Batman: Arkham Knight, Life in the fast Wayne with PS4’s premier hero - Games Weekly

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight, Life in the fast Wayne with PS4’s premier hero

To nick the tagline of The Shawshank Redemption, “fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you fr…” never mind. You’ve just taken an almighty shellacking at the hands of the Dark Knight. Fear wins! In Arkham Knight, your favourite billionaire vigilante is more capable than ever of reducing the toughest of Scarecrow’s cronies into quivering scaredy cats. Enter Bats’ Fear Takedown which lets you kibosh multiple foes in a chain and an expanded suite of his class-leading melee moves. Be afraid, Gotham goons. Be very afraid.

It’s nice to be reminded of the Caped Crusader’s power to inject the heebie jeebies into the hearts of Gotham’s criminals. Try to hold your gasps, but Batman does actually feature in Arkham Knight. With the Batmobile stealing all the headlines when it comes to Rocksteady’s trilogy closer, it’s become too easy to lose focus on the dude in the cape and cowl.

Hey, it’s understandable. After all, we’ve been dreaming about taking the wheel of Wayne’s legendary ride ever since comics’ most famous car tried to make roadkill out of Bane in Arkham Asylum. But while the Batmobile is one hell of a nifty accessory, it’s ultimate presence is to service your crime-fighting needs, not steal the show.
“B-man’s Grapnel Boost is Buffed to help zip to the loftier rooftops.”
Like an Oscar winner demanding an extra dozen cubic zirconia be shoved into their awards season muffin basket, Batman’s motor is demanding. To successfully nail its implementation, Rocksteady has had to tailor every seedy Gotham block to its needs. That means wide, snaking roads, which then have a knock-on effect on the surrounding architecture; buildings are taller than ever before to help maintain the more spread out city’s sense of verticality. Continuing the domino effect, Bat’s Grapnel Boost has been buffed to help zip to these loftier rooftops quicker. Phew. 

Knight On The Tiles
Back to the gentleman dressed like a flying rat with horns, and Rocksteady’s classy combat model has been further beefed up. To maintain his deadly flow, Batman can hoist downed goons off the floor to keep combos ticking over. Fresh moves also let you dish out justice to groups of evildoers certain blows send foes toppling into others, causing a multi-man pile-up.

The Batmobile has absorbed its driver’s punchy DNA, too building combos unlocks homing missile finishers. Add in Rocksteady promising to deliver its most emotional and affecting story yet involving Two Face, Poison Ivy and more a bold claim considering that ending to Arkham City and Bat fever is running wild. Hurry up, June, we need our fix.

Bat to basics
Homing in on Gotham’s changes

You can’t just break out Fear Takedowns willy-nilly. They must first be charged up by performing Batman’s Silent Takedowns. Stealthy as she goes…

Unlike the Joker, the Arkham Knight is a nemesis who challenges Wayne’s brawn over brains. An expert fighter, he rocks gadgets to rival Batman’s.

As with melee combat, certain vehicular baddies can only be downed in specific ways. Some tanks need to be shot with the Batmobile’s grenade launcher.

Rocksteady really has a thing for size. Knight’s take on Gotham is five times bigger than city… uh, which was five times bigger than AA. Is bigger better?

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