Content of the article: "I platinumed Batman Arkham Knight"
Hello Everyone. Today I want to talk about my 15th platinum with Batman Arkham Knight. Overall, not hard but some pretty frustrating and unclear trophies. Let me walk you through some notable ones:
-"Blunt Trauma- Perform every type of predator takedown."
The game doesn't track which ones you did. But mine popped when I did the Line Launcher Takedown as that was the one I missed. However, this trophy is said to be glitched and may require multiple runs.
-"A Leap of Faith Complete 8 different jumps over 100 meters."
Based on the title, you might expect this to have the player jump off buildings and thus be pretty easy? But no. You gotta drive the Batmobile over certain ramps and land perfectly at least 100 meters away. With no way of telling if you did it right, you just have to do one you think is good enough and move on and hope it eventually pops.
-"Point of Impact Perform 5 perfect shots in a row with the Vulcan Gun without taking damage."
Normally, a hit from the Batmobile's Vulcan Gun at the purple lights on an enemy tank instantly destroys it. A perfect hit is doing that without missing a shot or taking damage in the meantime. So basically instakill 5 tanks in a row. This is challenging because enemy tanks love moving around and it can be hard to predict their movements or lead a shot. What's more is you can't take your time because you'll be hit. The best way I found to get this Trophy was to play the "untouchable" challenge as enemy tanks don't move. You still have to move fast.
-"The Long Halloween Wayne vs Crane in New Story +"
Basically beat the main story in New Game+. This can be tough because you no longer have your counter indicators in combat. It was especially rough for me as I hadn't played this game in 5 years and picked it up 70% of my way through a NG+ run.
An honourable mention to "Brutality 101: Perform 15 different combat moves in one FreeFlow" as that's the rarest trophy on PSNprofiles. I personally found it easy. Just have a list of the neccessary moves handy and go through them one by one (fortunatly, there are over 20 moves to use so you have a lot of choice and freedom). Save some of the more risky ones when the situation is right instead of rigidly doing them because they're 7th on the list or something. Use stuff like evade and Batclaw to disperse groups if you need to and end with a team takedown since that can be done from anywhere with just a simple button press.
One issue I have with the Trophy list is that of the 64 total trophies, only 2 are not Bronze. The aforementioned "Long Halloween" which is Silver and Knightfall which is Gold. I dislike this because it makes the rest of the trophies feel kinda lacking. There are plenty of trophies I feel could be at least a silver given the prolonged effort needed to get them like beating Riddler, completing all AR challenges etc. I wouldn't mind some of the more redundant ones like getting Riddler keys get cut for that to happen. So yeah, not really the most fun or exciting trophy list
So yeah as for the game itself- I absolutely love it. It has its flaws, mostly the story but the Batman gameplay alone is pretty much near perfection and full of improvements big and small that it makes going to play the past Arkham games feel like playing a beta. I value gameplay the most so that makes Knight a great game. Stuff like being able to bounce while gliding into a wall and quickly get back into a glide (and just all of the extra moves when diving and gliding), being able to kick enemies when they're downed, all of the extra combat and predator moves. It's amazing.
Melee Combat is better than ever because of all the extra moves and the varied group compositions. New enemy types like the medic add a lot of additional things to play around with. Predator encounters are also spiced up with dudes that can revive other dudes, dudes that can track you if you use Detective Vision, dudes that can jam your detective vision, Big Dudes that can only be taken out with beat ups or environmental takedowns which all add to make these encounters feel more tense. And what's more enemies will begin to adapt as you play. Use lots of ledge takedowns and enemies will be more cautious around ledges. Use lots of silent takedowns and enemies will buddy up. Use specific gadgets a lot and enemies will start to counter them like switching to a different channel if you use the voice synthesizer. My only criticism with this aspect is it takes a bit too long for enemies to start adapting and there aren't that many enemies in a predator encounter to begin with. So by the time the adaptions start happening, there aren't many enemies left or the encounter is already over which removes the challenge the adaptations were supposed to provide. I'd love if there were predator encounters that had some respawning enemies or enemies remembered the adaptations from prior encounters so the player had to use other tricks from the outset and switch back to old tricks as the enemies adapted to your new set.
Batman also has more tools and moves that make so much sense and are so fun to use like being able to use the Batclaw to bring enemies in for silent takedowns, the Vocal Synthesizer being a better Sonic Batarang (useful for drawing enemies to specific locations) to the Sequencer able to hack the environment reminding me of those takedowns from Watch Dogs. The only move I feel is a bit too OP is Fear Takedowns. They let you instantly takedown 3 (and can be upgraded to 6) enemies if they're close together. At its max effectiveness, it's possible for the player to take down most if not all the enemies before a predator encounter even begins. But at least it's optional and not required.
I also enjoy the added puzzles. The Batmobile increases the kinds of scenarios and puzzles that can now be added.
Speaking of which, the big new addition to the game is the Batmobile and opinion seems divided on it with the biggest complaint being the overuse of the Batmobile. I personally loved the Batmobile. It added a ton of variation to the game and allowed the game to mix up its on-foot gameplay. The issue I have isn't the length of time the Batmobile is used (Aqua made a video where he showed the Batmobile is only around 4-5 hours of a 20 hour playthrough), it's the way it's used. The Batmobile, though fun, is a bit limited in what gameplay it can sustain entirely on its own. Stuff like its specific races and combat are best enjoyed in short bursts. But many sections in the latter half of the game space many Batmobile segments close together or one after the other which can drag. It's like Pokemon ORAS. In that game, the water routes are all bunched up at the end instead of paced out throughout the game which makes having them all at once feel tiring. Back to the Batmobile, another reason I suspect its disliked is because it takes all the Bossfights. The game has like 3 "real" bossfights and only 1 is on foot. Fighting Deathstroke as a regular tank battle when Origins had such a good on-foot bossfight feels like such a tease.
The side quests are quite lacking. Only a few have a good story and decent gameplay twist to go along with them. 2 Face has the bank robberies where, since the alarms are on, you're free to be as loud as you want while under time pressure adding a decent twist to predator encounters. Pyg's has the act of scanning civilians with Opera music plus a fight against enemies that can get back up. Riddler has the puzzles, races and challenges that are his best yet. And that's about it. I guess Penguin lets you double team with Nightwing which is a nice gimmick. The rest are the same as what you're doing in the main story or quite repetitive. Clearing towers and bases is neat but I'm already fighting the goons in the main story so what's the difference here? Same for bombs, car chases and towers. Man-Bat and Firefly have the same thing for like 3 encounters spread out over a few hours with not even a real boss fight to spice them up.
It's a little disappointing because the story justification for the side quests is all the villains are working together at once to pull Batman in too many directions at once and that's not really shown in-game. I think a cool addition would have been that the missions change a little depending on when you do them making them feel a bit better to just experience. Do the Penguin stuff as soon as they're available and they proceed as is. Take your time and do them when you've done most of the story stuff or other missions first and maybe you find Nightwing beaten up a lot more and he starts with less health when the fight begins. Do Pyg's stuff later and he has more corpses and soldiers. Do Firefly's stuff later and he has more buildings and roads on fire. It might start to feel like a lot but it would be something make otherwise lacklustre quests feel more memorable and may even encourage the player to feel the stress Batman feels as he chooses what to prioritize. I wouldn't even mind if some of the quests were cut to let this happen. I'd rather have fewer more interesting quests anyway. And stuff like the Manbat, Ryder and much of the militia stuff doesn't really add much.
That brings me to the story. I do enjoy the story but it has issues. Firstly, it feels a bit like a First Draft. Like Rocksteady wrote all these awesome moments but didn't get the connective tissue that should build up to and connect these moments down. For example "we need Scarecrow to capture Batman so he can go to Arkham Asylum to end this where it all began….. so let's just have Batman give up his belt and come along with no plan whatsoever". I get that Batman is supposed to be tired of all that's going on but this is ridiculous. Have Scarecrow actually trap and outsmart Batman so he has to follow along, not basically give Scarecrow what feels like your dad letting you win at a game so he can go to bed.
Secondly, the identity of the Arkham Knight. The whole marketing had Rocksteady tell us that he was a new and original character only for him to be Jason Todd. And while I would have liked an original character, it being Todd isn't an issue based on that. If anything, Todd's the only one it could have been based on the needs of the story. Remember, you need a young guy that knows Bruce and Batman on a personal enough level that he can plan and counter his plays, someone with a grudge and connection to Bruce to generate some drama. All of the other candidates don't fit that. People like Prometheus, Damian etc don't have that intimate knowledge of Bruce or enough of an established connection. My original vote was that it was either Quincy Sharp with Amadeus taking over his brain or a clone of Bruce but those have similar issues. My issue with Todd is how they handled him. In the comics, he goes rogue and becomes Red Hood based on Batman's refusal to kill the Joker and that is what puts him in conflict with Batman and his outlook. Is Todd right that Batman's refusal to kill causes more harm (by the way, I'd argue Todd's right here. People like the Joker should have been dead long ago)? Red Hood is there as a proof. But in AK, you don't really have that. Joker is already dead and many believe it was Batman that killed him. So it feels more like Todd's throwing the world's most expensive tantrum. The story doesn't really have a replacement for his actions like in the comics. He's mad because Bruce replaced him which isn't explored as much nor provides much to think about. Like after Batman confronts him, they never even speak again in the story and the next we see Todd is when he saves Batman from Scarecrow and then disappears until the Black Mask DLC. I think having more of a strong motivation would have improved this a lot more.
Another issue is that this is the first time Todd has been mentioned in these games (minus one easter egg in a DLC challenge map in City) so we don't really have had much time to connect with him or feel the loss and pain the story is trying to convey. Knight does have these flashbacks it tries to use which is an admirable attempt but it feels rushed.
Here's my pitch for tightening up Todd's story. It won't perfectly tie everything up but I feel it offers a bit more. So instead of Todd not dying thanks to Joker, he does in-fact die. So prior to the events of Asylum, Joker, Scarecrow, Strange and Ras all come together and make a deal in secret. They use the Lazarus Pit to ressurect Todd and mold him into the ultimate Batman counter. Ras does this because he gets the successor he knows Bruce refuses to be. Scarecrow and Strange do this to be able to study Batman (plus we can use this as a throwback to how Strange knew his identity in City if we want). Joker does this because he can't wait to mess with Batman. After sufficient brainwashing, Ras sends Todd into the world in secret to preapare his own private army for the final invasion of Gotham. However, Joker, Ras and Strange are dead by the end of City. Scarecrow finds and brings Todd up to speed and the 2, along with the other villains decide to do the plan on their own. Without Joker, Scarecrow and Todd take charge and Scarecrow manipulates Todd. Now when AK's story gets going, when we learn about Todd, Oracle, Nightwing and Robin all work together to undo his brainwashing while Batman is captured by Scarecrow since he doesn't have his backup. Todd saves the day eventually and has a heart to heart with Batman where the 2 reconcile. Todd points out that he has seen too much and even without the brainwashing now, he sees that Batman, while correct as a hero, has methods that are too soft and will now do his own thing to become a better Batman in his own way. Bruce says that despite everything, he's still somewhat proud of Todd and wished things turned out better and hopes he watches out for the rest of the Batfamily as there's still a chance for him to fully turn back. Todd leaves and the Knightfall happens.
My pitch has its issues, it still doesn't really have a solid replacement for why Todd's now doing his own thing, it has Bruce praising Todd despite him going to be a vigilante that kills (maybe we can excuse it as Joker blood still affecting him?) but it better ties into Asylum and City and gives a bit more of a solid character and story to Todd. It also has fewer plot holes to nitpick so that's something.
Onto more positive stuff, I love the way the Joker was handled in this game as a figure in Batman's head rather than as a "real" threat in the real world. It lets other villains shine while still having Joker present and still dead. I also like the ending as it has this epic finality to it even if the path getting there is a little ridiclous. Everything from getting captured by Scarecrow to the end of the Knightfall ending is great.
To wrap this up, I want to address a few common criticisms of the game by showing how they are justified by the gameplay:
"Why doesn't the Knight put live personnal in the tanks?- Batman can't kill so Knight Wins". The story reason is Knight wants Batman to go all out. But the gameplay/meta reason is Rocksteady want to have cool tank battles. If Knight put a body in the tanks, the story would just have Batman magically come up with EMP rounds or something that do the same thing but feel contrived and less satisfying. So this is the better solution
"Why is the city abandoned?- wouldn't it be better if there were civilians around?" Storywise, it may be better because there are more stakes now for Batman failing since Gotham's civilains would be danger directly. But the gameplay has Batman driving a Batmobile around and smashing through structures and running over thugs. Would be harder to have that with civilians around. Either Batman would end up messing up civilians or phasing through them which wouldn't look as good. Like Batman can be trusted not to run civilains over, the player cannot so this is the best solution.
"Why are so many of Militia unarmed? Why doesn't everybody have all the guns?" – Because then combat would need to be redesigned entirely to have Batman be able to fight people with guns. And once you somehow do that, how do you make Predator encounters make sense?
"Where's the rest of Justice League?"- Probably just easter eggs. Probably like how Ubisoft says that despite stuff from Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and Watch Dogs existing in each other's game, it's all just easter eggs and no serious proof that stuff from one game actually affects or ties into another in a serious way.
So yeah, despite all my criticisms of the story and side quests I still love this game based on its gameplay during the main missions. It makes it hard to go back to prior Arkham games. I Would implore everyone play this game and maybe even take a crack at the trophies. I know Rocksteady are doing Suicide Squad next so good for them. I'm looking forward to it. As for the Arkham games, I personally feel they should stop now. Between Knight and all its DLCs, we've pretty much hit the peak in terms of gameplay and can't even do better with a sequel anyway. The story is all wrapped up now. So it's best to end it on a high note.
Next up for me is Assassin's Creed Syndicate. See you then.
- Batman: Arkham
- Just rolled credits on Arkham Knight
- Just finished replaying Arkham Knight and I’m still trying to like it..but can’t
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