I bought the Steelbook Edition which you can see in the picture above with its beautiful cover art of Batman and his best companion, the Batmobile. Inside I found lots of codes that I, while installing the more than 50 GB plus updates, redeemed in the store to get some DLC right of the bat. (No pun intended... :D) As a pre-order bonus, I received the Harley Quinn Story Pack, and the PlayStation exclusive content the Scarecrow Nightmare Mission Pack. Both DLCs are fun to play, the Harley Quinn Story is not long but it is for free and you can play as Harley Quinn herself with some different gadgets as the Batman, and some other skills. Story-wise, it happens before the actual game, before the Arkham Knight made his way into Gotham. You get three Scarecrow Nightmare Missions that give you additional races and tank combats in a nightmare tainted Gotham. Also included in the Steelbook Edition are two skins, one for your Batmobile, Prototype, and one for Batman, 1st Appearance.
Now, let's get to the whole shebang I always go through.
What I like about the game:
The game is huge! Not The Witcher 3 huge, but man, let me tell you that I am playing three days straight only this game, for many hours a day, and I am still not through the story because I am busy with the side quests. I love these side quests. They take you to different parts of the town, show you all the gameplay from the game, and are just plain fun! You have two wheels of missions and challenges in the menus. From there you select them and you will get directions to the next goal, only if you either have found one of the places while gliding through town, or with Intel you get from your loyal friend Alfred, who gathers information from the police and the radio communications of the enemies, which you can hear as well. Not only the side quests take much of your time in the game, but also the Riddler trophies and riddles returned. And this time, they are pretty difficult to solve compared to Asylum's way too easy riddles.
The music as always is typical Batman, sometimes you can the first few tones of the Batman animated series intro theme, which make me kind of nostalgic and bring back good ol' memories from the childhood. Sounds blend in well, you have the comic like pow!'s and bam!'s, which let the player feel strong when the Batman swings his fists right into some faces.
The combat feels, as always, top-notch. They improved on the fluidity and camera movement so you always are aware when the next thug comes near to try something, but he sure knows that his face is getting smashed in the next second. New to the combat is the dual fight. In some instances you get to play alongside Batman's allies like Nightwing, Robin, and even Catwoman. Not only have those characters different gadgets and techniques, but also do they work very well together with Batman, and strike our enemies in a cinematic dual take-down - always a nice feeling to watch these scenes.
The Batmobile is a complete new feature in the game, which brings you tank battles and races, also can you maneuver through the city pretty quickly with your legendary vehicle. What I like most about the Batmobile, though, is how it can help you in almost every instance. It has five different guns (plus a high pressure gun to stun/take down enemies on foot), and is very nimble and fast enough to get you from point A to B in a hurry. You can also eject while driving and get a nice boost to glide very far.
The story is just as expected good. No, the story in this particular game is astonishing and amazing! I won't spoil anything here, but the writers did a great job, the dialogues are funny and intimidating, the presentation is wonderful. The side missions have their own kind of story but get along with the main story pretty well. Except for the DLCs, the stories are so well presented that they just keep me in the game to play just a bit more, and more, and more... I just can't stop.
What I am neutral about:
Tank battles are a nice addition to the new Arkham game. For some people, the battles might not be what they expected from the series, especially because they are tied into the story and you can't avoid them. And they happen very often in the main story missions, which scare some gamers from playing on. I on the other hand, with my playing style of doing lots of side missions in between the main story, did not feel the same. I can understand it very well, though.
What I don't like about the game:
Let me think for a second...... I honestly don't know. The game feels so good and with so many hours in the game, I do not get tired of it. I don't have any answer to this question, yet.
Overall, Batman: Arkham Knight brings some fresh ideas to the series, the story is amazing, and the game looks beautiful. The characters are true to the comics (with some surprises, too) and have nice designs. (Female characters don't show as much skin as in previous games. I thought that should be said... :D) For me, Batman: Arkham Knight is a great contender for my personal Game of the Year award. Rocksteady set the bar high now but it is feasible to get even higher. As a Batman and DC Comics fan, it's almost a perfect game, as a gamer in general, one hell of a game that needs to have its own place in your shelves or wherever you store your games. I recommend playing this whenever you are able to.
Released: June 23, 2015
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS
JerriKoe - Game on!