Today sees the worldwide release of the new Batman videogame, Batman: Arkham Knight, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The follow-up to Warner Bros' Batman Arkham Origins has been praised for its impressive visuals and called "a masterpiece" by some gaming critics, though not everyone is a fan of the new Batmobile.
Based on the DC Comics' long-running Batman superhero franchise, the Arkham Knight game was developed by Rocksteady Studios for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.
The main storyline follows Batman as he confronts the Scarecrow, a supervillain who has launched an attack on Gotham City, prompting a mass evacuation. The Arkham Knight, an original character created for the game, teams up with the Scarecrow to unite Batman's biggest enemies in a plot to finally destroy the Dark Knight.
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Dan Stapleton writes on IGN that with Arkham Knight, the series will "end on a high note". It is the "biggest Batman game yet, not just in map size, but in the wide range of different types of gameplay, and its collection of characters".
Stapleton says that having access to the Batmobile for the first time "gives us a new world of possibilities for interacting with Gotham City". He adds that Arkham Knight is an outstanding game on almost every level."
Simon Miller on VideoGamer agrees. "It's epic; it's grand; it's addictive; it's ridiculously good-looking and it's going to be remembered for a long time to come."
A thousand other elements could be mentioned and praised, says Miller, such as the huge open world, the excellent investigative mysteries and the usual Riddler teases, but in short it's "a masterpiece".
On Gamespot, Kevin VanOrd praises the visuals in Arkham Knight. "Gotham is a dazzling playground where neon lights pierce through the rain and mist; all it takes is a single glimpse to tell you that this is a city in need".
He also applauds the "excellent acting, wonderful animations and moody soundtrack". But VanOrd, is more critical of the addition of the Batmobile to the game.
"Arkham Knight is constantly trying to justify the Batmobile's presence, forcing it upon you at nearly every opportunity," says VanOrd. But the Batmobile battles become monotonous and seem to go on forever, he says, adding: "Don't be surprised if you end up muttering to yourself, 'Too. Much. Batmobile.'"
Justin McElroy on Polygon praises the game, but he also hopes it's the last in the series.
"After Arkham Knight, trying to find more meat on the Batman bone would define futility," says McElroy. "After Arkham Knight, Batman has been perfected – and the end result is the best game of this console generation."
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