It has been quite a while since I’ve played the first three games in the Arkham series, and I’m sure I’ll get around to reviewing them… eventually. I personally think these games are really intriguing. Yes, they are still not a staple of good disability representation, but they’re a lot of fun to play, they have all my favorite Batman characters, and they’re just an all-around enjoyable experience. Or at least that’s how I felt until I played the third game Arkham Origins. If Arkham Origins’s glitchy design taught me anything, it’s that these games are becoming shoddier with every installment, and I have no doubt that Arkham Knight will keep following this trend.
Arkham Knight picks up one year after City, and Batman is still coming to terms with the Joker’s death. Now that the Joker is gone, the citizens of Gotham have never felt safer, but of course all the other villains are still alive, so in this case “safer” is still a far cry from “safe”. In the Joker’s absence, the remaining rogues team up to kill Batman once and for all. Scarecrow is leading the charge, and he’s planted bombs filled with fear toxin all throughout the city. With all of Gotham’s citizens evacuated—hopefully to never return because why would anyone ever want to live in Gotham?—criminals have free run of the city, just like in every other installment. And of course, stepping up to save the day is Batman.
I really want Arkham Knight to be really good. It’ll be interesting seeing what happens now that the Joker’s gone, and hey, my favorite villain from the first game (Scarecrow) is coming back. Originally in Asylum, Dino Andrade voiced the Scarecrow. I was able to interview him a while ago since he was giving voice acting lessons to my friend, and being able to have had that experience made the first game so much more enjoyable. In Knight, however, Scarecrow is now being voiced by John Noble. This is a personal issue for me, but this change of actor makes me less inclined to play the game, if only because I thought that Dino Andrade was just an amazing person and I was really excited at the thought of him coming back to the series. It’s not fair of me to immediately write John Noble off, since I haven’t played the game yet, but I can only hope that he will live up to my expectations and do just as an amazing job and Dino Andrade did.
But as I mentioned earlier, my biggest concern is that Arkham Knight will be full of glitches. I encountered very few glitches in Asylum, and a couple more in City, but by the time Origins came out they were nearly unbearable. I was honestly surprised at how little effort must have gone into Origins for that many glitches to have made it into the game. On almost every mission, something went wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I completed a battle, then flew off into the night, only for the game to completely forget about the battle I just did and make me redo it. Probably most aggravating were the snipers, whose sight you could never leave once they spotted you. If you ducked behind a giant building to escape them, it didn’t matter where you emerged from—they would just automatically know where you were. Once, they killed me by shooting me through a building.
Probably my favorite glitch, though, was the one where all the snipers just magically froze in time with their guns trained solely on the ground. At one point, while breaking into the GCPD, I didn’t even realize that there was a sniper I was supposed to deal with because of this. Other times, the thugs I would fight would also magically freeze, sometimes in midair, and while these two glitches were rather amusing, it became less amusing having to refight the same battles over and over and over again while occasionally dealing with omnipotent snipers.
I look forward to Arkham Knight a lot. I want to know what happens next in the story. I want to see more of Harley now that the Joker’s no longer around, and I’ve always enjoyed the Riddler trophies, but dear God, it will really be wonderful if I don’t have to worry about my game spontaneously not saving its progress after a tough boss fight.