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Batman: Arkham Knight review




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Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
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  • Batman: Arkham Knight
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  • Arkham Knight
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  • Arkham Knight


Our Score:



  • Consistently thrilling Batman gameplay
  • Superb graphics and art production
  • Compelling storyline and open-world structure
  • Gotham has never looked better


  • Batmobile battles can get boring
  • Woeful PC port

Available on Xbox One, PS4, PC (PS4 and PC tested)

Movie and game sequels suffer from a similar problem: when you have to keep going bigger, better and even more epic, how do you keep things moving forward without the latest entry collapsing under the accumulated weight? Opinions differ on whether Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises managed to avoid the pitfall, just as opinions differ over this year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. In games, the Assassin’s Creed series seems mired in exactly this issue, and the same has been true of Call of Duty, Splinter Cell, Halo and even FIFA in the past.

You can feel the weight on Batman: Arkham Knight, but Rocksteady’s third and final Arkham tale wears it as lightly as Batman wears his latest armoured, gadget-laden suit. This isn’t just the biggest of the three Arkham games, but the smartest too, improving and expanding on the open-world style of Arkham City while replicating the immersion and expert pacing of Arkham Asylum. It’s not quite the perfect Batman game, but it’s pretty damn close.

SEE ALSO: Best PS4 Games

Arkham Knight

Let’s get the big new headline features out of the way. For the most part, having the Batmobile on call for most of the game enlarges the action, throwing in some awesome action movie chase sequences and giving you a great, fast method of getting from A to B. It has a battle mode, where it turns into a hovering, strafing tank, plus a remote control option and its own suite of gadgets, including an ingenious grappling winch that powers some of Arkham Knight’s strongest puzzles.

Driving it is a blast, diving into it from the rooftops even better, and hurtling out of it then glide-kicking an enemy better still. The one downside? Rocksteady can’t resist the urge to throw in larger and more epic battles against multiple tanks, with some seriously monotonous skirmishes spoiling the latter half of the game, and a tedious stream of side missions to complete on top. A little tank action goes a long way, but this is Batman, not Battlezone, OK?

SEE ALSO: Best Xbox One Games

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The other biggie is a greater emphasis on the wider Batman family, with Barbara Gordon/Oracle at the heart of the story, and key moments for Catwoman, Nightwing and Robin for special dual-hero dust-ups. Here you can not only switch between heroes while fighting hordes of goons, but call in special dual attacks which see both heroes working together in a killer combo move. These sequences are nicely done, but short, and don’t add all that much to the fabric of the game.

In other respects, you might say that Arkham Knight is business as usual. Combat works in much the same way before, with a brilliant, super-fluid system based on well-timed counters, gadget-based attacks and takedowns. The range of options is frequently bewildering – thank goodness for the button prompts thrown up in the corner of the screen – but there’s something incredibly satisfying about taking down a horde of bad guys in a flurry of hard-hitting blows. Meanwhile, the Fear takedowns give you a new way to tackle groups of enemies – one that rewards upfront strategy and skilful play.

SEE ALSO: Xbox One vs PS4

Arkham Knight

Detection also holds its place, with crime scenes to analyse, trails to follow and bodies to scan, all requiring a modicum of intelligence and the use of Batman’s gadgets. It’s all fairly basic stuff when you actually stop to think about it, but while it’s going on it's weirdly compelling, and a nice change of pace from the action-oriented norm. Traversal, meanwhile, is barely changed from Arkham City, so there’s a lot of grapple gun-assisted gliding, climbing and sneaking through ventilation systems going on, as well as the all-new Batmobile stuff.

The progression system reflects all this complexity, with different upgrade trees for combat, the Batsuit, gadgets, the Batmobile and more, giving you a huge range of different builds for your own Batman, not to mention a dizzying repertoire of devices and button combos to master and remember. It threatens to grow unwieldy, but never quite crosses the line. Arkham Knight has depth, but never feels inaccessible.

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Still, this isn’t an experience defined by the tickbox stuff, but by the way Rocksteady manages story, structure and location. The latter is all-important. The Gotham of Arkham City sometimes seemed like a string of mission zones glued together by a collection of generic buildings and rooftops. It had personality in the interiors, but not always outside. The Gotham of Arkham Knight is richer, denser and more engaging. There are echoes both of Arkham Asylum and BioShock’s Rapture in its 1940s-meets-Gothic style, and the same consistency of vision. With more going on at street level, it might not have the population of GTA 5’s Los Santos, but it teems with life.

Rocksteady has been smart with the structure, too. Batman has an awful lot on his plate during the long night portrayed in Arkham Knight. Not only is The Scarecrow threatening Gotham with a new toxin, causing the whole populace to evacuate and criminals to run amok, but there’s a serial killer leaving bodies around the city, a fire crew to find and rescue, a feline-loving friend in need of assistance, and the Riddler causing grief. And that’s just a sample of the multiple activities and storylines running through the game. The titular knight, identity unknown, lies at the heart of all this stuff.

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The game’s genius lies in the fact that all the missions and side missions feel like key parts of the overall experience, rather than icons on a map to be polished off, and that new activities in each crop up sporadically rather than hitting you all at once. You move from one to the next organically, occasionally opting between two or three choices, but it never feels like pointless donkey work.

The visuals on PS4 are astonishingly good. We can pick faults in the stilted facial animation, but the detail in character models and textures, the neon-heavy lighting, the dazzling rain effects and the sheer amount of action onscreen have to be seen to be believed. Needless to say, things aren’t so good on the PC front, where our quad-core Xeon/Radeon 285 setup struggled to deliver a smooth experience even with detail levels set to minimum and the resolution reduced to 720p. In the Batmobile or on the open streets, the game is pretty much unplayable. Warner Bros have taken the PC version off sale for now, and will hopefully only put it back on the shelves once this miserable situation is sorted out.

Most of all, Arkham Knight succeeds because it delivers such a powerful, compelling experience of a night in the life of The Dark Knight. Not every development in the central story has the impact Rocksteady hoped for, or even rings true, but this is a game full of strong, risky, pull-the-rug-out moments – and one that works to engage with Batman’s psychology and rich background lore. The more the game moves on, the more you can feel it building on the themes of Arkham Asylum and continuing threads that felt lost in Arkham City, cementing the three games together as one body of Batman art.

Everyone has their own vision of Batman, and yours might differ from the one presented here. I’d admit that mine isn’t so big on Batmobiles and gadgets, and wouldn’t feature the extended family, but it’s still hard to object to what Rocksteady has delivered. If Arkham Asylum set a new high watermark for the superhero game, then Arkham Knight redefines it while also leaving other open-world superhero games in the dust. By any reasonable standard, it’s a stone-cold classic.

SEE ALSO: Best Games of 2015


It this is the end of the Arkham series, Rocksteady leaves it on a high note. This is an even bigger and more epic game than Arkham City, but one which luxuriates in the details and doesn’t lose track of what makes the Dark Knight such a powerful protagonist. We could pick faults in the tedious Batmobile battling or the way the gameplay hasn’t evolved, but that wouldn’t do the game justice. Powerful, thrilling and ambitious, this is one of the best games on PS4 and Xbox One.

Overall Score


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June 13, 2014, 12:21 pm

guess what?.....delayed


August 2, 2014, 2:09 am



May 28, 2015, 9:59 pm

Only 40 to 50 hours of gameplay. Huh I was expecting about 80 to 100, but we shall see.


May 29, 2015, 1:56 pm

just wait until the game is finished to announce a release date. the only thing setting a date 3 years in advance does is make people mad at you when you inevitably can't meet it. keep releasing info as you progress, and use the release date as a sort of celebration of the finished product


June 23, 2015, 5:29 am

Looks like the injection of Nvidia Gameworks has killed performance on PC. Unfortunate.

Trevor Totten

June 25, 2015, 3:35 pm

It's amazing... The amount of money that PC gamers spend on gaming hardware, and games companies don't even have the decency to make sure the game is ready. "They're a bunch of cowboys, Ted!"


June 25, 2015, 3:35 pm

Shoddy Ted, Shoddy


June 25, 2015, 4:02 pm

Question: How come I never/rarely see the reviewers captured screenshots from the game on his/her reviews? It's always the publisher screenshots, which often don't show exactly what the game will look like (because they're all PC screenshots w/ max settings).


June 25, 2015, 11:34 pm

Stu i actually wrote a pure paragraph, and then though whats the point, this is the same chap who gave the game a 9 out of 10, 1 point lower than witcher 3 which you played on PS4 and this game which you apparently played on both Ps4 and PC.

I respect you're opinion but when you finish the verdict with "the tedious Batmobile battling or the way the gameplay hasn’t evolved" i wonder, WTF did he exactly like over any of the other batman games (you have played them right ?) that warrants this game 9 out 10 ?

I played through the pc version (jesus lord strike me down now) of the game, only because i pre ordered it like a ... i mean it was alright, literally thats all, anything new was tedious like you said :)

Also do yourself a favour, you mention these amazing rain effect graphics etc etc but you are playing on a PS4 for christ sake(and probably a Tv!), buy a good gaming pc, i5,8 GB ram,GTX 970/ R9 290 which ever you like and play these game on that, and then mention graphics. Oh and play the witcher 3 on pc, enjoy the amazing gfx's (and no "long loading times") and re-review the game and give it another 10 points on the score!

No really though, that score is a disgrace. I'd let you have 8 but 9 is the P.

Olly Jenkins

July 6, 2015, 12:38 pm

You're reviewing three versions collectively and then giving them the highest score.
Also as duewhaa says, how about some screenshots, videos, some gameplay footage etc. ?

Come on TrustedReviews this is lazy, copy/paste journalism with nothing trustworthy about it.

Olly Jenkins

July 6, 2015, 3:12 pm

why have you removed my other comment? Not exactly TrsutedReviews if you cut all the negative feedback?

I got this game for PC and it is abysmal. It doesn't even run in places, and even your reviewer acknowledges this. Yet it still gets 9/10 bc the PS4 version was really good?

Please. I have a rig that runs Witcher 3 on ultra and BAK won't run. It was bundled with the graphics card I bought. Is that a 9/10 game for you? Or are you just going to keep deleting feedback?

shaun jones

July 9, 2015, 2:06 am

my opinion on the game, i will start by saying overall i liked the
storyline but let me tell you what almost ruins this game completely,
the gameplay and 2 parts of the story, the gameplay is repetative and
boring and there are very few worthy boss fights to even speak of, i
think i could have happily just watched the cutscenes on youtube instead
if id known how tedious it was, and yes those reviews saying you are
forced to use the horrific batmobile that feels like its straight out of
a transformers game moving in all directions and just spamming bullets
at things is repetative and boring, you feel like you are just fighting
your way to the next cut scene, now for the story, it is NOT an original
concept at all as rocksteady lied to us that it was, all the stories
are taken from very well known comics and the overall layout is similar
to Batman RIP with snippets from various story archs, now some of them
are great and work great as a game, but then the main story (spoilers
ahead) arkham knight is a new concept? really? because he isnt, his
whole story is just "under the red hood" except this time he has a blue
mask over his red mask, until he takes it off, and he is the red hood,
instead of using the lazarus pit, jason just never died this time
around, and even his DLC content is the story from "under the red hood"
putting a mask over a mask does not make a character new at all, i felt
very cheated when the reveal came as i had guessed they where lying and
that it would be jason todd over a year ago when arkham knight was
shown, so when it came and you wanted something amazing to be revealed i
was left going... oh, right, yeah, jason todd, plus they basically tell
you its him throughout the WHOLE game while joker pops up in your head
showing you what happened to jason, why would he even randomly be
brought up along side this so called NEW concept character, because they
where the same person... the other thing barbara dying...... was
amazing.. until she came back and we found out she hadnt killed herself,
the games ended they could have kept her dead and there would have been
no problem, so 2 deaths, but not really deaths, both come back, thats
not a twist at all. the ending and the joker parts scarecrow parts are
great so i wouldnt take away that this is a good ending to the series,
BUT jason and barabra, everything about their stories ended with a thud,
just a "oh, why?" moment, dissapointing when we thought the game was
mostly going to be about scarecrow and arkham knight, it really wasnt at

shaun jones

July 9, 2015, 2:08 am

why are you judging a game based on whether it runs when its been removed from shelves and from steam? rather than just waiting and then judging it when you can play it, because thats what games are based on, you cant judge or review a game you CANNOT play lol, so sure complain "bad port" but they know this, they are not saying "buy this and play it till we fix it" like most would. im a PC gamer, and yes its annoying, but the story is amazing apart from 2 small things, so i judged it on the overall myself, and overall id give it a good 7/10 as the gameplay is repetative but it makes up for it with 90% of the story

shaun jones

July 9, 2015, 2:09 am

ive got that EXACT setup xD and the game runs so bad even still

shaun jones

July 9, 2015, 2:10 am

40 hours of gameplay.... and only 5hours of cutscenes, well, actually thats alot, but the gameplay is so repetative and tedious that you will wish youd just watched the cutscenes on youtube instead


July 9, 2015, 11:35 pm

Well as I have played AK now on PS4 I can honestly say that is is a really well put together game. I agree with IGN'S review of it.


December 21, 2015, 1:38 pm

Everyone HATED on Arkham: Origins, but it had the BEST boss fights out of all the games.

Godzig Mcbane

January 1, 2016, 9:10 pm

I get a kick out of all these people slamming the game because it sucks on PC.. that doesn't mean the game sucks that means your computer sucks. I ran it on my alianware with little issue and it is a fantastic game on PS4... shouldn't judge a game based on your lackluster rigs.

Dennis Dales

May 3, 2016, 4:54 am

Finally picked up the game. I'm having a blast.


June 12, 2016, 11:19 pm

snorf glom bipple gomp

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