Now before I even begin I want to warn you about two things. First of all there will be spoilers in this journal. Second I'm probably not going to say something that someone else hasn't already touched upon so don't expect me to say anything new. I just want to post my own thoughts on the game.
I know the game has been out for awhile but for a ton of different reasons in my life I only just finished it a few days ago.
Let me start by saying this game is fun but it's not the best of the series. While I think it's better then Arkham Asylum, it's inferior to Arkham City and Arkham Origins.
First my criticisms.......
That God. Damn. Car. It was fun at first, really it was. But after the first hour or so the bat mobile become such a freaking chore. You spend so much time in this car that at times you can forget you're playing a batman game. I've mentioned this in past reviews but I don't like it when video games mix genres. If I'm playing a Zelda game I don't want to have stealth sequences and if I'm playing a Batman game I don't want it to turn into a racing game. You spend waaaaaaay to much time in that car.
My next criticism of this game is the Arkham Knight identity. It's Jason Todd. That's not a shock. I think most people suspected this before they even played the game. I suspected it too but I remembered that Rocksteady said that the AK would be an original character and I chose to believe them. So I started playing the game wondering the whole time who the AK would be. Theres the problem though, the game NEVER gave us any suspects, not even red herrings. Then towards the end of the game, after having never been given any suspects, when Batman started reflecting on Jason Todd for no reason whatsoever it became impossible to deny any longer who the AK was. There was literally no one else he could be. It was very disappointing. I myself really enjoy masked man mysteries so the fact that the AK never became that was very disappointing.
Finally, the game has no real boss battles. A trend I've been seeing in games in general more and more these days. The only boss battle in the whole game is a lackluster fight with the AK at the end of the game but you don't even really fight him. You just need to sneak up on him a few times and that makes him retreat. The other boss battles where in the bat mobile and you already know how I feel about that. Even Scarecrow, the main bad guy in the game, is beaten in a cinematic scene. I repeat. YOU NEVER ACTUALLY FIGHT SCARECROW. Again, this was a disappointment. Heck, when you beat the Joker towards then end that's basically just a QTE event as well. You don't fight him, you just need to tap the appropriate buttons. Just one disappointment after another.
My biggest complaint of the game is the story. The story just fizzles with me. It's just another "final batman" story where he fakes his death at the end and goes underground. Nothing we haven't seen a million times. There was one moment in the game that shocked me to my core. Scarecrow drives batgirl to shoot herself in the head with his fear gas. I was legitimately shocked. I'm not saying I agreed with this development but it still shocked me more then anything has in a long time. Forgive the pun but it blew me away. That is until we get to the end of the game and find out it was all a trick and that Batgirl was still alive. For awhile there I thought this game had some balls but in the end it chickened out.
Finally, there just isn't as much to do in this game as there was in Arkham City. Much less.
Now for the good.......
Deapite it's flaws the game is very fun, there's no denying that. The combat is extremely satisfying. FLYING around Gotham City looking for things to do is also a blast and unlike the car, never gets old. The car, as negative as I am about it can be fun at times. Mostly when your cruising around in it and not when you have an objective with it.
The voice acting is also superb. Some of the best I've ever heard. Once again Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamiill turn in some excellent performances.
Now the best part of this game, and I admit I may be obviously biased, was the use of the Joker in the game. All my other criticisms aside I think this may be the best joker story ever told. That's right; ever. As some of you know the Joker died at the end of Arkham city. Well he returns in Arkham Knight. Not by anything as predictable as a simple Ressurection but as something much more clever. Through a combination of the Jokers blood and an overdose of fear gas the joker manifests as a hallucination/multiple personality within Batman's head. He follows you throughout the game whispering in your ear and trying to manipulate your actions. Trying to take over Batman completely to make him the new joker. In the end this makes Batman's final battle with the Joker a spiritual One as opposed to just punching each other till one or both of them dies. I really think that while this game was a weak final Batman story, it was an excellent final Joker story.
On a fetishy note. The story involved some hard core Jokerization which I enjoyed tremendously.
Now some theories. I don't think that the Joker was just a figment of Batman's imagination. I think, somehow, that Batman had somehow become joined with the Joker's soul. I don't have any real proof to back up my theory besides this. The Joker in Batmans mind seemed to know things that Batman didn't. How could a figment of Batman's imagination know things he didn't? Maybe I'm crazy but that's what I think.
Also, I don't think Batman died at the end. While Bruce may be willing to blow himself up there's no way in hell he'd also blow up Alfred. No way. I think he went underground and then either sought out a successor to be the new Batman or he found a way to be Batman again. An even sneakier and underground Batman. Using the urban legend surrounding his apparent death to fuel his legend further and make him even scarier. The "ghost" of Batman haunting the streets of Gotham. Even if that wasn't it, by faking his own death he could bring back the Batman and give people reasons to believe that there was someone new behind the mask. Since he got outed as Bruce Wayne he definitely needed to reinvent the Batman somewhat so that he could still do his work.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Sorry if I talked your ear off.