Đánh Giá Batman Arkham Knight

In the months since it came out, players have stress-tested Arkham Knight khổng lồ the utmost, often with impressive results. We mere mortals can only admire from afar. It’s pleasing to lớn know that the game’s combat and stealth systems can support play on this high a level, even as they are responsive and satisfying enough for normals lớn have a good time, too. Punch, kick, flying elbow, batarang—these actions were just as fun the hundredth time I did them as they were the first.

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The most interesting parts of Arkham Knight story take place between Batman’s pointy ears, và it’s too bad that Rocksteady couldn’t have done more with the city of Gotham itself. Arkham Knight is the first of the main trilogy lớn allow Batman lớn explore Gotham proper—Asylum was set entirely at that island institution, and City was quarantined within a district of the city that had been converted into an urban prison. For all its empty shops and boulevards, the evacuated Gotham of Arkham Knight might as well just be another prison, devoid as it is of civilian life or any meaningful indication of what it looks lượt thích when hell isn’t breaking loose. As critic Austin Walker wrote back when the game came out, “I want a Batman game where I’m compelled to save the day not because of abstract threats, damsels in distress, or a desire for personal vengeance, but because the beauty of Gotham thành phố compels me to lớn protect it. Instead, I’m left for the fourth time with Batman & his playground.”


But Batman stories have long explored complex inner conflict alongside obvious real-world derring-do, & while Arkham Knight’s outer world may not be particularly inspiring, its inner worlds are richly detailed và ripe for character development. The trò chơi does great justice in particular to lớn its central villain, despite the fact that he may be nothing more than a figment of the protagonist’s imagination. It seemed every time I spun the camera the Joker was there, waiting for me on a rooftop, leaning against the wall with unasked-for council. Through his taunts I came khổng lồ understand his insecurities, his desperate need for validation, his dreams & his darkest fears.


This Joker doth protest too much, và Rocksteady’s writers explore his psyche with such exhausting single-mindedness that the relative simplicity of some of the other villains comes as a relief. When I needed a break from the main storyline’s oppressive psychological spelunking expedition, I’d go thwart one of Two-Face’s bank robbery schemes or work with Nightwing to lớn stop the Penguin’s weapons deals. Arkham Knight’s narrative is so tightly constructed and intense that it’s nice to lớn take a breather every now and then.

As Batman creeps through his city, you’ll overhear a seemingly endless collection of radio conversations between various rank-and-file goons, many of whom actually seem like decent fellows. They’ll complain about their bosses, put on shows of insecure braggadocio, and trade war stories about events from previous games. A couple of guys might groan about how their significant others don’t understand their mercenary lifestyle. A different pair debate the morality of what they’re doing, salivating for an imagined payday that even they acknowledge may never arrive. After Scarecrow reveals Bruce Wayne’s identity, you’ll hear Gotham’s thugs express their disbelief. Some of them sound vaguely crestfallen, like little kids who’ve learned that Santa is just a mall employee in a fake beard. They might be bad men who vì chưng bad things, but they admire the Caped Crusader just as much as anyone else. One guy even explains how Batman inspired him khổng lồ join the military & serve. He notes the irony that all these years later, he’s on the other side.

It doesn’t take long to lớn begin lớn sympathize with these dopes, which can make it oddly uncomfortable to watch Batman carve through them like a weed-whacker through so much dried grass. You’ll slam into guys on the street with the monster-truck wheels of the Batmobile, electrocuting them & sending them flying twenty feet through the air. You’ll pelt them with rubber tank-bullets strong enough khổng lồ immediately knock them out. You’ll torture them for information, then brutally bash them unconscious & toss them away lượt thích trash. Maybe that was the guy who just wanted his husband to support his professional goals, you know? Maybe that was the guy who secretly thinks Batman is amazing.


During one memorable sequence early in the game, Batman pins a guy under the Batmobile’s spinning rear wheel và demands information. As the man squeals and protests, you’re given the prompt lớn rev the engine và spin the wheel as Batman backs it closer to the man’s face. It’s a pretty hardcore move even for Batman, và the first time I played it, it turned me off. When did Batman become such a jackbooted Jack Bauer?

As I replayed the game & arrived at that sequence, I stopped và considered what was really going on. Many video game power-fantasies beg us to lớn let them have it both ways. In order to have a good time playing as Gotham’s all-powerful protector, we must accept that his use of force is justified and his mission is noble, even though we’re basically just role-playing a rich dude who makes himself feel better by beating up lowlife crooks và the mentally disturbed. Arkham Knight can’t fully square that circle, but it does cleverly sidle up lớn the problem by suggesting that Batman knows he’s going too far. His mission, in the end, is to lớn retire the cowl & fake his own death. He’s terrified of what he’s becoming and he wants lớn stop.

If Batman’s actions in Arkham Knight don’t seem lượt thích the even-handed, wry anh hùng we came lớn know over the course of the first couple games, it’s because they’re not. This is a haunted, poisoned man, fighting lớn maintain control over his own mind. He’s slowly turning into his nemesis, and his violent outbursts only grow more unhinged và dangerous as the story progresses. Batman might not place an unarmed man under his tank treads, but the Joker would.


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Far more so than in previous games in the series, Arkham Knight revolves around Batman’s friends & partnerships. Throughout his long night in Gotham, almost every one of Batman’s relationships is put lớn the test. Nightwing comes in from out of town to help take down the Penguin, và in the process demonstrates his independence despite his former mentor’s warnings & concerns. Meanwhile, Batman is keeping his new Robin, Tim Drake, out of harm’s way under the pretenses of having him study the infected Joker victims. It becomes clear over the course of the game, however, that he’s also terrified of losing another protége in the field. Catwoman is forced khổng lồ work with Batman to deactivate a bomb the Riddler has locked around her throat, but as they work together in their usual uneasy alliance, their banter betrays how much they enjoy one another’s company. Even Batman’s own car is a constant companion, helping him solve puzzles and bailing him out of more than a few jams before eventually sacrificing itself for him.

Arkham Knight mechanically expresses Batman’s reliance on his allies in a number of ways. There are stealth sections, such as when Batman and Robin must work together lớn take down a room of armed thugs or Batman needs to distract an unhinged, singing Joker acolyte while Robin disarms bombs in the background. There are tag-team puzzle challenges, lượt thích when Batman và Catwoman must carefully communicate information back và forth lớn one another in order to survive the Riddler’s elaborate deathtraps. Và there are tandem fights, where Robin, Nightwing, or Catwoman team up with the Bat to lớn take down a room full of thugs. These fights are never particularly challenging, but they’re not meant to lớn be—they’re a mechanical expression of how much better Batman is when his friends have his back.


Barbara và Jim Gordon play their own crucial roles in the story, bolstering and expanding our understanding of Bruce Wayne’s complicated relationships. Early in the story, Scarecrow appears lớn use fear gas khổng lồ induce Barbara khổng lồ commit suicide, & Batman spends the bulk of Arkham Knight believing that he’s gotten her killed. He’s reliving his worst nightmare—that of being powerless to save the people who risk their lives lớn help him—and he spends most of the trò chơi believing that Oracle has met the same fate as Jason Todd. When Jim learns that his daughter died because of Batman, he declares their alliance over and foolishly storms off to giảm giá with Scarecrow himself.


Of course, Barbara was never dead to begin with. A fakeout or two later, we get a triumphant sequence where she, somewhat the worse for wear but very much alive & pissed off, teams up with Batman khổng lồ take down an army of the Arkham Knight’s soldiers and tanks outside the Gotham police department. With a press of a button, she can tip the odds against the bad guys, hacking their drones & setting off chain reactions that make the victory a breeze. This is its own kind of victorious tandem fight. Once again Arkham Knight reminds us how much Batman needs his friends.

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The supporting cast is further fleshed out over the course of several Arkham Episodes, which were originally released as piecemeal DLC over the course of 2015. The Episodes suffered for the way they were released, since each one isn’t really meaty enough khổng lồ draw players back khổng lồ a game they may have just finished a month prior. Taken together as a part of a finished whole, they’re much more appealing, particularly the Nightwing, Catwoman & Robin stories, each of which take place after the conclusion of Arkham Knight. They’re still inessential, và mostly just give us further opportunities to vì chưng the same sneaking và punching we’ve done so much of in the main game. But they also further enhanced my appreciation for Batman’s allies by letting me play them each on their own.


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A great story usually has a great ending, & Arkham Knight’s grand finale is a stunner. After defeating the Arkham Knight & saving Jason Todd, Batman is forced to surrender lớn Scarecrow anyway. Scarecrow reveals Batman’s identity to lớn all of Gotham, then injects Bruce Wayne with fear toxin on camera, hoping to show the citizens that their savior is just as terrified as the rest of them. Instead, Batman’s inner Joker gets involved, which leads lớn one of the best-executed finales I’ve ever seen in a game.

We begin inside Batman’s toxin-induced nightmare. The Joker has finally taken over his toàn thân and used his arsenal of advanced weaponry to lớn wreak havoc on the city. Throughout this section, players are given Batman’s tools without the restriction of his nonlethal creed. We kill dozens of people with the Batmobile’s gatling gun, then guide the Joker as he guns down each of his supervillain competitors one by one. Gotham is burning, and the Joker is king. Then suddenly, our perspective changes. Scarecrow hits Batman with another dose, but the Joker has taken over, so it’s the Joker who absorbs the toxin. All at once we’re seeing things from his point of view. Which means we’re seeing his fears.

The conquered city fades lớn black & the Joker plunges into his own frightened fantasy, imagining a world that has completely forgotten him. He’s standing at his own neglected grave, surrounded by statues of Batman. He attempts khổng lồ destroy the statues, but is quickly overwhelmed by stone-carved versions of the man he could never defeat. He becomes lost within the nightmare, haunted by the thing he fears most: Batman. By manifesting as the Joker’s fear, Batman regains control of his mind và tricks the Joker into a cage of his own making, locking him away and recovering his sanity.


First of all: That is some crazy shit for a video clip game to lớn try khổng lồ pull off, particularly given that it doesn’t explicitly spell out what’s happening. Second: That is some even crazier shit for a đoạn phim game to make playable, yet the majority of Arkham Knight’s final sequence is interactive.

Considering its towering ambition và many moving parts, Arkham Knight’s story resolves itself with an unusual amount of focus. Batman faces his fear of the Joker và proves once và for all that he’s stronger than his greatest enemy. Jason Todd comes to Batman’s rescue in the nick of time, once more demonstrating that Bruce Wayne is only as strong as the people he’s got in his corner. Even the Joker plays his part, inadvertently saving his greatest enemy from overdosing on fear toxin by absorbing the brunt of the second dose. Betrayed in different ways by both the Arkham Knight & the Joker, Scarecrow’s master plan unravels.

It ain’t exactly Shakespeare, and there are certainly plot holes and contrivances. Jason Todd’s introduction lacks the necessary thiết lập to make the reveal of his identity really land, and the Scarecrow’s master plan never makes much sense on its own. The final showdown with the Arkham Knight is drawn out over too many quái nhân battles, & those endgame Batmobile fights are a real slog. But there’s a reason so many đoạn phim games fall apart in their back half—eventually, the people making the trò chơi have lớn make some compromises. It’s remarkable that for all the things that doubtless barely held together in the final cut, Arkham Knight’s ending manages to lớn tie three games’ worth of plot into a ludicrous but satisfying finale.


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When you die in an Arkham game, you’ll have to sit through one last taunt from the villain who defeated you. They loom over your body, presumably watching as the life drains from your eyes. Two-Face might lament that you couldn’t come around lớn his way of thinking, or the Penguin might order his boys lớn take your mask & string up your body. Arkham Knight continues that tradition, with a notable twist: sometimes, the Joker will come out và talk lớn you. Instead of expressing glee at your demise, he’s panicked và upset.


The Joker has lost his last chance at resurrection, but he also just seems sad that his old nemesis is gone. Given what we’ve come lớn understand about him over the course of the game, it makes sense. His relationship with the Bat has always had a dash of romance, and the love story is finally over. Even in death, the Joker needs Batman khổng lồ feel alive. If his plan lớn conquer his foe’s mind had come khổng lồ fruition, he probably would’ve been miserable.

After defeating the Scarecrow and locking up the rest of the villains terrorizing the city, a now-unmasked Batman activates something called the Knightfall protocol và vanishes, faking Bruce Wayne’s death in the process. The circle closes, but it forms the dot of a question mark. Is Batman really gone? Is the Joker really dead for good? Could either of these characters exist without the other, và in one’s absence, must the other disappear?


As the curtains gently billow to lớn a close, those & other lingering questions can remain unanswered. Arkham Knight almost certainly won’t be the last great Batman video game, nor must it be. But after watching Bruce Wayne and his clown-faced nemesis wink out of existence one last time, I feel I’ve seen what I came to lớn see. I can crinkle up my ticket stub và shrug into my winter coat, exiting the theater without a look back for whatever secrets or teases may await after the credits. It’s over. This was the story of Batman, and it was good.

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