AzureAzule gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
AzureAzule gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.

  • Recommended +1

  • Open-world

  • Simple combos (attacks) including use of gadgets

  • Familiar characters

  • Slight RPG elements

  • Auto-saves, never lose much progress

  • Different levels of difficulty and plenty of challenges
I haven’t had very many reasons to get a PS4, but I’m really loving the fact that some of the games I wanted to play have come to Steam. Batman: Arkham Knight is one of those games. I had played the Arkham series before on the PS3 and really enjoyed them. Arkham Knight was very similar, yet very different. This was the first time you could actually drive the Batmobile around. It was an exciting addition that made the game feel a little more like GTA. The story, which I won’t spoil, was good, or at least I think so. When I reached the conclusion, I was surprised, but realized that I really didn’t know everything about Batman.

The series started with Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is actually pretty much an open-world game. Batman caught the Joker after he escaped the asylum. Batman brings him back, but quickly finds out that this was Joker’s plan all along. Joker has been working on something (again not going to spoil). He has a party to throw and Batman is the guest of honor. It still takes some time and game play to get to that point. As Batman, you traverse the asylum and fight the bad guys. Combat is pretty simple and good. There are a variety of combos you can do even ones that include the use of your gadgets. Speaking of gadgets, Batman gets access to his wonderful tools, although he doesn’t have all of them right away. You’ll end up with all of them by the time you finish the game though, and your going to need them for a variety of reasons.

There are plenty of familiar characters in Arkham Asylum such as Poison Ivy, Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, and Commissioner Gordon. It doesn’t include all the characters as no game in the series does, but it still has plenty of them. There’s also plenty to do. There’s regular combat, where you get into a fist fight with a group of bad guys, but there’s also a stealth element to it. There are times, you’ll find, that it’s better to hide in the shadows and take out enemies quietly one by one. This is often the case when fighting bad guys with guns. That’s one thing I like about Batman, he doesn’t use guns.

Batman does have a limited amount of health, there’s also a bit of an RPG element, in that he levels up and gets access to different things such as more protection against guns and new combos. The game auto saves and that’s just fine. When you die, you start over from when the game last saved, which is often when you enter or exit a building and other times. You never go too far into the game and lose tons of progress because of death. The game also has a few difficulty settings and there are extra challenges. Many of the extra challenges are played outside the main story part of the game and are also DLC.

One of the most interesting parts of the series is that Riddler has hidden trophies or other secrets around the map. In the asylum, you’ll find trophies, tapes of interviews with patients, and even spider-like statues that cover the history of the asylum. You can also find maps that reveal the approximate location of trophies, but you still have to look for them. Some trophies cannot be obtained until you’ve gained access to a certain gadget, for instance some require that you have the bat claw, or explosive gel. They can be kind of tricky to find at times, while some are pretty much out in plain sight.

While Batman: Arkham City is the second game in the series, it’s the first I was aware of and played. A friend let me borrow it and I enjoyed it so much I bought it and the other two in the series. Back then there were only three games in the series. Arkham City was really fun and bigger than Arkham Asylum. Basically, a large part of Gotham City was turned into Arkham City, a place that contains Gotham’s criminals. In the beginning when you’re introduced to the game, you find out that psychiatrist Hugo Strange has created this city and has captured Bruce Wayne and thrown him in. He knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. You get to do a little bit as Bruce, but soon after entering, Alfred helps you out by sending you your Bat suit.

Arkham City is very much like Arkham Asylum, so if you liked the first game, I’m sure you’ll like the second (and third and fourth). There are new characters, like Hugo Strange, and the Mad Hatter among very many others. One new change is that you can also play as Catwoman, which is cool. She has her own skill tree to level up and her own weapons and combos. She has teamed up with Batman and takes over for him from time to time. Once you get to a certain point in the game, you can visit certain places on some roof tops in order to switch between characters. The story will have you switch at times, but eventually you’ll want to switch as some of Riddler’s trophies are specifically for Catwoman to collect. In fact, if Batman touches one, Riddler warns you that that trophy isn’t for you. Batman’s trophies are green while Catwoman’s are purple (I think).

Another really cool thing about Arkham City is the ability to change Batman’s suit. My personal favorite is the 1970’s Batman, but you can also use the suits from Batman Beyond, Dark Knight, and others. Arkham City pretty much has everything Arkham Asylum had, just more of it and a bigger map.

Batman: Arkham Origins is next and is actually a pre-quel to Arkham Asylum. Each game in the series takes place during a single day. Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve, so you’ll notice Christmas music and themes around. Here you meet Joker for the first time. You start off by investigating what’s going on in Black Gate Prison where Black Mask has escaped and taken over the prison. This game is also very much like it’s predecessors, but includes some cool new features and a bigger map (I think). One of the new features is the ability to fast travel to different parts of the map. You can’t do this immediately, you have to take down Comm stations before you get access to fast travel via the Bat Wing. There are no Riddler trophies, instead you have to collect data packs Riddler has that are spread around Gotham City. These data packs contain files of incriminating information about different people. He also has security cameras set up around the map which you can destroy with a Batarang.

All four games are incredibly similar, but different enough to stand out on their own. While I think Arkham Asylum is good, it’s not my favorite. After I played Arkham Knight on Steam, I decided to get the other three games on Steam as well. Now I’ve played through the first three of them at least twice, some perhaps thrice.

If you like Batman, I strongly suggest you play these games. They are good and they’re also cheap now. I played with a controller and would recommend that as well.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 05/31/2018 at 02:32am

I have Arkham Asylum and the next game in my Steam library and I haven't played much more than the original demo on the PS3, which I enjoyed. This is partly why I've limited myself to 5 game purchases this year because I have so many amazing games in my backlog yet to play.

Travis   Admin wrote on 05/31/2018 at 02:37am

The Arkham games are all great. Origins is definitely the weak link, but it was also outsourced and doesn't have the same voice actors. It's still fun though.

I felt like Arkham Knight really put too much focus on Batmobile combat and the Riddler trophies were just .... there were way too many to be fun to collect them. But still, it's probably my number two behind Arkham City.

AzureAzule   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 05/31/2018 at 02:37am

LOL Well you can't go wrong w/ the Arkham series! I think I mentioned in my post that Arkham Asylum is "ok" in my opinion, but the series gets better, especially w/ Arkham City and Arkham Knight.

I understand, I have games that I either haven't played or haven't played much because I don't want to. I want something specific, I think, something deeply engaging, something to capture my heart, like Ark, Minecraft, and Terraria have done. Being a full-time gamer, it really sucks when you have no idea what to play.

AzureAzule   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 05/31/2018 at 02:41am

Travis, I agree with you about Origins. I did play it thrice, I think. I'm just not a fan of Christmas and this one was based on Christmas Eve. I liked being able to fast travel. I really loved Arkham Knight though, I don't quite agree w/ you there. I don't recall the trophies very much at the moment. I think I already wrote a review here for Arkham Knight, but I recently played the other three again, so I thought I'd write a review for the series. I also wanted to leave positive reviews for them on Steam, since I recently bought them (for a second time) on Steam (first time was on PS3).

Oh and I do recommend using a controller, though I don't know how they play w/ KB/M, I just felt that the controller was just right.

Travis   Admin wrote on 05/31/2018 at 03:01am

You seemed to agree with me before! :)

Travis   Admin wrote on 05/31/2018 at 03:02am

Again I adore the game, those two things I mention are minor.

AzureAzule   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 05/31/2018 at 03:19am

Ah, so I did. I just don't remember them very well because I haven't played it since I wrote that. In general (across all games in the series) the Riddler "trophies" were sometimes fun, cool, and sometimes frustrating. Arkham Asylum was cool, because it contained maps that just brought up that "?" on the map, but didn't tell you exactly how to find it. Arkham City did a really good job w/ them (I think). I wasn't so impressed w/ the one for Arkham Origins. Yeah I like the series and have very few complaints about it.

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