I just did a review, and to do that review, I wanted to be as objective as I could. That’s only fair. But now I get a chance to be unobjective, and that is what I want to be, because I am SO annoyed at this game. After how good Arkham City was, having dark and bittersweet elements that actually added so much character to everyone involved in the story, this feels like the ultimate slap in the face. I’m about to spoil the shit out of the third act of this game, by the way, so if you are so eager to see it for yourself, don’t read on. Fuck this game.
For starters, the reveal of the Arkham Knight was such a let-down! It didn’t help that they basically made it clear who he was going to be earlier. I mean, showing his entire story with the Joker?! Come on! Not to mention, the Red Hood story’s been done! Why take all this potential with a NEW character and then just flush it down the fucking drain with an old one?! You could have had Damian Wayne, or Anarky. Part of me was hoping to see Anarky again in this game. There were so many interesting twists that could have been done with this character. Have some cool backstory. But no. Instead, they go the cliche route. It was almost too much to stomach. My interest in this game died the instant I saw that the Knight was revealed to be Jason Todd. All that wasted potential.
Speaking of – why does nothing bad happen in this game?! Am I the only one who is frustrated?! Everything turns out okay! Batman saves the day! Sure, his identity is revealed, but that’s alright! Not one person has a problem with it. Because he sure is such a hero, isn’t he?! Ugh! First, Oracle’s alive! But uh-oh, Robin was kidnapped! I wonder what will happen to him? It’s such a fucking mystery. Then, they have this bit where they go into Bruce’s mind and you see his final struggle with the Joker. Because that isn’t old hat at all. For real, it was like the final showdown between the Dark Prince and the Prince in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. I hated that ending too. Is there a single game that is willing to bump up the darkness? Is there a single game that is willing to admit that sometimes not everything turns out okay? I wouldn’t be so mad right now if it weren’t for the fact that the entire fucking game basically just goes – don’t you worry, audience. You’re Batman. Batman never loses in any way. Except in that last game, where he actually lost in a lot of ways. Let’s pretend that didn’t happen! Perhaps I should have seen it with the game’s marketing. That whole “Be the Bat” crap. Annoying…
Perhaps you think that I’m overthinking this. But the last game did this so well! It showed that there was darkness to this character. Batman had some qualities about himself that were bad, and he was willing to do bad things to achieve his goals. He had a dark kind of kinship with the Joker, where, in his final moments, the two share a joke. That was good! This was not. This was the ultimate – don’t worry, everybody. We won’t be going back there again. Bittersweet? This is the end of the franchise! We have to end on a high note, right?! You an end on a high note, yet still have the ending at least acknowledge that shit can happen. But nobody died. Nobody even has lasting damage. The Arkham Knight even becomes a good guy. Hooray!
My expectations were so high with this game. The final game, where Scarecrow invites everybody to a meeting.. I expected this game to have the full monty of cast. Show us some old favorites, and introduce us to new people. It would be bigger, more dangerous.
Which brings me to my last problem – why the fuck is the Challenge Mode gone?! That is such bullshit! I could honestly weather how bad this game is, if I at least had that. If I had the Challenge Mode, where I could have some fights and whatnot. I downloaded the Harley Quinn and Red Hood DLC, and part of me thought that that would mean that we get to see them in the Challenge Mode. I was even more excited when I saw that Red Hood has guns! I can kill people?! Sign me up! A cool look and everything, this was an awesome character! So why can’t I play with him and Harley in Challenge Mode?! Why on Earth was something that basic not in your fucking game?! Oh, right, so you could have “AR Simulations”, which let you drive around with the Batmobile and other dumb shit. All the wasted potential.
This game’s story is bad, and thanks to the lack of Challenge Mode, the replayability is next to nil. If you like the way all this turned out, fine. Good on you. For real, like what you do and don’t let naysayers like me bother you. But I am so disappointed. So much about this game disappointed me, and now it’s too late. Fuck it. I’ll have this vision of the perfect game in the back of my mind, and part of me will always hope that, someday, I’ll see it.
Until next time, a quote,
“Well, here’s the thing. Answers don’t give you everlasting satisfaction, sometimes you have to brace yourself for disappointment. Now think about it. Imagine your favorite TV show. You’ve been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences, and then: BANG! They tell you what it’s all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?” -Joker, Batman: Arkham City