Review - Batman: Arkham Knight: the video game as art, with incredible main story
This stunningly conceived game's core plot mines existential depths not even Christopher Nolan reached in his big-screen adaptations of the Caped Crusader tales
There's a lot going on in Arkham Knight, the final chapter of developer Rocksteady's Batman gaming trilogy, available for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
There's the gameplay, of course, a massive sandbox adventure that's at least five times bigger than the previous release, in which you switch back and forth between playing detective and storming through the city in the Batmobile. There's the plentiful amount of side quests, an almost requisite series of missions in modern gaming that often rival the main story.
But that main story - boy, it's incredible. Arkham Knight's core plot manages to reach the very heart of the popular comic book character, mining existential depths that go even beyond the big-screen adaptations. We won't go into detail about that here, mostly because the story has many twists and turns, but it's the game's synergy between those three aspects that most impresses in Arkham Knight.
The game is stunningly conceived and created, taking full advantage of the spectacular horsepower of current consoles and computers. Rocksteady has learned a lot over the years about creating the ultimate Batman simulator, and has put all that knowledge into this series capper.
Combat has been fine-tuned to a point where the fighting feels as satisfying as any beat-em-up. But there's so much more than that. Batman can also take down thugs in the dark via stealth tactics, and there are plenty of challenging riddles to solve, proving that the Caped Crusader has more than just brawn.
Of course, exploration is a key aspect in open-world games, and between driving a Batmobile that can double as a tank and soaring high above the city via grappling hook, this game offers more ways to explore than others.
Some might find it a stretch to call Arkham Knight "art", but much like Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, these are grand, bold depictions of an iconic superhero with scope and scale that pierce through their respective medium, resulting in something altogether brave and bold.
If you're one of the few fans of modern pop culture who still refuse to consider video games as a serious medium, Arkham Knight should be your first port of call. It might just change your mind.
Batman: Arkham Knight Rocksteady Games