Milo here, getting just as tired as you are of me writing these damn posts.
However, to spice things up (ooh! fragrant!), I thought I’d do a little RANKED post for ya, about video games this time, as well! Lucky you.
Put a gun to my head and a feather to my testicles and I’d probably say that the Batman: Arkham series of games would be my favourite of all time. As quite a big Batman fan myself, anything Batman related has my immediate attention, unless it’s something pointless, like Batman-themed travel mugs or tampons. Video games, however, I’m all for, especially when they’re good video games, and, boy, are these games goooooooooOOOOooooOoOoood.
A common trend in these games is that they all adopt the darker tone Batman has taken in the past decade or so, with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy being a primary influence. They also all have similar gameplay features, the most notable of which is the FreeFlow combat system, which I find to be one of my favourite aspects of the series. Others include the Detective Vision mechanic, contributing the factor of strategy in the games, and the grapple-hook/gliding combo for most of its traversal, especially in the bigger entries in the series. Wow! That sounded right good n’ proper di’n’it?
(Side note – I’m changing the weekly schedule for Talking Trailers to monthly rather than weekly, so I can build up a nice backlog of great trailers to talk about, matey)
Batman: Arkham Knight (Xbox One/PS4, 2015)
Don’t let its place here fool you, this is not a bad game. It’s actually, as IDubbbz would put it, “pretty good”. MEMES. ACCEPT ME. GIVE ME YOUR ACCEPTANCE. DON’T LET ME BECOME IRRELEVANT. That sickening bout of “eurgh” aside, Arkham Knight is far from a bad game and is a more than deserving sendoff for the franchise. Graphically, the game cannot be faulted in the slightest. As I said in my review, the ever present rain is so sharp and biting, that it’s a struggle not to be completely in awe on your first playthrough. Story-wise the game is no slouch either. Though it had a twist true Batman fans could see a mile off, it was compelling enough to keep me interested while kicking so much ass, I was reaching my gluteus maximum. PUN. However, we had the addition of the Batmobile to the series which, though useful as another method of transportation, took up the majority of the boss battles with its lacklustre vehicular combat system. This seemingly small problem severely skewed my view of the game.
Batman: Arkham Origins (Xbox 360/PS3, 2013)
After Batman shifted developers from Rocksteady to Warner Bros., the result was, frankly, quite a disappointment, considering the two masterpieces we had beforehand. That being said, however, after a lot of recovery and reconsideration, it wasn’t that bad. Aesthetically, I wouldn’t personally say it was my favourite looking game, as I thought the snow added a bit too much dreary, gothiness to it. In short, it looked like the set for some sort of Smashing Pumpkins tribute act’s music video. However, the gameplay really brought the game back up for me, as I found the combat to be just as sleek as the last two games with an added bit of chunkiness thanks to the Batster’s more padded look. On top of that, there were some great boss fights in the mix as well, with Deathstroke and Electrocutioner being favourites of mine. We won’t get into the story too deep though…
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3/Xbox 360, 2009)
The choice between this and my top pick was a torturous one, as I hold them both dearly to my black, crippled, souless, diseased, almost definitely unhealthy heart, and each have a place in my favourite games list (check the page, bellend). However, the whole point of these articles is two rank (clue’s in the name), so consider these RANKED, boii. I cannot flaw this game. Considering it was made in 2009, the graphics are surprisingly on point, with a lot of detail being added in the scenery which wasn’t really found to the same extent in the rest of the series. Add to that a beautiful gothic feel and you’ve got quite the eerie almost survival horror sort of thing, not dissimilar to the graphic novel of the same name. In it’s gameplay, Arkham Asylum was an innovator in the medium, with the aforementioned FreeFlow combat system being the main source of inspiration for a lot games today, Mad Max, Shadow Of Mordor etc. etc. If you, for some reason, have missed this out, I highly suggest you get the Return To Arkham tingaling, bundled with our final entry.
Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360/PS3, 2011)
What a game. WHAT a game. Oh my God. Probably what I’d call my favourite game, Arkham City is just as good as Asylum, but bigger and better. Leaving the Asylum for a less horror-inspired, more action-orientated experience, Arkham City itself has a more sordid tone about it, feeling more inspired by the graphic novel Joker. It’s a world chocka with things to do, collect, kick, punch and caress, and look oh so pretty while doing it. Gameplay-wise there wasn’t much difference from Asylum, bar the addition of a few more gadgets. However, there didn’t really need to be. I’ve gone on enough about how good the gameplay of Asylum was, so why change it? But the story, holy moly, the story. The story took the cake, drizzled it with an absolutely divine raspberry coulis, gave it back and popped on Come Dine With Me while you ate it. It was a story that kept me glued to the game for a solid month and a twist that kept my jaw dropped for another month. It was, and still is, a perfect game.
So that was that. Disagree? Too bad sucka.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations