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Batman: Arkham Knight (PC) review: Holy squandered potential, Batman

Hayden Dingman | July 2, 2015
Up front: There are going to be spoilers in this review. Or, at least, a few of you may deem them spoilers--I am going to actively discuss some of the villains in Arkham Knight. By name. And a few of the plot points. Why? Because there are very specific examples that I feel embody Arkham Knight's failings, and it's easier for me to just talk through them than talk around them.

I'm not going to say that Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were particularly smart games, but they were smart superhero games. Take the grit of Nolan's Batman, combine it with the eye-candy of Tim Burton's Gotham, and you've got one hell of a take on the dark knight. The Arkham series was great because it played to Batman's strengths--his brutality, his knack for inducing fear, his cleverness, and (most importantly) the unique and twisted personalities of his villains.

Arkham Knight doesn't do those things. It doesn't let Batman be Batman. It doesn't let Batman's villains be villainous. With the exception of a single plot thread it squanders two games' worth of set-up and replaces much of what I loved about the series with pointless filler. Filler I completed. Filler I even sometimes enjoyed on a purely mechanical level--crawling through vents and silently taking down henchmen as Batman is as satisfying as ever.

But too often I felt like Arkham Knight was a professional athlete post-retirement: Bloated, unfocused, and always boasting about a really nice car.

Again, this review is based on the PC version of the game which--in case you haven't heard--is completely busted. Thus no score. If/when the game is fixed we will revisit the review and score it appropriately.

 

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