It's been just under three years since Arkham Knight, the final chapter in Rocksteady's award-winning series, was released, and it's left me wanting. The series started with the incredibleasilo arkhamfor Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, which focused on Batman trying to take back Arkham Asylum after the Joker took over. the second gamearkham citytook place several years after the first, when Gotham City cordoned off much of the waterfront and named it Arkham City; this game was also released for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 but near the end of its run. The final installment came with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 releases,arkham knight🇧🇷 This latest installment focused on Batman as he tries to thwart the plans of the Scarecrow, who has rallied his enemies to destroy Gotham City and kill Batman once and for all.
Before we dive into why these games are so awesome, let's go over the plot of each one...
*This post will contain massive spoilers for the Arkham game series. They've been on the air for at least three years, so I don't feel guilty about spoilers*
The game begins with Batman capturing Joker after a failed attempt to break into City Hall. When Batman leaves the Joker on Arkham Island, he wonders why the Joker allowed himself to be captured so easily. With the help of Harley Quinn and some rogue guards, Joker breaks free of his restraints and begins his rampage through the prison with Batman hot on his trail. The Joker calls in with bomb threats at various locations across Gotham and says that he will detonate the bombs if anyone sets foot on the island, forcing Batman himself to bring order across the island. Joker frees several members of Batman's rogues gallery, including: Bane, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Zsasz before disappearing saying he was setting up his "party". Batman defeats and captures each of these thugs, as his idea of the Joker's plan remains a mystery. After discovering a secret production facility for a drug called "Titan", which was developed by a doctor named Penelope Young; Batman discovers that Joker has secretly funded his research to obtain the formula in order to create an army of super-powered minions. When Young refused to hand over the formula to Mr. White (the pseudonym the Joker was using to fund his research), the Joker was forced to return to Arkham to extract the formula from himself.
The Joker eventually obtains batches of the Titan's complete formula and kills Dr. Young in the process, forcing Batman to seek Poison Ivy's help in creating an antidote. Ivy explains that the spore needed to contain Agent Titan is found only in Killer Croc's lair deep within the Asylum. After obtaining the spores and defeating Croc, Batman ventures to one of his satellite bat caves, located on Arkham Island, to make an antidote. Ivy attacks with her mutated plants and Batman is forced to fight her, eventually winning and destroying the plants responsible for making Titan. The Joker announces that his group is ready to receive guests and when Batman arrives, he discovers that the Joker has captured Jim Gordon and intends to inject him with Titan. Batman jumps in front of Gordon taking the Titan-filled dart and saving Jim. While Batman resists the change, Joker gets angry and takes an overdose of Titan transforming himself into a giant monster. Batman defeats Joker and brings order to the asylum. In the post-credits scene, Scarecrow is seen floating in a Titan shipping container towards Gotham Harbor.
This game starts several years after completion ofAsilo Arkham,Bruce Wayne arrives at a press conference outside the gates of Arkham City to protest his creation. He is ambushed by TYGER guards and the press conference is cut short as he, along with Jack Ryder, is trapped in Arkham City. Hugo Strange, the Guardian of Arkham City, explains to Bruce that he knows he is Batman, but will keep the information to himself for now. Bruce defeats the Penguin and a few thugs before climbing to the top of the ACE Chemicals building and retrieving his Batsuit that was air-dropped from the Batwing. While donning the Bat Suit, Strange communicates over the PA system in Arkham City, saying, "Protocol 10 will begin in 10 hours."
Bruce deduces that if anyone knows what's going on in Arkham City, it would be Catwoman, but he overheard some TYGER guards saying that Two-Face had captured her. He saves Catwoman from Two-Face's clutches and then stops the Joker from killing her with a mechanical sniper rifle. He tracks Joker to the Sionis Steel Mill and infiltrates the factory to find him. In his search for the Joker, he saves several doctors who tell him that the Joker is unwell and is forcing them to try and save his life. Batman discovers the Joker's lair and is knocked unconscious by Harley Quinn. He wakes up to find Joker transfusing some of his blood into Batman and afflicting him with the same devastating disease Joker has. Joker suffers massive cellular degradation as a result of the Titan serum he took on the island to kill Batman. He also tells Batman that he has been sending his blood to area hospitals for weeks now, infecting as many people as possible in hopes that this will force Batman to find a cure. Batman asks if this is "Protocol 10", to which Joker responds that he has no idea what Batman is talking about.
Upon leaving the Mill, Batman searches for Mr. Freeze, who was also imprisoned in Arkham City. He tracks Freeze to the old GCPD building, where Freeze has set up his own lab. As he infiltrates the building, it becomes clear that Penguin has kidnapped Freeze for his own entertainment. Batman arrives at the old museum the Penguin uses as a hideout and discovers Freeze and his suit, but Freeze's gun is gone. As Batman goes in search of Freeze's weapon, Freeze returns to his lab to begin work on a cure. Batman confronts Penguin, who is using Freeze's gun, and defeats him, but in his rage, Penguin detonates the floor of his room, causing Batman to fall into a chamber housing Solomon Grundy. Batman defeats Grundy and returns Freeze's technology to him in the former GCPD. Freeze tells Batman that he managed to create a cure, but due to his instability, he becomes useless. Batman hypothesizes that Ra's Al Ghul's restorative properties in his blood would make the cure stable, and sets out to find him by tracking down one of his agents. He battles Ra's and his daughter Talia before obtaining the blood sample he needs to complete the cure. When Freeze finishes the cure, he fights Batman to find his wife's location, believing Batman knows where she is. After Batman defeats him, they open the vault and discover that Harley Quinn has stolen the cure. Batman returns to the Windmill and finds a fully restored Joker and tries to kill him.
As they fight, Strange activates Protocol 10, which is revealed to be the eradication of Arkham City to destroy Gotham's criminal element. Talia arrives and offers Joker the use of the Lazarus Pit to save Batman's life, Joker accepts and leaves Batman in the wreckage of the steel mill. Batman wants to go after Talia to save her from her eventual betrayal by the Joker, but Alfred and the Oracle refuse, stating that Batman is needed to save the people of Arkham City. Batman climbs Wonder Tower (the tower in the center of Arkham City that serves as Strange's headquarters) and confronts Strange. When Ra's Al Ghul is revealed to be the mastermind behind Arkham City, he kills Strange for his failure. Ra's and Batman fight once more, and Ra's is defeated again. To avoid the dishonor of being taken alive, Ra's commits suicide and Batman is contacted by the Joker to go to the Monarch theater alone or he will kill Talia. When Batman arrives, Talia confesses that she stole Harley's cure and stabs Joker in the chest. He is then shot by another Joker and still dies from the disease. The impaled Joker is revealed to be Clayface trying to kill Batman before being defeated using Freeze technology. Batman drinks some of the cure leaving enough for someone else and destroys the Lazarus Pit located under the theater before the Joker can use it. Joker stabs Batman in the side, causing Batman to drop the vial of the cure, which lands on the ground. As the Joker slowly succumbs to the disease, Batman admits that despite everything the Joker has done and everyone he has killed and injured, he still would have saved him. Joker dies laughing at a joke only he understands, leaving Batman alone in the destroyed theater. Batman removes the Joker's body from Arkham City and places it on the hood of a squad car before disappearing into the night without a word.
Although not produced by Rocksteady,Original Arkhamis still part of the Arkham storyline that takes place 5 years before the events ofAsilo Arkham.It centers on Black Mask hitting Batman on Christmas Eve for $50 million. This lures several known crooks to Gotham to collect the bounty, crooks include: Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bane, Copperhead, Killer Croc, Firefly, Electrocutioner, and Lady Shiva. Over the course of the night, Batman confronts and defeats several of the Rogues until the Joker is finally revealed as the mastermind of it all. Bane discovers Batman's secret identity and nearly kills Alfred by breaking into and destroying the Batcave. It also marks the point in Batman's career where he realized he couldn't do the job alone. Though he was initially against it, Captain Gordon eventually reaches out and helps Batman when the Joker takes control of Blackgate Prison. Batman and the police work together to restore order to the prison and Batman is forced to stop Bane's heart and restart it again to save the Joker. Bane suffers amnesia after his near-death experience, securing Batman's secret identity and angering the Joker. Batman stops the Joker instead of killing him and leaves it up to the Gotham Police and Captain Gordon to find him. This marks the beginning of the professional relationship between Gordon and Batman, as well as the rivalry between Joker and Batman. Gordon is promoted to Commissioner for his role in securing the prison, but keeps Batman's involvement a secret. In the credits, there is a radio interview with Gotham Mayor Quincy Sharp, where he states that he intends to reopen Arkham Asylum to help some of the most dangerous criminals.
The third (technically fourth) and final entry in Rocksteady's award-winning series isarkham knight🇧🇷 On the Halloween that follows the events in Arkham City, Scarecrow sets his plan in motion to destroy Gotham City and kill the Bat for good. He has developed a new fear toxin that he tests on a restaurant full of innocent people and spreads it across Gotham. He gives the people of Gotham 12 hours to evacuate the city before dispersing the toxin. With the city deserted save for Batman and his allies, along with a few remaining cops, the city's criminals are on the loose. Batman tracks Scarecrow to Chinatown and finds an imprisoned Poison Ivy who refused to go along with Scarecrow and the other Rogues' plot for Gotham. Batman frees Ivy, who says she will gladly take her in to protect her from the Scarecrow. After taking Ivy to the GCPD, Batman meets Oracle in the clock tower where, with his help, he identifies the location of Scarecrow's toxin production plant as Ace Chemicals. 🇧🇷 When Batman breaks into the factory, he is confronted by the Arkham Knight and his well-armed militia. Scarecrow turned Ace Chemicals into a toxin bomb, with a potential blast radius of the entire East Coast of the United States, and told Batman that he had captured the Oracle from the Clock Tower before fleeing the facility with the Knight's help. Batman defuses the bomb, but not before exposing himself to a large dose of fear toxin. Due to the Joker's remaining infused blood in his system and the massive dose of toxin, Batman begins hallucinating the Joker all over the city and interacting with him. As explained earlier, during the events ofarkham city, Batman is infected by the Joker's poisoned blood. Along with Batman, who hid his infection from others, 4 other patients were blood poisoned before all infected blood was accounted for. The infected patients are slowly transforming into the Joker, and the endgame is multiple Jokers running around Gotham. Later, Robin is shown to have all the other victims in a containment room below Panasa Studios where he is working on a cure.
As Batman escapes the destroyed plant, he speaks with the Commissioner and informs Gordon that the Oracle has been kidnapped by Scarecrow. Gordon is angry that Barbara stayed in Gotham to help Batman and sets out on her own to hunt Scarecrow. Batman discovers that Scarecrow manipulated Simon Stagg, a wealthy businessman, into coercing him into creating and deploying Cloudburst. The Cloudburst allowed the fear toxin to be so massively dispersed into the air that it would cover the entire planet in a matter of weeks. Stagg owns and operates his company with two aircraft docked in the financial district of Gotham City. As Batman storms these airships, he is forced to fight the Knights' private militia who have taken control of the tethered stations. Finally, Batman once again confronts Scarecrow only to once again receive a massive dose of fear toxin. This new dose allows the Joker to temporarily take control of Batman's mind and body. As Batman struggles to regain control of his body, the Arkham Knight and Scarecrow steal the Cloudburst from right under his nose. Once he recovers, Batman tracks Scarecrow to his Chinatown hideout and arrives to find the Oracle trapped in a hermetically sealed chamber. Before he can rescue her, the chamber fills with fear toxin, and the Oracle apparently commits suicide out of fear.
Harley Quinn takes over the Panasa Studios cave and releases the Joker patients into the studio in an attempt to free them. Batman and Robin must work together along with one of the remaining patients, Henry Adams, who is helping them in the containment room. When Batman and Robin capture all the patients and Quinn herself, they return to the room to find that Henry has killed all the other patients. Henry then commits suicide stating that Batman will become the perfect Joker. When Robin turns to see Batman's glowing green eyes, he attempts to subdue and imprison Batman in one of the room's research chambers. Batman easily counters Robin and imprisons him in the room, stating that he will not stop until Scarecrow is stopped. Elsewhere in Gotham, the Knight activates Cloudburst and covers all of Gotham City in Fear Toxin. Batman manages to destroy the Cloudburst and convinces the captured Ivy to use a giant tree hidden under Gotham to filter the toxin from the air and save the city. Ivy manages to save the town, but the effort results in her death. Batman manages to track the Knight to a construction site in the Financial District, where the Knight has taken the captured Commissioner Gordon. Batman arrives to rescue Gordon and is confronted by the Knight, who is revealed to be Jason Todd. Jason Todd was the second Robin who was apparently killed by the Joker many years ago in an attempt to break the Bat. It is later revealed that the Joker did not immediately kill Todd, but actually tortured him for months, destroying Todd's psyche and deeply traumatizing him. Blaming Batman for his torture and subsequent near-death experience, Todd sided with the Scarecrow in an effort to make Bruce feel the pain and helplessness he felt at the Joker's hands all those years ago. When Batman tries to reason with Todd and even offers to help him recover from what happened to him, Todd refuses and runs away. Batman frees the Commissioner and the two climb to the roof to confront Scarecrow. It is revealed that Scarecrow has the Oracle alive and well, his previous suicide being a hallucination brought on by the Joker's toxin and fear control, allowing Batman and the Commissioner to save her. While Batman saves Oracle, Scarecrow captures Commissioner Gordon and escapes. Batman and Oracle return to the GCPD, which is then overrun by Arkham Knight militia forces. Batman dodges the GCPD's attack, but in the scuffle, Scarecrow uses the distraction to overpower and kidnap Robin as well.
Scarecrow offers to release Gordon and Robin unharmed if Batman surrenders to him without a fight. Believing his surrender is the only way to ensure everyone's safety, Batman surrenders. They knocked him out and took him to the ruins of Arkham Asylum, where it all began, and tied him to a table before his identity was revealed on live television. Scarecrow then injects Batman with another massive dose of fear toxin, which allows the Joker to fight for control of Batman's mind and body. As the two fight inside Batman's mind, Joker recounts all the horrible things he has done in an effort to throw Batman off balance and allow him to take over. Bruce not only resists, but he manages to discover what the Joker fears most in the world, being forgotten. He fights the Joker in his mind, eventually winning him over and trapping him deep within his psyche to be forgotten for the rest of time. As Scarecrow watches Bruce struggle with the toxin, he is enraged that Batman keeps finding a way to win and tries to inject him again. Jason Todd, now using his Red Hood alias, arrives at the crumbling asylum and frees Batman, who then injects Scarecrow with his own fear toxin.
Batman then finishes cleaning up the city and makes sure it is safe for returning citizens. After clearing the city and capturing all of its bandits, he activates the "Knightfall Protocol". When she returns to Wayne Manor, the paparazzi are all over the property, yelling questions at her from the other side of the fence. Batman enters the mansion and when the door closes, the house explodes and catches fire, presumably killing Bruce and Alfred. In the epilogue, James Gordon, now Mayor of Gotham, rushes to the church to attend his daughter Barbara/Oracle's wedding to Robin/Tim Drake. In another part of town, a young couple and their son walk down an alley to avoid the rain and are accosted by assailants. Before the thieves can get away with it, they are mugged by a silhouette that resembles a Batman nightmare.
WHAT MAKES THEM AMAZING
I'll be the first to say that most superhero games suck. Seriously, pure garbage. Every now and then you'll get some cool nuggets like Marvel Ultimate Alliance or Spider-Man: Web of Shadows; but, for the most part, they tend to be mediocre. The main problem with superhero games is that they always tend to be tied to some other movie or TV property, which severely inhibits the stories that can be told. The multi-film tie-in games work well enough to drive sales and increase the film's success, but lack any substance on their own. Rocksteady changed that formula.
The big change that Rocksteady had was that they brought in renowned comic book writer Paul Dini to create a 100% original story that would take place in their universe. Drawing heavily from several of his other works, Dini delivered a dark and gritty story that focused on Batman himself and how close he is to teetering on the edge. It wasn't until the final game.caballero arkham,that we really get to see what a Batman is like as he slowly loses control of everything around him. There are several quotes from DC Comics that detail Bruce Wayne/Batman's obsessive need to control as much as he can. Dini took that obsessive streak and showed us exactly what it would be like to watch a man the rest of the world believes has all the answers, struggling to maintain his grip on a reality that is slowly slipping away from him. It was a stark contrast to the invincible superhero most people know. He doubts himself, he is wrong, he questions his quest, and even in the end he loses; all of these things happen over the span of three games and really show how human Batman really is.
The story isn't the only part of the series that really convinced most fans, it was the gameplay. You can make a game with an amazing story that really captures everything you need, but if the game can't keep up with the demands that the story needs, you'll end up with a product that doesn't sell. Rocksteady wanted to focus on aspects of the Batman character that make him so frightening, such as his combat skills, detective work, and stealth. They were derived to show the game from Batman's point of view, while still having the NPCs react to his actions and not feel like you are an all-powerful, invincible being. Entering a room with 10 enemies is quite a challenge because, as I said before, they react to your actions. Take one out and let another see you? They will group together and operate as a team, making it harder to catch them off guard. They will also work to remove your perks like destroying vents with grenades or destroying gargoyles to keep you down. That, along with the incredible combat mechanics, gave us a series that delivered two outstanding games for Game of the Year. The combat mechanic uses counterattacks along with combination chaining devices that make it easier to defeat enemies. As the story difficulties increase, the combat becomes more difficult and you lose the visible notifier for pressing the counter button. However, one of the best aspects of the games is the detective vision. This is a view mode that you can switch to at any time to highlight enemies and interactive objects in the environment. Add a whole new level to planning your moves to clear a group of enemies from a room or try to find your way out of some tricky places. It is also used during those moments in the game where, in order to progress through the story, you must use your detective skills to follow the evidence and draw conclusions.
Rocksteady's Arkham series featured an overarching and engaging story that has really only been seen in AAA game studios. They brought us a cohesive narrative complete with gameplay that helped restore faith in the superhero game genre. Batman has been one of the easiest heroes to create in games based on his style and abilities. There have been many attempts to make a great Batman game, but none of them have been able to hold a candle to the Rocksteady series. Personally, I loved the entire series and own every game on Xbox 360 and stripped down Xbox One versions. I logged more hours on this series than I probably did on Skyrim, which puts playability in perspective, serial play. There have been rumors that Rocksteady is working on another superhero game, but so far they've kept tight tabs on who they introduce, but the most popular theory is Superman or Green Arrow. There was also another rumor that an additional game would be added to the Arkham series before Arkham City but after Arkham Asylum. It was supposed to feature the dynamic duo with Robin as a 100% playable character. Not much has been said about it and rumors have died down recently about anything remotely related to this "new Arkham game". I know that while I don't think this series needs another installment, if they released another game, I would DEFINITELY be one of the first people to pick it up. I highly recommend anyone who likes adventure games with a great story to check out this series; You don't even have to be a Batman fan to like the game, Rocksteady does a great job explaining everything so that even those who don't know Batman or his history can follow the story. That said, they fill the game with Easter eggs and little nods so that even a seasoned Bat fan like myself will still find amazing little nods to various other characters throughout the series. I would give this game series a rating of9,0/10For all the reasons listed above and the amount of fun you'll have playing, as I said before, I highly recommend this series!