Same Bat-time Same Bat channel

Ever since the humble beginnings of the home console, video games and comics have co-existed with the earliest being Atari 2600’s classic Superman 2600. Since then, we’ve journeyed to the farthest reaches of our imagination with nearly every hero (and villain) under the sun. Many of these games were based in the traditional hero mythos while others took us to entirely new storylines.

**For those of you who haven’t played yet, this is your exit because this post is dark and full of SPOILERS. You have been warned**

In Batman: Arkam Knight, Rocksteady’s third undertaking with the Batman franchise, we revisit Gotham City, home of the caped crusader Batman and our favorite criminal mastermind The Joker. Returning to Gotham are mainstays Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, the beloved voice actors behind Batman and Joker. Conroy and Hamill, who first took on their iconic roles in Batman: The Animated Series (1992), continue to amaze with their performances.

In Batman: Arkam Knight, we join Batman as he struggles to reclaim Gotham from the Scarecrow and his ally, The Arkham Knight. There was a lot of buzz about this game being the last in the series for Rocksteady and they were very hush-hush about the details surrounding this game. When details were revealed about the antagonists and plot, we were introduced to the character of The Arkham Knight- a character that was described by Rocksteady as a “completely original character” created in conjunction with DC. Fans of The Batman, myself included, got excited, because while we all love Batman’s gallery of Rogues we have seen them in many of DC’s animated features, TV, and even the upcoming DC feature film, Suicide Squad. But someone NEW, now there was something interesting. Something I could sink my teeth into.

There are three main plots in this game: the main story with the Scarecrow, the mysterious identity of The Arkham Knight, and the Fight Club-esque struggle between Batman and Joker. While the main story with the Scarecrow was great and all, the real champion is the unique struggle between The Bat and The Joker. Yes, we’ve seen Bats fight the Joker before, but never has it been made so interactive and delightfully deranged. As the game begins, we open on the Commish burning Joker’s dead body to a crisp. It’s made abundantly clear that the Joker is dead and that this game will focus on whatever power vacuum that has been left in Gotham since his passing. About a quarter of the way in Batman seems to be sacrificing himself for the survival of Gotham, while Alfred protests over comm that you won’t make it and pleads that you abandon the mission; however, as we all know, the mission is everything so Bats keeps going. As he almost completes the task he is stopped by *GASP* the Clown Prince of Crime himself The Joker!

I had to stop for a second, drink some water, and do a spit take followed by much incredulous profanity coming forth from my mouth. It was that crazy of a reveal. The Joker seems to have somehow implanted himself firmly in Batman’s psyche. So while you are zipping around Gotham via Batclaw or Batmobile completing story/side missions, The Joker is there to comment on your every action and slowly usurping control over Batman’s body. While this is going on you have Scarecrow and Arkham Knight, this “brand new character” wreaking havoc on Gotham. And this is where my main gripe with this game is: the Arkham Knight’s identity.

If you preordered the game, which is another rant for another article, you get some side missions involving Harley Quinn and the Red Hood. That immediately took away my suspicions on Jason Todd being the AK. Because you think, oh they have a Red Hood story mission so he can’t be AK. As the game progresses though it is made more apparent that the AK is Jason Todd so when the reveal finally happens you are left disappointed and dissatisfied because you believed Rocksteady’s odious lie of their “brand new” character. Technically it is a “new” character but it’s really more a fresh coat of paint on a character that might be making an appearance in the DCU films sometime in the future. I’d hate to think that this was all an elaborate setup to get people familiar with Jason Todd so that it’s an easier introduction to the character down the road. Don’t get me wrong, the game is fantastic and I can take up much more space than I’m allowed to discuss it. But the fact that this “new” character wasn’t new at all left me wanting them to have kept the Arkham Knight to themselves.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments.

Written by | Roberto Preciado

Roberto Preciado serves as a contributing writer for the Heroic Universe.

  • Brett

    Agree with the author, that shit was such a lie.