I’m a casual comic book fan. It’s not that I don’t like comics, it’s just that I’m either watching various films or better yet, playing video games. I’ve read a few major comics here and there such as Watchman, Preacher, a couple volumes of The Walking Dead and Batman: The Long Halloween. But when I played Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, the game changed the way I look at comic books and its characters as a whole. I missed a few opportunities to play the action-adventure title when it first lunched. When I got my hands on Arkham Asylum months later, I knew the game was something special. Developer Rocksteady Studios released Arkham City in 2011, adding new gampley elements and an open-world for Batman to explore. With that, my love for the Arkham games only grew.
With Arkham Knight just released, Rocksteady’s action-adventure has come to a close. So with that in mind, here are the seven great moments and elements of the series thus far:
1. Combat/Detective mode
The combat in the series is top notch. Countering enemies left and right, using take-downs, and performing aerial attacks made me feel like The Dark Knight. Having the various gadgets such as the Batarang and the Explosive Gel always added to the experience. Batman is the world’s greatest detective and having this gameplay element to solve puzzles and unlock new areas really stood out.
2. Arkham Asylum’s Environment
Seriously, how could anyone not enjoy exploring the surroundings of the first game. Metroidvania-inspired, I loved going back and forth between environments, finding new items to use and unlocking new areas. What was even better is the fact that each section of Asylum looked completely from the rest.
3. Killer Croc Battle
While this battle wasn’t necessarily difficult, it was definitely one the most enjoyable. Avoiding Croc as he darted in and out the water was intense and having to aim the Batarang at his head as he spirited towards me, left me at the edge of my seat. Not only that, but using the Explosive Gel (like many other times) to take out the ground beneath him was satisfying.
The hallucination sequences, brought on by The Scarecrow, were definitively bizarre to say the least. The game’s color pallet was heightened and gameplay turned into a side-scroller. While these sequences were short, they were a nice change of pace to the rest of the game.
5. Arkham City’s Open World
Arkham Asylum was critically acclaimed, but Arkham City took it up a notch. Having an open-world Arkham for batman to explore was absolutely perfect and was what the series needed. The game had a tone of side missions as well, some even dealing with the more famous villains.
6. Mr. Freeze Battle
Looking back I really enjoyed this battle, but at the time I hated it. During the battle with Freeze, the game forces you to utilize five of the moves in your arsenal and while that sounds simple, it’s not. After using a single move, it can’t be used again. Failed attempts were a constant and anger was increasing by the second. This boss was definitely the most difficult of the entire game.
7. Clayface Battle
Just when I thought I killed The Joker, I realized I was wrong. In fact it wasn’t The Joker, but rather Clayface. This enemy had a few tactics that were difficult to avoid, such as his stretch jabs, his swinging scythes and his rolling ball form. While a decently long battle, defeating Clayface not only meant a satisfying victory, but the completion of the whole game.