Full Spoilers for Batman: Arkham Knight inbound…
Batman: Arkham Knight is the pinnacle of Batman video games; which is no doubt a huge thing to say, considering development studio Rocksteady Studios has worked themselves up from a nothing studio to the creators of one of the most prolific IPs of the past couple console generations. Arkham Knight stands as the most divisive in the series; ranging from either being the top or bottom of people’s lists of the Arkham series with little to no middle ground. As for myself, Knight is a game I adore that acts as a celebratory conclusion to the series
Arkham Knight is the final installment of Rocksteady’s award-winning Arkham franchise, which follows Batman, his rogues’ gallery, and other friends and allies of Gotham City. Rocksteady wanted to put all their effort into making the best Batman game possible, so when developing the sequel to the 2011 smash-hit Arkham City, they knew they needed the time and resources to make the best game they could possibly make. Warner granted Rocksteady the extra development time, but knew they couldn’t go that long without a Batman: Arkham game while the hype around City was still fiery hot around that time.
Warner turned to Warner Bros. Montreal for development. WB Montreal is a subsidiary of Warner Bros., their first game being the Arkham City Wii U port. Warner was once again entrusting a small studio to undertake the heavy task of making the ultimate Batman video game, except Montreal was far less experienced and had the high bar of living up to Arkham City, arguably one of the greatest games of that generation. Despite their passion, best efforts, and Rocksteady’s support, Arkham Origins would be seen as a mediocre cash-grab, and eyes were set on Rocksteady again. All Rocksteady had to do was deliver. After all, they had a legacy to live up to.
Upon release, Arkham Knight was received as a solid game that concluded Rocksteady’s saga, but many complaints were aimed towards its story, and the Batmobile. The Batmobile, I could understand (I mean, I love the Batmobile but we’ll get to in a bit); but to hate the story begs to imply that one can’t appreciate the world-building and character development in Rocksteady’s Batman universe. There is one arc that is admittedly unsatisfying (as we’ll get to much later), but I’ll be so bold as to say Arkham Knight is one of the freshest, human, and enriching Batman stories to exist. We’ll discuss how, but seeing as how important that would be to discuss, let me just talk about the gameplay real quick and why it’s a masterclass of immersion and game design.
Rocksteady’s attempts to revolutionize the gameplay of their series and make the player truly feel like Batman have proven ruinously effective. The evolution from Asylum’s gameplay has come full circle to create a fully immersive and invigorating experience. The combat of the series has hit the absolute peak in Knight, with near-limitless and creative ways to dispose of your enemies. Batman is able to use environmental takedowns to instantly incapacitate enemies, pick up blunt objects to use as weapons or projectiles, and throw enemies away with a well-timed Counter-Attack. It’s all so satisfying and flows like water, as you feel every impact of Batman’s attacks.
Stealth (or Predator sequences) has also taken a major step-up. You can mimic enemies’ commander’s voice to direct them to different parts of the area to pick them off, rig guns to blow, and perform a Multi-Fear Takedown which allows you to dispose of several enemies in a row with amazing speed and agility. The environment is more dynamic than ever, as you can cause electricity to explode, smash through glass ceilings, and cause chandeliers to fall down on enemies, miraculously knocking them out without killing them.
But as your tools evolve, so do your enemies’; the Militia have billions of dollars’ worth of state-of-the-art military technology to take down Batman. Automated turrets scattered all around, drones scanning the environment, medics that can revive fallen soldiers and put an electrified shield around them, and enemies that can track you with your Detective Mode. It really makes you feel like a real army is out there and are more than ready to take down Batman. But Batman is a strategist, an adapter, an improviser; Batman is able to use the arsenal he has to use the Militia’s weapons against them: hack drones to target their own men, trigger a medic’s tools to incapacitate them, and even set traps for those that are tracking you down. There’s so much variety to the enemies and your arsenal that makes for an exhilarating and immersive experience every time I play. It’s a meme to say, but the game really does make me feel like Batman.
Navigating around Gotham has never felt so nice. Flying past the rooftops Gotham is the smoothest and most responsive it’s ever been, with the improved Grapnel Boost propelling you through the air like a bullet. Speaking of navigating, a massive addition to the game, however, is the Batmobile. Now, Arkham Knight’s inclusion and function of the Batmobile is divisive and controversial, to say the least. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Batmobile, but I can definitely understand the criticisms.
First, the positives: for being Rocksteady’s very first game to have a driving mechanic, the Batmobile controls like a dream; the speed is just right, you really feel the adrenaline and rush whenever you’re going full-speed down the streets of Gotham. Rocksteady wanted to implement the Batmobile since Arkham City, but given that game’s claustrophobic and cramped world, the Batmobile just wasn’t the right fit for the game. But with the game expanding to Gotham City, Rocksteady was given full reign to make the streets Batmobile-appropriate. The Batmobile can crush cars, ram through infrastructure, and just overall decimate everything it touches. It’s like driving a tank that goes a hundred miles an hour.
And what a tank it is. The Batmobile can switch from a speedy force of nature to a battle-ready tank that can fire bullets (both real and rubber) and missiles. This mode is for sequences where Militia tanks will attempt you blow your Batmobile to bits. These sequences are a lot of fun, even if there’s not a whole lot to these fights other than to just “BOOM” and “POW” the tanks to pieces. You can also activate the abilities to hack enemy drones to fight on your side, or emit an EMP that will temporarily disable all drones within your radius. Also, as a caution, please be sure to set the Tank Mode to toggle, rather than hold. It feels a lot smoother to control and most importantly doesn’t cramp up the hand. It took a while for me to realize there’s a setting for this and I’ve had to get used to the new controls but it’s worth it.
Now, the Batmobile has had its few shares of criticism over the years, most infamously its response at around the game’s launch. People complained that the Batmobile was forced onto the player and were even required for several moments in the story to progress. On top of that, there’s the aforementioned tank battles which have their ups and downs. As I said, I enjoy these sequences, but the lack of real variety in these battles can make them tedious at times. As you’re chasing APCs down the streets, you can’t do anything more than to just shoot the vehicle some more. Nothing is more effective than just blowing up stuff, and doesn’t require much creativity or brainpower to complete. Because of all this, it makes the Batmobile feel more like a story crutch than a useful way to traverse or one that is meant to represent Batman’s personality.
These are all valid criticisms, and I can certainly see where a lot of these complaints are coming from. But it’s hard to not feel excited when you turn on those thrusters and speed across Gotham City, mowing down every car and enemy that gets in your path. I love the Batmobile.
I won’t go over the DLC because this article is already too long, but I wanna talk about all playable characters in the game. If you have all the DLC, you can play as the numerous characters Rocksteady programmed in this game’s Challenge Mode, now referred to as ‘AR Challenges’. Characters include Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman who all play very similarly to their moveset from Arkham City. New characters include Harley Quinn (who has her very own extensive Story Pack), Batgirl, and Red Hood. I find them all fun to play with and, most importantly, they all play quite uniquely from each other. I gotta say Red Hood is my favorite to play, besides Batman; his attacks are impactful and stylish and his “gun-fu” fighting style makes him a very explosive character. It’s like playing as John Wick.
I’m now going to go over the story. I won’t go into the story with lots of unnecessary detail, but I will be discussing as much of it as possible as I think there are quite a lot of important story beats and themes at play.
The Beginning of the Story
Arkham Knight takes place nine whole months after the events of Arkham City. Bruce Wayne is still coping with the death of his nemesis and coming to terms with the long-term effects Joker has had on him and his loved ones. Even though Joker is dead and crime in Gotham has drastically decreased, Batman knew there was a storm coming, so he continued to develop state-of-the-art crime-fighting technology such as a new battle suit, a new Batmobile, and plenty of other gadgets. His suspicions would soon be proven correct, as the remaining criminals-at-large Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, and Harley Quinn united to devise a plan to take out Batman. Scarecrow would bring everyone together as he has created the ultimate strategy to destroy Batman, his legacy, and Gotham as a whole. As he was developing his plan, he would soon encounter a soon-to-be-ally who would help ensure his scheme was a success.
We start the game, not as Batman or any of his allies, but as a random cop who is cremating the corpse of Joker, who perished in Arkham City, as I will explain later. In this opening, you press the button to turn Joker into ashes, followed by Jim Gordon saying “This is how the Batman dies”. The entire city has acknowledged Joker’s death and moved on after a time. With the evil clown dead, Gotham braced itself for the inevitable power struggle between all the criminals and crime bosses of the city; but the war never happened. In fact, nobody knew what to do with Joker being gone. For a time, Gotham was finally at peace; until Halloween. We finally start, where you play as a cop walking into the diner. You’re told by a customer that somebody is smoking. When you go to confront the smoker, it turns out to be one of Scarecrow’s men. You’re attacked and then he unleashes Scarecrow’s toxin into the diner. You begin hallucinating, and everyone around you appears to be monsters who are all attacking each other. You pull out your gun and begin shooting at civilians in the diner; you can choose to not shoot anyone, of course. The result is the same: you’re attacked by a customer and killed.
Moments later, Scarecrow broadcasts a chilling message throughout Gotham. He warns them that his newest fear toxin will detonate and flood the entire city with deadly fear gas. With this new threat, everyone in the city is evacuated. The only ones that stay are Commissioner Jim Gordon, his first responders, and the criminals of Gotham that want to take this opportunity to turn the city into their own destructive playground. Crime bosses Two-Face and Penguin form an alliance, turning the city into a hellscape to run their operations. With Gotham at its knees, only one man can save her: Batman.
Batman finds one of Scarecrow’s hideouts, but finds Poison Ivy instead. Poison Ivy had no interest in aiding Scarecrow’s plan, so Scarecrow had Ivy captured for not submitting to Scarecrow. Poison Ivy’s cell is filled with fear gas, but it seems to have no effect on her. Batman takes Poison Ivy back over to the Gotham City Police Department, not knowing Ivy will soon be useful. Meanwhile, Batman manages to track down Scarecrow at Ace Chemicals, where he discovers Scarecrow has amassed an entire army to occupy Gotham and kill Batman. Barbara Gordon, who stayed in the city during the evacuation, informs him that the soldiers – referred to as the Militia – are a military unit from Venezuela, led by someone whose sole alias is “the Arkham Knight”. After exploring Ace and saving workers, he learns a fear bomb resides inside the facility that could very well cover the entire East Coast. As Batman continues saving workers, he finally comes face-to-face with Arkham Knight.
The Arkham Knight looks notably similar to Batman, from the dark attire to the bat ears on his helmet. He also seems to know a lot about Batman and his strategies, such as warning his men that the bat symbol is where his armor is the strongest. He seems to show a great deal of interest in wanting you dead. The Knight makes it clear that he intends to kill Batman, and if it weren’t for Scarecrow wanting Batman to suffer first, he’d be dead by now. Batman retaliates, but the Knight escapes. But this won’t be the last we see of him.
Batman finds the bomb in the core of Ace Chemicals. After clearing the base of Militia, Batman comes face to face with Scarecrow and we finally get a good look at him. Scarecrow is different from his design in Arkham Asylum in just about every way, only still hanging on to his Freddy Krueger-inspired glove. His design is wicked-cool, looking just like a rotting corpse; his mask barely covers a torn-apart face, his eyes appear brown and dead, and he walks in a crutch around his leg. His condition can be explained near the end of Asylum, Scarecrow was just about to dump his fear toxin into Gotham’s water, turning the city into a fear-ridden cesspool. Before he could do that, however, he was attacked by Killer Croc in the sewers. We presumed Scarecrow was killed by Croc, but one of the three post-credit scenes in the game show Scarecrow grabbing a crate of TITAN, foreshadowing his return. It would appear that Scarecrow’s ending is the canonical one as Rocksteady foreshadowed Scarecrow’s return in City anyway. It would seem Rocksteady had plans for Scarecrow since the beginning. It is believed that Killer Croc tore Scarecrow apart, leaving him with an inch of his life left. He clearly recovered, though using his damaged body as a tool to strike fear in others.
Back to the story, Batman interrogates Scarecrow about how to deactivate the bomb. Scarecrow is in control of the situation, however, as he warns Batman that Barbara is in danger. Batman tries to warn Barbara, but he’s too late; his connection to her is interrupted and Scarecrow escapes just as the facility begins to fall apart. Knowing there was no way to stop it, Batman makes the sacrificial decision to restrain the explosion to inside the facility itself, and he will have to stay inside in order to do so. As Batman stays, his butler and true father figure Alfred tries to convince him to escape while he still could. Batman knows a sacrifice is necessary, as it’s the right thing to do. As Batman is inhibiting the blast radius, he exposes himself to Scarecrow’s fear gas. As Batman is at work and it appears to be the end for him, he sees a familiar and shocking face.
The Joker Dilemma
To understand Joker’s place in Arkham Knight, one must also be aware of his role in the Arkham series. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprised their respective roles as Batman and Joker in Arkham Asylum. By bringing back Paul Dini, plus the voices of Conroy and Hamill, the game was practically an Animated Series reunion. That game followed a fairly straightforward story of Batman chasing after Joker around Arkham Asylum. What Batman discovers, however, is Joker’s plan of using muscle-bound juggernaut Bane’s Titan formula to amass an army of Bane-like monsters. At the end of the game, Joker injects himself with the Titan in an ultimate last-minute resort to finally kill Batman. Of course, Batman wins and Joker was placed back in lock-up, dealing with side effects from Titan, as we’ll soon discover.
In Arkham City, it is discovered that Joker is slowly dying, the remaining Titan in his system functioning as a slow-acting poison. He captures Batman and injects some of his blood into him, causing Batman to also be poisoned and to entice him to fetch a cure for himself and Joker. Batman defies Joker at first, but finds out Joker also sent out some of his poisoned blood throughout several hospitals in Gotham, meaning it won’t be just he and Batman who could die that night. Knowing Gotham is in danger, Batman hurriedly fetches a cure. By the end, Batman creates a cure but it’s stolen by Joker. Joker kills Tahlia, daughter of Ra’s Al’ghul and Batman’s love interest.
Batman, after being cured from the poison, is reluctant to give Joker his cure, given how he’ll just continue causing pain and despair everywhere he goes. With an inch of his life left, Joker stabs Batman in the arm, causing Batman to drop the cure and have it shatter on the ground. Joker despairingly lays on the ground, sucking in his last breath, until Batman confesses he was going to save him. It turns out Batman had the last laugh with the Clown Prince of Crime. Joker desperately sucks in his last few breaths until he dies, a wicked smile still on his face. Batman carries Joker outside Arkham City, the imagery replicating the ‘Duality of Man’ painting at the opening shot of the game (if you have the Catwoman DLC), where Cain and Abel committed the first murder in the Bible. Though it was Joker’s actions and lack of trust that got him killed, it’s ambiguous whether Batman is to blame or not. This is meant to show how Batman feels he may have (although indirectly) finally taken a life.
Arkham City is regarded as having one of the all-time greatest video game endings; Joker’s death is undoubtedly a shocking and bittersweet moment. Having someone as renowned as him being killed seemed to have great implications for how the franchise would proceed from there. People imagined what a Batman game would be like without his iconic arch-nemesis. After all: without Joker, there can be no Batman; without Batman, there can be no Joker. There was much anticipation of what would happen, even the expected twist that Joker faked his death and is bound to return.
As Rocksteady began their plans for Arkham Knight, WB Montreal was swinging right into Arkham Origins. Though Rocksteady expressed WB Montreal to have full creative freedom, they only asked for them to not step on their creative direction in Knight. That said, Origins’ premise instantly had people interested: a prequel set in the early years of Batman’s crime-fighting career, where crime-boss Black Mask put a hit on Batman and enlisted eight assassins to kill Batman and collect the reward. The premise had people excited for a number of reasons: a prequel story about Batman was a neat concept with endless possibilities, the concept of eight assassins expanded Batman’s rogue’s gallery in the Arkham universe and give them more recognition, and most noteworthy: Black Mask was seemingly marketed as the main villain.
Black Mask is a really cool character and making someone as obscure as him at the time be the main villain for the game was a breath of fresh air after two whole games with Joker as the main antagonist. The fact all the marketing and even the first third of the game was dedicated to developing Black Mask without any Joker in sight was a relief, to say the least. It was something to get excited about and this story could really make Origins stand out. Of course, we all know what happened.
Almost halfway through the game, it turns out Joker was behind the assassins and running Black Mask’s operation, with the real one being brushed off for a couple of cutscenes and a sloppy side-mission. Putting Troy Baker’s fantastic performance as Joker and his writing quality aside, it felt really misleading to have Black Mask be sidelined for Joker to take the spotlight as the main villain for three whole games in a row. Now the problem isn’t that Joker was in the game, it makes sense to put Joker – Batman’s most iconic and important rival – in a Batman prequel game, where the Arkham series is all about their relationship. It’s the fact he brushed Black Mask aside and it painted a picture that, ultimately, we may never get an Arkham game without Joker. With Arkham Knight beyond the horizon, people were becoming skeptical if Joker was really dead or not.
When Arkham Knight came out, players were introduced to the game with a shocking opening: Joker’s corpse, and you are the one cremating him. You watch as Joker’s body is turned to ashes. This point was to hammer home the fact that the Joker was definitively dead, and he will never come back. In a video interview with Game Informer, Arkham Knight creative director Sefton Hill states that Rocksteady wanted to explore a Gotham without Joker. It really seemed like this was the end of Joker as we knew it. And that’s a laudable goal – Joker has become a bit of a crutch for Batman stories for decades, and the more he’s around, the more he loses his effectiveness. His face, his personality, and his murderous nature is meant to terrify you, and the more we saw of him, the less scary he becomes. But here, The Joker really is truly dead.
But it was all a fake-out – because Joker is alive and well in Arkham Knight.
Well, maybe not so much, because Rocksteady didn’t exactly lie. He’s back, but as a hallucination. Throughout the game, Joker taunts and ridicules Batman, teasing that he’ll eventually be in control of his body and that it’s only a matter of time. Batman never actually acknowledges Joker, outside of a couple of momentary glances here and there. Essentially, Joker is Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, the personification of Edward Norton’s character’s repressed split personality. In this sudden shift in the story, the main struggle is no longer the external conflict with Scarecrow, but rather the internal conflict between Bruce Wayne and Joker. In all other respects, though: yes, ultimately, Joker is back yet again, resulting in many series veterans’ sighs and groans and tomatoes being thrown at the screen; but don’t fret – Mark Hamill returns in what I can honestly say is his best and most frightening work as Joker ever.
In an interview with MinnMax, actor Adam Doherty and producer Dax Ginn had to explain how well under-wraps Mark Hamill’s return was to avoid leaks, even walking into the studio in a disguise. It was a shock for Mark to return, as he said he was retiring from the role of the Joker after Arkham City. I also feel it was really solid marketing to not include the Joker in any of the advertisements, just so he can be a treat to see again. Joker steals every scene he’s in, whether it’d be breaking the tension with his sadistic humor or providing key story beats. Here’s to us moving forward with Joker now in tow, in what I honestly believe is the best Joker we’ve gotten in this game series.
The Story (Cont’d)
After the reveal of Joker, he shoots Batman with a gun and everything goes black. We jump to a flashback. A few days before Scarecrow’s attack, Gordon goes to Gotham City’s abandoned movie studio. It turns out the studio was renovated into a Batcave. Batman sees four people trapped behind glass cells – financial director Christina Bell, entertainer Johnny Charisma, heavyweight boxer Albert King, and academic professor Henry Adams. All but Henry display snow-white skin and green hair, much like the Joker. The other three also inhibit different personality traits as Joker; Bell has Joker’s obsession with Batman, Charisma has Joker’s twisted showmanship, and King has Joker’s violent and sadistic nature.
After bumping into Batman, it’s explained how the blood that Joker sent to Gotham hospitals in Arkham City left a few patients infected that weren’t on the record. With this new disease, described as a variation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, victims begin to inhibit traits of Joker’s personality; meaning the now-deceased Joker’s legacy is still living on. Fortunately, Henry Adams displays no symptoms and could very well be the key to curing the Joker disease. Batman then warns the next patient will be here soon.
Jumping back to Ace Chemicals, which is now falling apart due to Batman controlling the blast. He awakes to Joker, who expresses he missed him. Something is off, however, as Joker not only somehow knows Bruce Wayne is Batman, but Batman won’t even acknowledge Joker. In fact, wasn’t he just shot square in the face? Well, it’s here where it’s evident that this is not the real Joker, but rather a hallucinatory manifestation of Joker; a consequence of Scarecrow’s fear gas, Joker’s blood still remaining in Batman’s system, and Batman’s fear of turning into him. Batman escapes Ace Chemicals, just as it crumbled into the ocean. Batman shrugs off Joker’s hallucination as a momentary reaction to the toxin, but Joker appearing once again seems to imply he’s here to stay.
Batman rushes to the Gotham City Police Department to tell Gordon that his daughter, Barbara. was captured. As expected, Joker is there as he laughs about Barbara being captured, adding how it’s all your fault. It’s important to note going forward that everything Joker says comes straight from Bruce Wayne’s head. Every threat, taunt, and joke that comes from Joker is something Bruce made up. It’s eerily close to what the Joker would really say, so everything he says is a disturbing mix of what Bruce Wayne believes Joker would say in the situation since he knows him so well, his very own self-doubt, and maybe in part to Bruce Wayne’s fragile mental state. So even though it’s Joker talking, the fact so much is taking place in Batman’s head is unsettling, and works as a deep dive into Bruce Wayne’s mental state.
Batman takes Jim to his base of operations: the city’s clock tower that was renovated into Barbara’s personal hideout. But as Batman enters, he finds himself in Barbara Gordon’s apartment instead. She’s sitting in the living room as she hears a knock on the door; she walks to the door and answers, being greeted by Joker, who shoots her. For those unfamiliar, this is a direct reference to The Killing Joke, where Joker shoots Barbara and paralyzes her from the waist down in an effort to drive Jim Gordon insane. Of course, we’re only seeing Bruce’s limited understanding of the event, as not everything in this scene is accurate to the comic book. Joker taunts Bruce some more, showcasing how he blames himself for Barbara’s physical disability and her current capture.
It’s here where Jim discovers Barbara is an ally of Batman. Jim storms off, blaming Batman for her capture. Batman then uses the city’s traffic camera feed to track down Barbara. In order to continue his search, he needs to lower the bridge to one of the islands. He succeeds, but then a familiar face broadcasts himself across the city: the Riddler, and he has Catwoman as a hostage.
Yup, Riddler is back yet again. In each game, the player needs to find and collect all the Riddler trophies and scan a multitude of “Riddles”, being a unique easter egg about a character or major story detail. Riddler is a vexatious and present force, constantly taunting and insulting the player and their intelligence. He’s a divisive character, with some players finding him to be an insufferable character who pads out the game with annoying collectibles, while others find Riddler really charming and his puzzles add an extra layer of depth to the world. Personally, I’m of both sides that find Riddler a total pain, but he’s no doubt charismatic and funny.
Wally Wingert is the only voice actor to reprise the same role in all four games (remember that Conroy and Hamill weren’t even in Origins) and it shows. He fits the character like a glove; his condescending attitude and dry lack of self-awareness makes him a hilarious villain you love to hate. His side mission plays out mostly the same way in all the games: collect trophies and find the riddles. The new challenges are disabling bombs planted in Riddler goons, and time trials that require you to race across the city; the latter challenge can be really punishing, as the time limit is strict and you’ll be forced to travel all the way back to the beginning if you fail. What may be shocking, though, is that Arkham Knight has the least amount of Riddler collectibles in the series – 179 altogether. For comparison, Asylum has 240 collectibles, City has a staggering 400, and Origins with 200, but are replaced with Enigma Datapacks. It might be odd to have the largest map in the series have the least amount of collectibles, but I find all the Riddler missions to be the hardest and most time-consuming in the series. Arkham City has a ridiculous amount, but there are so many and so close to each other that you could easily find a quarter of the riddles in an afternoon. With how much harder they are to get in Knight, it’s welcomed that there are considerably fewer Riddler collectibles.
Riddler in Knight is back with his ultimate revenge: to use Catwoman in order to kill Batman, who has her trapped in the orphanage with an explosive collar that will go off if she dares to escape. To free her, Batman must collect nine keys (get it? ‘Cuz nine lives! Like a cat! I am very intelligent) to remove the collar from her neck. To get each key, Batman must pass a Riddler challenge room. The challenges inside the orphanage require the player to switch between Batman and Catwomen in order to solve puzzles. There will also be times where you need to fight Riddler-homemade-robots; these robots are color-coded in a way that only Batman and Catwoman can fight each robot, red for Catwoman and blue for Batman.
The highlights of these courses, however, are the intricate and complex Batmobile racing trials, which tasks the player to pass a deadly obstacle course with the Batmobile before time runs out. These trials are a lot of fun, and it even takes a bit of thinking to get past them; one must be wary and remotely control the course with retracting walls, floors, and spikes. It’s a sequence that requires a brain, along with going as fast as possible to beat the time limit. There are also puzzle rooms that require clever uses of the Batmobile to pass through them, but pale in comparison to the obstacle courses since the racing levels are puzzles in themselves. Riddler’s missions are now unlocked; we can go complete them and save Catwoman if we want, but for now we have Barbara to save.
Batman eventually finds the Militia vehicle’s wreckage and investigates. Using clues scattered around him, Batman is able to replicate the crime scene, creating a playback loop of the scene. This was a feature carried over from Arkham Origins where Batman was able to recreate crime scenes using evidence and clues. Sadly, this feature is barely present in Knight, only showing up a couple of times throughout the game. Still, it’s one of the best new additions from Origins and I’m glad they carried it on.
Batman manages to track down Barbara at one of Arkham Knight’s underground bases. While there, he’s contacted by Robin who’s busy at work developing a cure for the Joker patients. As much as he wants to help, he’s told to stay and keep working on the Jokers. Robin asks about Barbara, with Batman telling him she’s fine. Joker appears, teasing Batman for lying to Robin. Soon enough, Batman encounters Arkham Knight, who caught him off-guard. While the Knight has Batman, he shoots Batman in a vulnerable part of his armor, firing a bullet into Batman’s waist. As the Knight is leaving, Batman sprays a medical tool over his gun wound. After fighting off some Militia, a chase ensues as Batman is in a fierce car chase with what he believes is the Militia vehicle holding both Barbara and the Arkham Knight. Batman successfully takes down the speeding vehicle, but no Barbara or Arkham Knight in sight. It was a decoy.
Batman demands to know where the Knight is, but the driver taunts Batman instead, threatening that the Militia will hurt Barbara. Running out of patience, Batman uses his Batmobile to run the tire over the Militia member’s head, just barely crushing him. Unable to handle the weight of the Batmobile, the member tells Batman that the Knight is off to see the Penguin, who is supplying the Knight with weapons. This is an intense scene, and the darkest we’ve seen of Batman from these games up until this point. We know he’ll never actually kill the driver, but the pain he must have felt from the pressure of the Batmobile must be immeasurable. It really shows just how desperate, angry, and determined he is at this point, as he’ll do anything to save Barbara.
It turns out Penguin is using refrigerators as a front to launder weapons. On top of that, Nightwing is now in Gotham who’s on the hunt for Penguin as well. Nightwing tells Batman he’s located one of the trucks that Penguin uses, and Batman needs to track it down to find one of Penguin’s bases of operation. Batman breaks into the first base, interrogating Penguin over the Arkham Knight’s location. Penguin tells him Scarecrow and the Knight are meeting with Simon Stagg – an entrepreneur and philanthropist – in his airship above Gotham. All of a sudden, Batman is quickly overwhelmed by Penguin’s men and Penguin escapes. Fortunately, Nightwing arrives just in time and he and Batman clear the room of Penguin’s men and blow up Penguin’s Militia supplies.
Batman makes his way to the airship, the place littered with Militia. Batman finds Stagg, but suffers another Joker episode. Up until this point, Joker hasn’t been a major presence, only making passive threats and taunts towards Batman and doesn’t appear to be a great threat. In this sequence, all the incapacitated Militia soldiers begin to stand up. However, they all begin to turn into Jokers, laughing at Batman. Batman retaliates, knocking down every Joker as they continue to laugh. Eventually, the Jokers overpower Batman and begin choking him out. Batman regains consciousness, just in time for the Militia to pick up Stagg and move him to the other airship. Batman eventually finds his way to the other ship, with Joker assuring Batman he wasn’t trying to kill him, but rather give him some extra motivation to lose control.
Batman gets to the other airship, where he discovers Scarecrow paid Stagg to create a device called the “Cloudburst”, but Stagg double-crossed Scarecrow, wanting to use Scarecrow’s fear toxin for medical advancement and profit. You can even find dead bodies locked away in cells, forcefully used as Stagg’s lab rats. So Scarecrow invaded Stagg’s airship for revenge. Batman finally encounters Scarecrow, but is exposed to even more of Scarecrow’s toxin, thanks to Joker misleading him. Scarecrow delivers a speech as Batman is writhing in the ground, reacting to the toxin. Scarecrow tells him there’s no future for hope and Batman. Suddenly, Batman has a fervorous reaction to the toxin, fully turning into the Joker. His pupils green, his face white, and his voice replaced with Joker’s. Cheered on by other Jokers around him, the Joker-infected Batman begins fighting Militia soldiers in much more brutal ways. You can even hear them beg Batman for mercy, something you’ll hear nowhere while fighting anyone else.
Scarecrow is thrown on the ground, shocked and appalled by this new Batman. Batman stares down at him with other Jokers at his side, persuading him that Scarecrow doesn’t deserve to live, even comparing him to the man that shot Batman’s parents. It’s then revealed that Batman is wielding a revolver, pointing it at Scarecrow. He fires. Batman comes to, his face back to normal. He is horrified by what he just did, but no revolver in sight. It was all in his mind once again. Bruce Wayne, Batman – the man who vowed to never kill – fantasized about killing Scarecrow thanks to the Joker disease.
Scarecrow is alive, of course, and escapes, blowing off the end of the airship and flying away. Batman then gets a disturbing call from Scarecrow, revealing Barbara’s location. Batman rushes to the safehouse that is keeping Barbara, but she’s locked behind a glass cell. Nothing with her except a gun placed on the table next to her. Before she realizes what happens, fear gas floods Barbara’s cell. She is deathly terrified of Batman, or whatever she sees instead. She fires at Batman, but the glass shields the bullet. With nowhere to turn to, Barbara shoots herself.
Batman collapses to the ground, broken and remorseful. Both he and Alfred are devastated, but Alfred tells him to not lose hope. He tells Batman that the Cloudburst is a dispersal device that will flood the entirety of Gotham and it needs to be stopped now. Joker attempts to “comfort” Batman, promising that there’ll be no pain, loss, and misery with him in control. Batman almost seems willing to give in, but quickly remembered Poison Ivy was immune to Scarecrow’s gas. Perhaps she could be the key to retaliating against Scarecrow. Batman confronts Ivy at GCPD, asking her how she is immune. It is revealed the plants are protecting her, and she may have the ability to use an ancient, powerful plant in the heart of Gotham to counteract the toxin. For now, Ivy is helping the people of Gotham, the species that she’s always fought against.
Batman returns to the quarantine cells in the Batcave, the place where all the Joker-infected victims reside. The elevator ride down feels much longer than usual; then you hear a familiar sound: the Arkham Asylum intercom chime. Batman turns and sees he’s in the elevator from Arkham Asylum, with Joker at his stretcher from the beginning of that game. Joker laments how Batman has never killed but reminds him that he killed by not giving him the cure. This is but another moment of Bruce Wayne blaming himself for Joker’s death, as – in a way – he believes he was indirectly responsible by not giving Joker the cure in time.
It’s discovered that Harley Quinn, Joker’s grieving girlfriend, knows about the imprisoned Jokers. She and her men (former Joker thugs), break into the movie studio and seize control, the other Jokers breaking free. Henry Adams is accounted for, but Bell, Charisma, and King are somewhere in the movie studio. Batman and Robin join together again to stop Harley and retrieve the infected. Christina Bell is in the massive horror movie set, showcasing her frightening and obsessive nature. Johnny Charisma is at the game show stage, representing his knack for showmanship. Albert King is at the Wild West stage, expressing his violent nature. After apprehending Christina Bell, you can choose to face either Charisma or King next, but we’ll say we’re hitting Charisma. However, Batman finds himself in another twisted hallucination.
He sees Jason Todd, who was the second Robin after Dick Grayson. He is captured by Joker, and we get to witness his torture and manipulation at the hands of the evil clown. These flashbacks are highly disturbing and discomforting, in what is arguably the scariest and darkest moments involving this version of Joker. It won’t be the last we see of these hallucinatory flashbacks, because now we move on to Johnny Charisma.
Charisma is on a spinning stage, with the set rigged with bombs and Charisma wearing a bomb vest. As Robin, you must sneak around and disarm the bombs without having Charisma spot you. What really makes this scene shine is Johnny Charisma being replaced by Joker, who serenades Batman with a fantastic number, called “Take Me Back to the Asylum”. Mark Hamill is a naturally talented singer, and this song is utterly catchy and will worm around in your brain. Easily one of the best and most charming moments in the game, which could sadly be interrupted by Charisma’s bombs if you are spotted.
On our way to Albert King, Batman has another hallucination about Jason Todd. According to Joker, a significant amount of time has supposedly passed since Jason was captured, but it’s hard to glean an accurate timeline as Joker is known to be a manipulator and unreliable narrator. Showing Jason he’s already been replaced with Tim Drake, Joker tortures Jason some more, assuring him that Batman will never save him. Joker then brands him with a large “J” over his face. The hallucination ends and Tim catches up, with Batman accidentally calling him Jason. Why these sudden Jason Todd hallucinations? We’ll find out soon enough.
After defeating Albert King and Harley Quinn, Batman and Robin carry them to the quarantine cells, only to discover Henry Adams has become the fourth Joker. Exhibiting all the personality traits of Joker, it’s revealed that Henry murdered the two other Jokers in an attempt to “purify the gene pool”, much to the horror of Harley, until there is one last perfect Joker remaining. Just as Henry was about to kill Batman and Robin, Batman loses control and his pupils turn green, showing he’s the last Joker. Henry is shocked, but tells him he’ll be spectacular. Henry then turns the gun on himself and fires. Harley is agonizing over the death of Joker all over again, with Robin realizing Bruce Wayne is the final Joker.
In another hallucination, Robin locks up you and Harley in the quarantine cells, just as the Arkham Knight managed to pinpoint your location. A confident Robin rushes outside to take care of them, his fate unknown. After some time in the cell, a Joker appears to let you free and shows you the final moments of Jason Todd. Jason is absolutely broken; defeated, and with the Joker mark on his face, Jason is just about to tell Joker Batman his secret identity, only for Joker to kill him before he can say anything. Batman now realized he can no longer let his allies get involved, or else they’ll perish just like Jason and Barbara. Knowing he cannot turn himself in until Scarecrow is stopped, Batman locks Robin in the cell. After Robin is secure and safe, you can use this opportunity to tell Robin that Barbara is dead. Robin is heartbroken, blaming you for the loss. Knowing you kept it secret, Robin no longer wants anything to do with you.
Meanwhile, Batman still needs to find the Cloudburst, and enlists Poison Ivy’s help to find it. However, the Cloudburst reveals itself; as it has finally gone off. The device’s power is immense, shrouding the entire city in a deadly fear gas. Scarecrow stuck to his promise and turned Gotham into the City of Fear. The gas disabled the Batmobile and starts to overwhelm Ivy, who retreats back into the giant plant to counter the gas. Batman decides he must find Stagg to stop the Cloudburst once and for all. Flying over the streets of Gotham as it’s flooded with gas is a horrifying image, as it’s both a symbol of your failure and the sheer thought of what horrors you can imagine are happening under there.
Batman finds a nimbus power cell in the airship, which he can use to power the Batmobile back up. However, in doing so, would expose himself to the toxin, much to the delight of Joker. As Batman is in the gas and repairing the Batmobile, all the thugs in the streets turn into Joker, all laughing at you and your drive that will be of no avail. Batman gets the Batmobile working again and uses it to fight the Cloudburst in a notoriously awful boss fight. And, well, yeah, the less said about that fight the better.
With Arkham Knight inside the Cloudburst, he leaves the tank defeated, and Batman carries him back to the surface. As Batman has the upper hand against the Knight, he has another Joker hallucination which causes Arkham Knight to escape entirely, leaving his Militia without a leader. With the Cloudburst destroyed, Batman hurries on over to check on Ivy. However, the Cloudburst was too much for Ivy, as her body is falling apart. However, she uses every ounce of power left in her to spread pollen in the air, which clears the toxin and saves Gotham. Unfortunately, she used all her life left in her. And she dies in Batman’s arms, the pollen a symbol of her sacrifice.
The streets are absolutely littered with corpses, victims of the City of Fear; the blood on Scarecrow’s hands are immense. Batman goes to GCPD and discovers Jim Gordon’s location, an underground base where Scarecrow is located. Batman finds Gordon, held prisoner by the Militia who are now under Scarecrow’s leadership. However, before Batman encounters Arkham Knight one last time, who finally reveals himself to be Jason Todd. Batman is shocked that Jason is alive; this is the big twist of the game, and it’s also where the story really fumbles.
First of all, Jason Todd being the Arkham Knight is painfully predictable, the game practically telling you MULTIPLE TIMES that Jason is the Arkham Knight. With no build-up or explanation to the Jason Todd flashbacks, it’s so obvious where this arc is going. Secondly, if Jason wanted to push Batman to his limits, there’s no reason to have amassed an arsenal of remote-controlled weapons; if he really wanted to test him, he’d surely demand Batman to break his #1 rule of no killing. It’s the most fall-flat-on-your-face twist I’ve seen in recent memory.
Now, I like the idea that Jason is the Arkham Knight. And I understand why they had to do the flashbacks. There’s a very high probability that most players won’t be familiar with the comics and won’t know who Jason Todd is. I’m aware Rocksteady had to put in these flashbacks to inform the player who Jason is for the twist to have any effect. The problem is that the flashbacks don’t feel organic to the story and are literally just there to spell out that the Arkham Knight will be Jason. It’s difficult to maintain a twist that the audience knows that the main character does not, so you’re left in frustration as Batman is dumb enough to not put the Jason Todd pieces together and to watch his inevitable horror towards the reveal.
Well after that blunder, Batman now must fight Jason, who is now in his Red Hood armor and we finally get a proper Arkham Knight boss fight. It’s a tricky and fun fight, as Jason has a one-hit-kill weapon, so sneaking around him and other Militia can be intense. After defeating him, Jason disappears, leaving his damaged Arkham Knight helmet. The Arkham Knight is no more.
Jim and Batman hurry up to the top of the construction site, where Scarecrow is waiting for them. He’s not alone, as he has a living Barbara Gordon with him. It turns out the moment that Batman saw Barbara shoot herself was just a fear gas-induced hallucination, and Barbara is indeed alive. Gordon seems to have known this, as he turns his gun around on Batman in order to save Barbara. He shoots Batman, who falls off the building. Disappointed that Batman was shot, Scarecrow goes ahead and pushes Barbara off the building, keeping Jim Gordon as a captive. As Barbara is falling, Batman swoops in and catches Barbara, taking her back to the police station.
As everyone is trying to track down Gordon, there is a massive attack on the police station. Scarecrow throws everything he has to take down the only safe haven in the city. It’s an intense and ridiculous tank battle, but Barbara is able to hack into the Militia’s system and use their tanks against them by either causing them to explode, emit an EMP blast, or having the tanks turn on them. After a long battle, Batman is aghast to discover Robin was captured by Scarecrow. Scarecrow ensures Robin and Gordon’s safety, so long as Batman gives himself in to Scarecrow. As much as Joker wants Bruce to get another whiff of fear gas, he’s scared that Bruce will be killed by Scarecrow, making him lose that chance to take over. Ultimately, Batman decides to give himself in for the ultimate finale.
Batman finds his way to Scarecrow’s hideout, with Scarecrow demanding he removes his utility belt. Batman concedes, removing his utility belt and stepping into the back of a van. As Batman is being escorted to who-knows-where, the van suddenly crashes. Batman exits the van and realizes he’s in Crime Alley, the same place where his parents were shot. In fact, the outline of his parents’ bodies are still there. As Batman is grieving, endless swarms of Joker rush in and attack Batman. To progress, Batman must input several Joker Takedowns, which are much more brutal than what we’ve ever seen from Batman. With just how violent it is, it’s showing just how much Batman has lost control and how angry he is over Joker. Finally, Batman grabs Joker and successfully snaps his neck, killing him. They’re back in the moving van, with Joker remarking that Batman finally lost control and killed someone. He’s a killer now.
In an ode to the opening cutscene of Arkham Asylum, Batman is taken to Arkham Asylum. Put in a stretcher, Scarecrow rolls Batman into the Arkham Mansion. The Arkham Mansion is the exact same as it was left, including all of Poison Ivy’s plants when she attempted to take over the island for herself. Batman finds Robin and Jim, both unable to fight back. It turns out Scarecrow is broadcasting this moment to the entire city, as he is prepared to lift up the mask and reveal who Batman is. He forces Jim Gordon to take off Batman’s mask, revealing to the world that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Scarecrow is mildly surprised but doesn’t let this affect his goal of ruining his legacy. He injects him with more fear toxin, unwitting of the horrors that lie underneath Bruce Wayne’s mind.
Inside Bruce’s mind, Joker has fully taken control. He’s imagining a world where Batman turns into Joker, and it’s a total hellscape. Joker has destroyed the city and everyone in it, including all of Batman’s friends and allies. In this sequence, the player actually controls Joker as he goes on his killing spree through a building. Alfred tries to persuade Bruce to stop this madness, but Bruce is gone. There only remains Joker. We cut back to Scarecrow tormenting Bruce, except Bruce has been replaced with Joker; showing that Bruce Wayne is now gone. Joker gives a terrifying, discomforting laugh as Scarecrow angrily injects him with even more toxin. Back in Bruce’s mind, Joker notes that the toxin has no effect on him. But everything goes dark.
Joker finds himself in a dark and eerie tunnel, filled with Joker mementos. He comes across a Joker memorial, but it’s falling apart; it’s rotten and overgrown. Joker discovers a wake, with Harley being the only one there. She’s crying, but doesn’t acknowledge Joker being there. Joker walks into an office, hearing a Vicki Vale radio broadcast, talking about “Batman and his arch-nemesis the Penguin”, however, the radio co-host doesn’t know who Joker is. Vicki apathetically decides to move on from the discussion There’s also a newspaper headline titled “JOKER DIES: GOTHAM DOESN’T CARE”. There’s another newspaper, with the headline “HARLEY QUINN AND RIDDLER EXPECTING FIRST CHILD”. Joker knows what’s happening, realizing the world has forgotten about Joker. But he shakes it off as just a trick, proceeding further into the tunnels.
Joker encounters Batman statues, statues of which keep appearing and following Joker no matter how many he shoots down. Eventually, one of the statues breaks apart, revealing Batman. He punches Joker, but as Joker gets up Batman is gone. Joker eventually finds an exit, and is prepared to make his way out to begin his comeback tour. However, the exit reveals that he’s in a surreal version of Arkham Asylum, with Joker finding himself in the depths of Bruce Wayne’s forgotten memories. A cell approaches Joker, with Batman stepping out, declaring Joker is afraid to be forgotten. And that he will, indeed, be forgotten. You play as Batman once more, as you are given free rein to pound on the Joker. It’s a cathartic and satisfying moment after all the pain Joker has put on us throughout this game. Batman beats Joker down and locks him away in the cell, with the cell being buried in the depths of Bruce’s mind. Joker begs Bruce to free him, adding “I need you”.
This is the ultimate conclusion; a satisfying end for these two characters. The only way Joker was able to fester in Batman’s mind for so long was because Bruce Wayne let Joker fester. Joker saying he needs Bruce is meant to imply that the only way Joker’s legacy could live on is if there is Batman. And if the world forgets about Batman, the world will forget Joker. And if Bruce Wayne forgets about Joker – his trauma, his pain – then the Joker would be ashes forever. It’s a sublime moment and the most powerful and resonating sequence in this series.
Batman comes to, his eyes returning to normal and his skin back to the way it was. Scarecrow injects Bruce with more toxin, declaring his victory. But Bruce Wayne has removed his remaining fear – the fear of losing control – and is unaffected by the toxin. Scarecrow is shocked, threatening to shoot Bruce Wayne. However, Jason Todd arrives to shoot the gun out of Scarecrow’s hand, then shooting the restraints from Bruce. Bruce grabs Scarecrow’s syringe glove and gives Scarecrow a taste of his own medicine, injecting him with his fear toxin. Scarecrow begins hallucinating, seeing bats fly everywhere. Panicking, he sees a looming demonic, bat-like figure. The figure stands before Scarecrow, who begins screaming in absolute terror. He starts to run away, but Jim Gordon knocks him out before he can escape. Scarecrow is finally defeated, but at the cost of Batman’s legacy.
Bruce Wayne tells Jim to take care of Robin, adding that he’s been a good friend. Bruce knows this is the end, so he leaves Jim to take care of one last business. He sends Scarecrow over to GCPD, who is still shaking in fear; it would seem the toxin has permanently damaged Scarecrow’s psyche, a well-deserved and satisfying conclusion to Scarecrow for all the chaos he’s caused. Batman calls Alfred and tells him it’s over, and that they can finally initiate the Knightfall Protocol. Alfred tells Batman he just needs the password from Bruce: “Martha”.
The Knightfall Protocol
In order to initiate the Knightfall Protocol, the player will need to complete all side missions, including the dreaded Riddler. I think it’s a bit crazy to lock the true ending behind Riddler as it feels like padding, but it makes sense given the context with the ending, as you must fully rid Gotham of all the super-villains in order for the ending to make sense. But here’s the Knightfall Protocol, and the true ending of Arkham Knight…
With the world knowing who Batman is, Batman’s legacy is gone. The only reason Batman works is because we don’t know his identity; the idea that Batman could be anyone. Knowing who he is, the mask may as well be off and he can no longer strike fear in the hearts of criminals. The world no longer needs Batman. At the end of the Riddler escapade, Batman tells Catwoman that the city needs a new myth, something greater and more horrifying than Batman could ever be in order to protect Gotham. After a farewell to all his allies, Bruce Wayne is ready to say goodbye to the city he protected.
Batman takes the Batwing to Wayne Manor, the Bat-Signal destroyed in the process. Naturally, there are news vans and reporters gathered at the gates of the manor. When the Batwing arrives, cameras start flashing and reporters are shouting for Bruce Wayne. Alfred greets Bruce at the door, asking him if he’s sure. Bruce Wayne is ready. He steps inside, and in just a few short moments, an explosion from Wayne Manor sends everyone into a spiral. The Wayne Manor falls apart in a fiery mess, with Bruce Wayne and Alfred’s fates unknown.
Meanwhile, Gordon sends out all his men to secure the city and bring it back to peace. Eventually, just about all the criminals in Gotham were apprehended and the city was put back to normal. Time passes, and Jim Gordon is the new mayor of Gotham and Tim and Barbara are getting married. Gordon gives a speech that there is always someone to look up to; it may not be Batman, but we all have someone we can depend on and make us feel safe.
The game finally comes to an end when two muggers follow a wealthy family into an alleyway. They attempt to rob them, the situation being heavily reminiscent of the murder of the Wayne parents. They knock the father out, with the other mugger with the mother and son. Before things could go from bad to worse, however, they are distracted by a caped figure looming over a rooftop. They mock him, saying they’re not afraid of Batman anymore. The figure begins floating in the air, and just as the muggers could wonder what was going on, the figure reveals giant wings, emitting a shockwave resembling Scarecrow’s fear toxin. The muggers scream in fear as the buildings start to crumble and the figure glides towards them, the camera cutting to black.
There’s a lot to take in from this ending. Rocksteady created an ambiguous and mysterious ending, but just what is the Knightfall Protocol? Here is my interpretation: in the event that Batman’s identity is revealed, Bruce and Alfred would fake their deaths. When Bruce met up with Alfred at the Wayne Manor door, they both sound somber, sad that they’ll have to say goodbye to all their allies and loved ones. During their absence, Bruce Wayne used Scarecrow’s fear toxin to create a suit to emit the worst kind of fear into criminals. Bruce created a whole new, far more intimidating Batman to pave a whole new legacy.
An absolutely insane story that wraps up the Arkham storyline in a satisfying bow. Arkham Knight tells the story of legacy, how nobody should be controlled by their fear, but rather confront it. Batman in Arkham Knight must encounter his greatest fear: losing control and becoming the enemy he’s always fought against. People say Scarecrow is sidelined for more Joker, but I’d argue Scarecrow is integral to the story as he plays into the fear-themed mythos of the game, as he forces Batman to face his fears. It’s a big-scale superhero epic, but also a personal story about a human overcoming trauma.
Before I wrap this up, I just want to applaud the level of work and detail put into the world. Not just in design, though it’s all stellar; but I find it mesmerizing how Rocksteady makes Joker a constant presence in the game with very subtle details and easter eggs regarding him. As Bruce Wayne is losing his mind and Joker overtakes him, you can find several glimpses of Joker being seen on billboards, statues, etc. I may have missed a bunch, but here’s some I’ve noticed upon replay:
In conclusion, Arkham Knight is the prime example of essential superhero video games and is one of the best pieces of Batman media to date. After replaying the whole series multiple times lately, I can safely say this series is an absolute journey from beginning to end, and I’m glad Rocksteady put so much work into this. Arkham Knight isn’t without its flaws; it’s buggy, sometimes tedious, and has a few story beats that crumble, but I can’t lie and say it’s almost total perfection. Say what you will, but it’s the Batman game with the best Batmobile, Mark Hamill Joker, and complete immersion. What more can you ask for?
Thank you for reading this entire novel. Even if you just skimmed through it, I’m glad to have contributed to the love that this game deserves. As the game gains more much-deserved love and attention over the years, I hope I’ll open more hearts and minds to it as well.