I’m tapping out
I’m done with Batman: Arkham Knight. I have to be.
After wrapping up the main storyline, which ends strong and is worth experiencing first-hand, I went after those pesky side missions. The Perfect Crime (serial killer), Creature of the Night, and Heir to the Cowl quests were satisfying. Following vans, finding firemen, and fighting the controls while attempting to fight hordes of men (some big, some armed, some electric, some healers, some shielded, all together in one room) was less satisfying. But I did it — even the relentless Militia stuff.
96 percent. Only one loose end.
In my personal Arkham Knight story, Batman saved the day but also had a hand in wrecking Gotham with his unruly tank driving and aiming. The place might as well be abandoned, uninhabitable as it now is. He was going to save Catwoman from the Riddler — honest! — but got too caught up with punching bad men in the streets and fueling the local health care industry.
I thought that maybe if I powered through the Riddler missions, it wouldn’t be so bad. I took a break from the game and came back optimistic. The forced underground Batmobile races weren’t unbearable — at least they were engaging — but after a point I wondered if the definition of a riddle had changed and no one told me. Catwoman says as much. She also suggests, upon finally losing her explosive Saw necklace, that Batman should leave the Riddler and call it a night. After completing just over 20 percent of the open-world riddles, I agree. Dude can rot outside of prison.
I loved Arkham Asylum and liked Arkham City. I didn’t bother with Arkham Origins. I leave Arkham Knight liking the game, overall, and not hating it (which is almost certainly what would have happened had I forced myself to attain full completion). I’ve seen the slightly-longer true ending on YouTube and, as others might have suggested, it’s not worth the extra effort.
In reflecting on this, I have to wonder what kind of game Rocksteady would have come up with had it lost all of its work toward the end of development and started over. What would be the same? What would be cut? I like to think Arkham Knight would be far less bloated. Maybe even respectful.