wasted seconds/minutes I could have used to kick more butt. Let’s hope Arkham Knight actually has puzzles that require some real thought.

  • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

    They better stick to their guns and keep AK an original chara and not be Red Hood in a new suit.
    After playing all the Batman Arkham games (except Blackgate), I’m sad that this will be the last one. Any word on Nightwing getting his own game set in Bludhaven?
    I’ve always found myself wondering why usually no one but Bats is playable in these games. No Batwoman, no Nightwing, no Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, not even Damien. I know Bats’ is the star, no complaints there, but I’d love to have them come in and team up with him now and then. So far only Tim Drake and Catwoman have been in. And never alongside the Bat.
    Imagine a big brawl last boss with all of Bats’ surviving Rogue Gallery and Nightwing, Tim, and Damien all get in on it with Bruce. I’d kill to see that.

  • Kornelious

    This, Metal gear or Witcher 3……Hard to say, though Metal gear has the closest to a “Realistic” setting than the others so my bets are on Metal Gear.

  • Göran Isacson

    Sounds like the car will have a great number of uses to it, which I like. Sounds like this is shaping up to be a blast of a finale, at least.

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