Get the most out of Gotham City
Batman Arkham Knight is the crowning glory of Rocksteady Studios’ trilogy of Batman games: the London-based developer describes it as a “Batman simulator”, and it’s by far the biggest and most mission-packed game it has ever made. Plus, it takes place in what is physically the largest open-world virtual Gotham City ever created.
In other words, it presents you with an almost bewildering variety of things to do, and with new combat moves and gadgets, and an enormous upgrade path which embraces the new starring role given to the Batmobile, it’s pretty complex for an action-adventure game. These tips and tricks should help you rinse Gotham City to the absolute max, though.
1. Don’t automatically upgrade
Just because you’ve acquired an Upgrade Point, that doesn’t mean you should spend it right away (even though the game always shouts pretty loudly that you’ve won one). In the early stages, there are plenty of upgrades that cost a single point, so it makes sense to spend them when you get them, but the juiciest upgrades cost between two and eight points, so once you’ve identified the new abilities you most want – or the upgrade areas that would most benefit your style of play – it’s usually worth saving your points until you’ve got enough for those.
2. Never decelerate when driving
The Batmobile is pretty tail-happy (what do you expect – it’s an American car?) but there’s no need to decelerate when you’re faced with a tight corner. Just hold down the brake all the way through the corner, and that will induce a power-slide.
3. Master the grapple-boost
Perhaps the most important technique in the whole game is the grapple-boost: when Batman is gliding around, and there’s a grapple-point ahead of and above him, you can double-click and hold the Glide button to slingshot him from that point, gaining crucial extra height and speed. When you get the Batsuit V8.03, it comes with an enhanced grapple-boost, which you must triple-click and hold to activate.
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4. Look out for chutes leading to underfloor passages
A new feature of Arkham Knight’s interior level design is the addition of chutes in the walls that lead to underfloor passages which you can spring out of to perform Silent Takedowns. These provide a brilliant way of getting from safe vantage points to floor-level, so look out for them. You have to press and hold the Grapple button to get into them. But be careful of your movements when you’re in those underfloor crawl-spaces: if you move too quickly, enemies will hear you. And even when you’re concealed, it pays to creep up on enemies from behind: they peer into the grates (and you can see which ones they’re looking into, as they are highlighted in red).
5. Check out new side-missions
Every time you’re presented with a new side-mission thread – like locating the missing firemen, investigating Firefly’s attacks on Gotham’s fire-stations or Two-Face’s bank robberies – it’s worth checking them out more or less at once. That’s because you’re pretty much guaranteed to get one – or more – Upgrade Points on completion of each side-mission, and those upgrades really help to smooth your progress through the main story.
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6. Look out for mines and drones in interior combat
The thugs you fight have two new weapons in their armoury. The first are sticky mines, which they will chuck to whatever vantage points they spot Batman occupying. They are easy to see, but sometimes you have to be extra-careful where you’re grappling to in the heat of battle. And they have also acquired machine-gun-equipped drones (called Boas). If you see them, take care to get close to their operators and hack them – you can then turn the tables and use them to temporarily stun enemies in the vicinity. Plus there’s a useful upgrade which lets you sabotage Boa drones so that when they spot you, they will electrocute their operators instead of firing at you.
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7. Look out for jack-in-the-boxes
In Panessa Studios, there are jack-in-the-boxes dotted around everywhere. Why not try chucking your Batarang at them, to see what happens. And the same applies to the little insect-like robots that you sometimes find crawling around the walls (for example, in the vicinity of the tunnel-construction site). Try the Remote Electrical Charge on them.
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8. Employ patience with the Cobra tanks
When taking on the Cobra tanks, which you must sneak up behind so you can shoot their exhausts, patience is the key. If they target you, come out of Battle Mode and accelerate away – and if they still have a target lock on you, hit the Afterburner. And when you get close up behind them, concentrate on targeting their exhausts with as much precision as possible (it sometimes helps to zoom in for that). That’s because it takes you a while to lock onto them.
9. Keep track in dual-combat
Arkham Knight adds several sequences in which Batman teams up with Nightwing and Robin to take down huge groups of thugs. Every so often, in those combat sequences, you’re given the chance to engage in dual-team takedowns, in which both characters participate – which are spectacular to behold, and well worth performing, since they bump up the XP you earn. But make sure you keep track: whenever you initiate a dual-team takedown, you will swap to the other character afterwards.
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10. Use tunnel walls
Stumped by seemingly insurmountable obstacles when driving through the myriad tunnels which have been installed underneath Gotham? They are easily avoided: just drive up the walls (and even onto the ceiling). Once you’ve run through a few of the Riddler’s tunnel-driving-based puzzles, you’ll get the technique down pat.
11. Hack everything
The hacking tool is way more useful than it has ever been: if you’re observant, you can find all sorts of objects to hack. Including robot arms, which startle nearby enemies, and power cells, which launch small electrical blasts when hacked. And the Disruptor can be used to sabotage weapon-crates, which groups of unarmed enemies will head towards when you take them on.
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12. Don’t forget the Moves List
In the Waynetech upgrade screen, the centre hexagon is entitled Moves List. While this doesn’t get you any upgrades, it can come in handy, since it tells you how to execute any new moves you’ve unlocked, handily grouped according to their type. Given that you’re bound to acquire some pretty complex moves (indeed, Arkham Knight’s control system is generally quite complex), it works as a very useful aide-memoire.
13. Switch to Battle Mode in tight spots
Much as we love the good old Batmobile, it’s pretty big and cumbersome and, frankly, handles a bit like a lorry. And there are times when you have to manoeuvre it with pinpoint precision. When such situations crop up, you should switch to Battle Mode as a matter of course. Although you can only move slowly in Battle Mode, you can strafe around crab-wise, with all the precision in the world. As you progress through the game, switching into Battle Mode for brief moments — even when you’re not taking on any drones — should become second nature. But there is one caveat: when you’re taking on the Cobra tanks (and therefore stealth is of the essence), be careful not to hit the accelerator when you’re still in Battle Mode, since that will fire your cannon and give away your whereabouts. And if you’re stuck in any puzzle-solving sequence involving the Batmobile, look for winch-points: remember that the winch can enable it to climb and descend walls.
See also: Xbox One vs Xbox 360
14. Eject into glides from the Batmobile
One of the Batmobile’s finest attributes is they elegant way in which you can exit it. At any point, you can eject straight from it into a glide. And if you find a ramp with a nice run-up, and hold down the Afterburner some serious speed, you can launch yourself incredibly high. That ability isn’t one which has much impact on gameplay, but it’s a damn cool thing to do.
15. Make the most of the Remote Electrical Charge
You get the Remote Electrical Charge pretty late in the game, so it’s worth remembering those points in the main story when you come across areas that you can only access by using it – in order to get your hands on Riddler Trophies, mainly. We’d suggest that once you’ve got it, you might want to head to Panessa Studios.