Arkham Knight: Sessions 2 Onwards

I have been grinding on this non-stop every day since I’ve owned it. I’ve 100% the story and all side missions and I’m currently using guides to gather all remaining riddler trophies (why did there have to be over 200?). I haven’t been updating every session but every minute writing is a minute not playing Arkham Knight. Besides, when the day is done my eyes look like the top of a strawberry Cornetto and I honestly can’t bear to look at another screen.

To reiterate, these are the notes I have jotted down during my sessions, which I will use in my mega-review:

  • During the hallucination sequences Rocksteady have implemented good use of Kojima-esque metafiction. There’s nothing scarier than a game that knows you’re playing it.
  • I cried when I found out the actor who voices Lucius Fox also voiced Lee from The Walking Dead Season 1. I also cried again when I found out he played Bluebeard in The Wolf Among Us (step up, scrubs, I’ve read the books)
  • The hand to hand combat is the most challenging yet, especially with the new electro-zappy-shock enemies. You actually have to take into account who you take down first instead of just how you take down enemies, as medics can be a right pain when they create electro enemies or revive others
  • The exposition on fear toxin is doubly scary to hear of when progressing through the story, as you yourself have been exposed
  • I experienced a 1 second sound and vibration delay during a cutscene, which really ruined it
  • In contrast to my previous notes, Scarecrow has developed into a more impressive villain, especially up close. He has an eerie gravitas in his body language and tone, especially in one particular scene with Barbara Gordon
  • There is a surprisingly competent and appropriate use of character death, which you often don’t see with superhero epics
  • The Two-Face missions are too grindy and repetitive for too little a reward
  • You don’t get near enough Wayne points for the progression tree system they have chosen. I think I’m 97% now and I’m not even close to obtaining all upgrades. Besides which, I’d prefer to get more interesting rewards than just Wayne points for missions. It’s like getting a gift card rather than an actual present in real life
  • A friend brought up that Kevin Conroy isn’t that great a voice actor, and at first I mentally labelled him an infidel, for who would dare question that iconic voice? but after considering it and hearing it over and over I must admit he was right. It is quite a placid delivery. Not Peter Dinklage levels of meh, but on the spectrum
  • Gotham being so large has me in two minds. On one hand it’s great to glide around such a vast, sprawling city, but on the other hand it’s so large that I’m not familiar with any part of the map like I was with Arkham City, and it is so infuriatingly difficult to find unmarked side quests if you don’t have intel, whether you know what island to look for them in or not. It must have taken me half an hour to find the last two ‘own the roads’ quests
  • You receive intel far too slowly, there should be a method in which you can get it yourself
  • A variety in animations when destroying fuse boxes or similar actions, like entering the batmobile, would have been nice as it gets boring staring at the same one
  • The ability to take enemies’ weapons in combat is great
  • When you find out who the side-quest serial killer is, his character is amazing
  • One of the only times in video games where I would actually prefer a loading screen is when you take prisoners back to the GCPD. Why do I actually have to take them to GCPD myself? Every damn time
  • The reveal of the fire department chief’s transgressions is, subtly, one of the best parts of the story
  • No unlockable batman skins or batmobile skins?
  • No batcave?
  • No more dual play after designated quests are done?
  • Rocksteady at least attempted to be generous with the Harley Quinn DLC as a pre-order bonus, but if you’re going to have a mission like that, at least make it a bit more eventful than literally what it says on the box… I mean… that’s it… you go in and rescue Ivy… there aren’t any twists challenges in the way of that happening and there’s some crude, arbitrary insertion of Nightwing for about 30 seconds. The whole thing took me what felt like 5 minutes
  • The Arkham Knight as a character is where the surprisingly well made story falls to rock bottom. Luckily he’s only a supporting character but his true identity and the reveal is the sloppiest part of the game. In the run up to the review I will re-watch a certain animated movie to note down just how much it blatantly steals from it and I will re-read a certain 80s comic book to see just how much the game bends the actual lore in order to fit this weird, lacklustre sub-plot. You would have thought that the character worthy of the game’s name would have a bit more weight to it. There are so many mystery-character batman comics that they could have done a far better paint-by-numbers Arkham Knight. Hush and The Long Halloween to name two
  • There is a real lack of boss fights in this game. The only villain boss fight I can recall is the Arkham Knight’s helicopter. City had a better approach to boss fights with Mr Freeze, R’as al Ghul etc. It felt like the original Metal Gear Solid, and I liked that
  • Horrible cases of texture pop-in with the batmobile lately, and just gliding around. I think this is what causes framerate drops

Overall I am really enjoying the game despite my criticisms, this is the only real AAA game that I’ve been able to sink my teeth into for a long while now. I’ll get started with the mega review soon, but I might 100% riddler trophies first.

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