REVIEW-Batman faces darkest knight in epic end to ‘Arkham’ series

14 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Batman: Arkham Knight Receives New Update Patch Version 1.04 For Sony PlayStation 4.

Its mixed reviews may have complained about a lack of content and poor value for money, but gamers have sent a clear message that they don’t really care – as F1 2015 sees sales increase by 367 per cent, compared to F1 2014.Batman: Arkham Knight is a narrative juggernaut crammed to capacity with excellent heroes, villains, battles, drama, humour, fan service, and the mother of all plot twists (you won’t see this one coming, folks).

Two new DLC bundles are coming to Season Pass holders in August: 1989 Movie Batmobile Pack: Battle through the streets of Gotham City with this pack that includes the Batman skin and Batmobile from the 1989 Batman film, as well as two tracks inspired by the film’s sequel. Batgirl: A Matter of Family is still coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Tuesday, as scheduled. “Our continued focus on getting the right PC fixes in place for the main game has had an impact on the development of all DLC content for the PC version of the game,” WBIE VP of Technology Gary Lake-Schaal writes in an update on Steam. The Bat-family Skins Pack: Included in this pack are six character skins based on the alternate timelines – – 1990s Catwoman, One Year Later Robin, Arkham Origins Batman, Iconic Grey & Black Batman, 1970s Batman and the Original Arkham Nightwing. It has already received updates to improve gameplay experience on consoles and PC, and has also received another update on the PlayStation 4 for a better overall experience, in order to make the game more enjoyable. Lego Jurassic World was down 28 per cent, but other games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, and Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare saw a small increase.

This Friday is slightly busier than last week, with the release of Rory McIlroy PGA Tour (XO/PS4), Godzilla (PS3/PS4), and God Of War III Remastered (PS4). Once the secret plot developments take root, just looking at the TV or hearing the game for a few seconds can ruin one of the coolest twists I’ve seen in a Batman story. It will also be interesting to see if the launch of the new PlayStation 4 1TB console has any effect on software sales next week, as tends to be the case with new models. Lake-Schaal notes that a fix is in progress, but he doesn’t address the fall 2015 release window. “We believe we have identified a number of fixes for the larger issues that were affecting PC players at launch,” he writes. “These fixes are currently being implemented into the game and once we have been able to do some initial testing, we’ll have a better idea on the status of our progress.” More news should be coming this week, Lake-Schaal promises.

Through that wild development and others, we see Rocksteady at the height of its game for visual and aural storytelling, going to great lengths to find the best perspective for a shot, whether it’s from first-person, third, panned, or through the eyes of a different character. Without giving away any spoilers (of which there is an exhaustive supply), this chapter picks up nine months after the events of Arkham City, showing how Gotham has healed itself after the death of one of Arkham Asylum’s perennial guests. Peace has returned to the city’s streets, allowing people to leave the safety of their homes to enjoy the nightlife and arts in boroughs that were once only for people with a death wish or sinister intentions.

The uber-violence of 2005’s The Punisher game was toned down after the threat of an Adults Only rating from the ESRB scared the publisher into sterilizing the violence with a black-and-white filter (an effect used in Kill Bill two years earlier for similar reasons), but it makes sense that a Punisher game would be ultraviolent. Consoles will be receive the DLC later this week, whereas the PC will receive it whenever Warner bros announces, most probably when Rocksteady gets rid of the bugs in the game itself.

The ESRB description for Arkham Asylum, the first game in the series, makes specific mention of this: “Players assume the role of Batman as he fights (never kills) his way through a psychiatric hospital populated by psychopathic criminals…” The game was rated T for Teen. And though the ratings of the subsequent Arkham games have made explicit reference to that aspect of Batman’s personality, it is a crucial part of what makes him a compelling character. Gotham is a beautifully realised playground for Batman, ranging from a borough filled with century-old architecture to another glowing with a bombardment of Times Square-like advertisements and light. When the film Man of Steel came out, many were up in arms over the fact that Zack Snyder took the bleak tone of Nolan’s Batman films and added it to a film about a man who has the symbol for Hope on his chest. He can also take to the streets in his iconic Batmobile, a vehicle that controls remarkably well and is almost as fully featured as any lead character in a game.

But in doing so, he’s made a film that looks less “adult” and more “emo kid.” Things that are “dark” and “gritty” aren’t inherently more “mature.” When you see that car explode and then flip over in a flaming wreckage, the only thing you can think is, “Yup. They’re dead.” Followed by, “Wait… Did Batman just kill somebody?” The former is interesting, because I didn’t realize it was on me to trigger.

The Batmobile’s combat eventually becomes intense and twitch-worthy, but you spend a significant amount of time slogging through easy fights to get there. Yes, he rips the covers off of vents, hacks security doors, and needs to use his grapple line to zip across vast chasms, but these familiar navigation elements are tapped sparingly.

Most of the story mission environments are loaded with variety, or play off of that excellent plot twist to sew in unexpected sequences or dramatic shifts in visual design. Detective vision finds new life through a nicely designed murder mystery involving a villain that is a deep-cut for Batman fans, but is used largely for the same song and dance from the previous titles.

The Batmobile unloads ammo against bosses with health bars, but most hand-to-hand boss conflicts are free of repeating the same tactics numerous times. Rocksteady built a special experience that dazzles with its cleverness, intelligence, and ability to shift from kick-ass Batman moments to emotional gut punches to scenes stripped straight from some of Batman’s greatest comic book stories.

It’s all reminiscent of the CollegeHumor sketch from a couple years back where it’s revealed that Batman actually does kill his enemies, but he doesn’t understand what death is. Despite Gotham City being effectively lifeless in the wake of the evacuation, as a location it is far more compelling than any of the previous Batman games.

And then when you jump and glide above and through the city, and it’s one of those things that reminds you why video games are so amazing in the first place. Other open world superhero games like Crackdown or the Infamous series have done some of it as well, but none of their locations are as beautiful as Gotham City. You are constantly blocked by objects that serve no purpose other than to waste your time (and help the developers keep the illusion of an experience with no loading screens).

The ability to choose from various storylines at any given moment undermines the impact and urgency of all of the other ones. (If you decide to track down a random serial killer in the middle of your quest to stop the Scarecrow, are his minions going to just wait for you to finish? Whether you want camp or seriousness from your Batman experiences, it’s a moment that completely kills the tension, and it’s indicative of the problems within Arkham Knight—the game tries to have it both ways and simply can’t.

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