Batman Arkham Knight first impressions

For those of you new to my blog . . . I PLAY A LOT OF F—ING VIDEO GAMES!


I mean, I work at a video game company for cryin’ out loud. Video games are a huge part of my life and if it wasn’t for the life-changing Metal Gear Solid game on the Playstation, this blog wouldn’t even exist.


Well I recently picked up Batman Arkham Knight and I wanted to briefly talk about my experiences with the game and how I can’t help but fantasize what Cindy’s game would be like




PC frame stuttering issues aside, Batman Arkham Knight is the third and final installment of the action adventure game helmed by Rocksteady studios. After this game it’ll be a different studio and probably the last game I pick up in the Batman franchise. Not because I’m not enjoying my time with Batman Arkham Knight but because I’m a gamer that needs closure in his stories and video games.


I don’t like loose ends, I don’t like cliffhangers, and I especially don’t like when companies continue to milk out a franchise that has already gone sour. *Coughs* Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Splinter Cell.


The Batman Arkham series has been one of those franchises that I have been more than happy to play at every release. However, lately I feel that the series has been dwindling in quality with each sequel. Arkham Asylum was the best in the series because it was tight, cleverly designed, and groundbreaking in terms of creating an awesome superhero game. I’ve often said to myself that if I ever had the opportunity to make a Silver Ninja video game, I would base it off the Batman Arkham series.


When Batman Arkham City came out. I felt that the game got too bloated for my tastes and the story didn’t hold together well. There were way too many villains, riddler trophies, and the primary antagonist was weak, under utilized, and had a very anti-climactic boss battle that took agency away from the player. Hugo Strange was so useless that you could have removed him from the plot without negatively impacting the story. That’s always bad.


Batman Arkham Origins . . . the less said about that game the better.


Batman Arkham Origins really dropped the ball for me and almost made me quit the franchise altogether. Bad game design, recycled art assets, been there done that story, and gameplay that didn’t take any risks in pushing the formula to the next level.


As for Batman Arkham Knight, this game is actually pretty fun. The story is a lot more controlled even with the extra villains thrown in the mix and it actually delivered on some pretty shocking moments for me. Some involve what happened to Barbara Gordon and the others deal with the aftermath of the events in Batman Arkham City. Granted, I’m not finished with the game yet but I’ve enjoyed the ride so far.


The gameplay is a lot of fun with most gadgets given to you from the get go. The combat is still, rhythmic, typical Batman flair with a few new baddies added in like medics and chargers and giant brutes with knives. However, I find myself still feeling a little underwhelmed by Batman’s combat animations. After playing Assassin’s Creed III and witnessing Connor hook a man in the chin with a tomahawk, twist and turn to disarm a rifle, and spin and dance gracefully through groups of enemies. Assassin’s Creed has a more realistic and aesthetically satisfying approach to combat.


Batman just kind of flips, elbows, kicks, and punches like a cartoon character rather than a perfectly trained martial arts master. I know, he’s Batman, it should be exaggerated. The problem is that the art style Rocksteady went for is ultra realistic. So when the characters that almost look like real human beings animate in an over the top fashion, the suspension of disbelief goes out the window.


Also, the batmobile. This was handled poorly. I totally get the appeal of driving Batman’s awesome car which has a jet engine in the back and can turn into a tank to shoot vehicles. Totally cool, really fun. THE PROBLEM IS that the creators FORCE YOU to drive the batmobile all the damn time. If you can’t solve a puzzle with your gadgets, chances are the batmobile is involved. Need to navigate to a new area? Batmobile. Need to solve a puzzle? Batmobile. Need to progress your missions? Batmobile. It’s batmobile this, batmobile that, I’ve had to write batmobile so many times it should be my SEO keyword!


I didn’t feel clever using the batmobile to solve a puzzle. I just felt forced and no one likes to feel forced in a video game unless it’s Final Fantasy VII. https://youtu.be/oyIBdRjp-YA?t=1m1s (Side note: Still think this is one of the first times I cried in video games.)


Minor quibbles aside. I think the game is great and I can still imagine Cindy being in those digital shoes. I know Cindy has powers and abilities more akin to Spider-man, Ironman, and Captain America, but I prefer to see her as a woman who can instill fear into others like Batman.


To stalk criminals from a distance and then tie them up with her grappling hook, or break their arms, or dance around them in hand to hand combat with flips and rolls while having a high tech HUD that kept track of enemies. (With realistic animations of course, some Krav Maga thrown in for good measure.)


Then, if she loses power, Cindy reverts back to her human self and has to avoid getting shot or killed while the suit recharges.


*Sigh* It would be so awesome.


Before I close out the blog I just wanted to let you guys know that production of a new art commission has started and I’ve already received thumbnails for different concepts. Expect the marketing blurb blog to coincide with the release of the new art piece. Can’t wait!


Have a great weekend.

Wilmar Luna
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