For the most part, I have played the Arkham games right as they came out with the exception being Arkham Origins. I wasn’t really playing video games at the time and by the time I picked them back up, it wasn’t available on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Eventually, it was added to the list of games that were backwards compatible with Xbox One, but on disc only and even a used copy is quite expensive now. It is also available on PlayStation Now, but I wasn’t interested in that service. Once I had a gaming PC, I decided to finally play Arkham Origins.
Overall, I liked the game. I know it wasn’t as well received as the other titles, but I am glad I played it. I think because it was developed by WB Montreal and not Rocksteady, that is where the issues some people have with it. I don’t understand that, since overall, it is very similar in gameplay to the other three Arkham games. It got me thinking though, all four Arkham games are really similar to each other. By the time Arkham Knight rolled around, the formula was kind of tired and played out. With WB Montreal working on the upcoming Gotham Knights game, I am hoping they break from the formula some.
Rocksteady developed the “Arkham formula” with their first Batman game, Arkham Asylum. By the “Arkham formula”, I mean the combat system combined with the use of gadgets. They weren’t the first studio to make a game like that, but it felt organic. The formula was then applied to their subsequent Arkham games and the Middle Earth shadow games. Also in the formula is a unique movement system in an open world. For their time, these games were all solid titles. That being said, going back to them they feel a bit cumbersome and dated.
With 2018’s Spider-Man game, Insomniac Games took this formula and really refined it. The combat system in which the main character builds up a hit combo streak, leaping from goon to goon and pummeling them while using gadgets is much smoother than it was in the Arkham games. The movement system in Spider-Man is also much more refined. I understand Batman can’t climb a wall like Spider-Man can, but moving from building to building feels more natural in Spider-Man than it does in the Arkham games. The stealth in Spider-Man is also much more advanced. In the Arkham games, Batman can only go in certain spots and stealth take downs are limited. Again, I know Batman doesn’t have the superpowers Spider-Man has, but the stealth systems were so limited. It’s like Insomniac took the rough stone and polished it.
Hopefully with more characters, we have more diverse gameplay.
I am hoping with Gotham Knights, WB Montreal has taken these system updates into account and made the leap to more advanced movement and combat. My hope is that with the four different characters, and them having weapons, we get different move sets and it’s not just a bunch of punching. I want to sit different move combos with light and heavy attacks, and better gadget integration. With improved gadget mechanics, I also want a gear system similar to Destiny or The Division where you can improve the performance of a skill or stat. Ideally, I would like a tiered gear system. I would also like to see the stealth system improved where you can use gadgets to take down enemies.
In addition, I hope each character is distinctly different in their move sets and capabilities. In addition, I hope the movement system is enhanced some. I noticed in Arkham Origins that there were a lot of things I felt like I should be able to vault over but when I tried I would do a dive roll instead. Also, when you use the grappling hook to zip to a building, I feel like you should always be able to grab ahold of the ledge. The movement sysetm in the Arkham games is alright, but it could be a lot better.
I am excited for Gotham Knights. I think the cast of characters each bring their own flavor to the series. Hopefully, WB Montreal took the existing combat, stealth and movement systems and really enhanced them. From everything we have seen so far, Gotham Knights looks incredible and I can’t wait to play it!