This is not a drill, people! Batman: Arkham Knight is finally here! I played the first hour or so of the game and wanted to give you some quick impressions of what I experienced so far.
The game starts off with the (now) infamous scene of a police officer being intoxicated by Scarecrow’s fear gas who then goes on to shoot several patrons that he thinks are monsters. The city is then evacuated, leaving only the criminal scum behind to quickly take advantage of the situation. This is a job for our favorite Caped Crusader who is the only man that can stop the murderousness and pillaging happening in his beloved city.
What’s great is that the game wastes no time in getting you into the action. I’ve been playing these Arkham games since Asylum and felt right at home with the controls. There are of course some handy tutorials that pop up on the screen, but if you’re a vet then you can just go about doing what you’ve always done. Gliding, grappling, and beating the shit out of enemies is all the same with some improvements (more on that in a bit).
The most notable new addition is that Batman can now use the Batmobile not only to traverse the enormous city, but to engage in combat. It doesn’t take long for you to go from driving the bat-car to actually getting into tense battles with armored vehicles. The Batmobile has two modes: one lets you drive it as a normal vehicle (normal being a relative term in this case) and another which puts it in combat mode. Combat mode lets you strafe left and right to move and dodge. It also comes equipped with machine guns and missiles.
Combat is more or less the same but it feels a lot smoother than before. I didn’t have access to all of my moves in this early stage of the game, but the basics at my disposal got the job done and came out seamlessly. Traversing the world via gliding also felt better but didn’t feel as much improved as combat did. The controls are a bit complicated but they feel easy to use at the same time.
Of course, I have to mention the absolutely stunning looking graphics. It’s a good thing that Rocksteady decided to make this game current-gen only because this is the sharpest looking entry in the series by far. It’s all of the small details like the rain falling, smoke and fog, and detritus strewn about that make it all come alive. The power of current-gen also allows the game to be open world and for you to drive the Batmobile. Presentation-wise, this is top notch stuff.
I’ve only played less than an hour of the game but it is already one of the most impressive titles of this year. I forsee this game getting better as I play it. Rocksteady no doubt has some neat surprises coming our way. I’ll have my review for you guys before the month is over so make sure to stay tuned for that.
Batman: Arkham Knight is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.