Place your bets people! I take on all comers.
I’m not exactly a gamblin’ man, but if I were, I’d pretty much mortgage my house and put the chips on Batman: Arkham Knight winning the Game of the Year upon its release this October! While some would call it a foolish proposition to stamp a guarantee on ANYTHING in the games industry (as things can turn on a dime), I’m calling this one a sure things. Jack Nicholson played The Joker in the epic version directed by Tim Burton back in ’89, but allow me to quote another well-known line from A Few Good Men that I feel is apropos: “…roll the dice and taken your chances!” Oh I am Jack…I am.
Some of you bat-fans out there probably don’t need to read the rest of this article to convince you. Like me, you see Arkham Knight as just another in the string of love letters Rocksteady has written to our favorite franchise. But like the Mad Hatter, I can have you skeptics dancing along to my tune in no time. Not with mind-control or any means of trickery that is, but through sheer force of excitement!
So follow me down the rabbit hole if you will…
Fact #1 – The Storytelling:
One of the things that resonated most with Batman fans when the first Arkham game came out was its familiarity. Seeing a tale weaved around the same actors from the ‘90s Animated Series (like Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and other veterans) instantly rooted the story in something we remembered. Now, with Knight intended to wrap up the story of Arkham City, I can only image what kind of intriguing and interesting plots and sub-plots we’re in store for! After all, the Scarecrow does hope to send Gotham out with a bang!
Fact #2 – The Next-Gen Graphics:
I’m sure there are those purists who will take this out of context, but I don’t care. Graphics can sometimes make or break a game. While both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City looked great on the 360 and PlayStation 3, the next-gen hopes to up the ante by crafting one of the most fun game worlds ever explored. And I’m not talking about just in the Arkham series; I said ever! I’m putting it right up there with GTA’s San Andreas. Gotham looks to be five times the size or previous versions and includes a sweet level of polish that only the next-gen systems can bring. It will also be great to see what is brought to the table regarding the Predator-Combat system as well.
Fact #3 – The Presentation:
While some might suggest that presentation is just an extension of the above two points, allow me to disagree. I’ve played other games that have a great script, but simply don’t deliver in the excitement department. On the opposite side of that coin, some games raise the bar for their genres regarding the play mechanics (Need for Speed is a good example), but don’t deliver a compelling hook (thus leaving you uninterested in coming back after it’s become old hat). I can honestly say that, when playing any Arkham game, I feel like Batman. With the myriads of gadgets, costumes and crime-scene detection tools (or just whaling away on the bad guys), Rocksteady put me inside the world. I have no doubts they’ll do the same with Arkham Knight.
So perhaps you’re not as convinced as I am by this point, but my resolve remains firm. If you’d like to join me at the tables in Vegas when the Game of the Year award is announced, I’d be glad to take your money. I’d also like to dispel any thoughts of biasness on my part, as just because a game has the word Arkham slapped on it, doesn’t mean I drool all over it (I’m looking at your Arkham Origins).
Now where did I leave that “I believe in Bruce Wayne” sign?