Hit Start Retrospective: ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ deserves a second look

Justin Kucharski, Editor-in-Chief

Since its release, “Batman: Arkham Knight” has solidified its place as the most divisive entry in the “Batman: Arkham” series. Some fans believe it is the best, while others believe it is the worst.

This month, Sony is offering Playstation Plus subscribers access to the finale of developer Rocksteady Studios’ critically acclaimed series for free. So what is my take on “Batman: Arkham Knight?”

There has never been a better time to return to Gotham City.

The console version of “Batman: Arkham Knight” launched on June 23, 2015 to a mostly positive reception, garnering praise for its stunning visuals and satisfying combat system from fans and critics alike. This isn’t to be confused with the PC version of the game, which was heavily criticized for its large number of technical problems upon release.

“Batman: Arkham Knight” features an engaging, if slightly predictable, story that showcases excellent voice work from Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker, Troy Baker as the Arkham Knight and John Noble as Scarecrow.

The fluent and addictive combat the series is known for is also as refined as ever, which makes fighting hordes of enemies never feel like a chore. Having a slew of Batman’s gadgets such as his iconic batarangs or the remote electrical charge gun at your disposal also adds another layer of strategy to the already great combat system.

The Batmobile also makes its debut in this game and serves as both a means of transportation to get around Gotham City and as a form of combat–a very lousy form of combat.

When fighting in the Batmobile, players basically just dodge incoming missiles from enemy tanks and shoot them back. It would be a welcome feature if these sections were optional or only happened a few times, but I can’t think of a single mission where the Batmobile wasn’t utilized some way. It makes for a very mind-numbing gameplay experience and is the only one true downside to “Batman: Arkham Knight.”

Outside of the main storyline, there are plenty of other side stories known as “Most Wanted” missions to keep players occupied during your time in Gotham City. Each of these conclude in capturing one of Gotham’s most wanted criminals such famous Batman villains Two-Face, Penguin, The Riddler and more.

If you’ve been on the fence about “Batman: Arkham Knight,” there hasn’t been a better time to give it a try. Its low price point and current availability on PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass make it a must-play for gamers looking for a fun action game or something new to try.

Not to mention, a teaser from developer WB Games Montreal, who developed the 2013 prequel “Batman: Arkham Origins,” suggests that the series will be revived in the near future, so if you enjoy “Batman: Arkham Knight,” there may be more headed your way.

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Twitter: @JKucharskiTWW