Batman Arkham Knight First Day Impressions

The long wait is over. A game I pre-ordered a year ago has finally made it’s way into my PS4. I have put a solid few hours into it and it has definitely made an impression on me both good and bad. Here are my thoughts.

This game just screams Triple-A title. It oozes with polish in a way few titles do. There is no doubt a lot of work went into the game and the little details seem to all be taken care of. The opening scene sets the tone for a dark game and the first cinematic continues that theme. It feels like the opening to a new Batman movie. It’s done incredibly well.

Look at me!
Look at me!

The game looks and feel just like the other games, and that is to it’s credit. It’s familiar and as soon as you have control of Batman you instantly know how to control him. Of course, running on new hardware it does look quite a bit better, but the art direction is dead on the same. The game runs smoothly and I can’t think of a single time so far that it has had any performance issues which is a huge plus after Arkham Origin’s PlayStation 3 debacle.

The introduction of the Batmobile was a big deal leading up to launch and it certainly does come in with a lot of fanfare. Apparently it’s a big deal. I joke, I know it is. The batmobile is where my issues come in. Other reviews have mentioned that the tank mode does not fit in a Batman game and while I agree I don’t have a huge issue with it. My issue is that the thing handles and drives like absolute shit. Not GTA4 bad, but close. It’s not fun to drive. Saints Row 3 nailed car physics for open world games, no one has sense been able to replicate it.

Get used to sliding.
Get used to sliding.

So I have avoided the Batmobile. I traverse Gotham just like the old games, leaping and gliding across it. I have only done the mandatory Batmobile stuff. Not to spoil, but early on you can do a “race” style challenge in a glorified obstacle course. Rocksteady is kidding themselves if they thing that A) The driving physics are good enough for that or B) Most people will do it over and over and over until they can overcome the short comings.

My other issue is with the short tutorial missions. About half of them don’t really teach you anything. You start and it says to do something without giving you a good tutorial on how to do it. You figure it out and if you pass then good, if not then too bad. Some are better than others but a few need to be redone for newcomers to the series.

Bat vs Whirlybird
Bat vs Whirlybird

All in all I am very, very excited to finish typing this up and get back to Gotham and fight crime. Batman games have been fantastic ever since Asylum and this one is no different. A few growing pains with the new major addition of the Batmobile but overall a great new addition to the series so far. Maybe I will get used to the driving physics, but it will take some time. Hopefully they tweak it with a patch sometime soon.

Lastly, the voice acting, camera work and animations are phenomenal. This is such a nice game to look at and listen to. It’s a true Batman experience and just all around great piece of entertainment. Here’s to the next several hours of beating up thugs.

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