It's been a good long while, so I had forgotten how goddamn slick these Rocksteady Batman games could be. It's a little bit miraculous when you think about it.
You take the scope of, say, an Assassin's Creed II. You combine it with the pace and fluidity of the Uncharted games. You add a dash of the best 3D combat system in any video game ever. You add functional, creative stealth.
And that's not even the real reason why the Arkham series is so good.
The real reason is this: Rocksteady takes all of the above — all that meat and potatoes — and puts it together into a broth that somehow feels authentically 'Batman'. The attention to detail. Damn.
Man, I wish all video games had this level of detail. In every aspect of its being.
Yes: I am loving Batman: Arkham Knight. It's an easy thing to enjoy. In a lot of ways its a perfectly fluid video game that is close-to-flawless.
If you're playing on PlayStation 4.
In that sense, it's almost a shame that the borked PC launch of this game has detracted from what really is a spectacular achievement in large-scale video game development. This is a game that takes the solid foundation built over the past two Rocksteady Batman games, bravely adds a brand new kettle of fish with the Batmobile and somehow manages to make it work as perfectly as every other part of the game.
Man, I really, really like Batman: Arkham Knight. That word: fluidity. That's the key. It just moves so seamlessly from combat, to traversal, to driving, to investigation, to every single aspect of what it is to feel like Batman — and does it with such a brazen confidence. Urgh. It's almost sickening.
It does the little things right, it does the grand, overarching things right. It does everything right.
Stop Batman. Just stop.
Goddamn. I wasn't expecting to like this game so much.
I guess if the game has one flaw it's this: the weird feeling that you never really leave the 'tutorial' section. It's a feeling I've always had with the Batman series: that you're constantly being introduced with new ways to solve problems instead of being left alone with your existing set of tools — ala Metroid Prime — and given the freedom to experiment.
This game man. This game.