Whelp, Arkham Knight is out. I wanted to start Arkham Asylum a few weeks before the launch of AK. I knew that once the game was out, comparisons would be unavoidable, and I wanted Arkham Asylum to stand on its own for a few episodesSo we ended up comparing it to Arkham City for 6 episodes. We tried..
Mumbles brings up the subject of Joker’s taunting not being annoying. Like Mumbles, I thought it was a lot of fun. Like GlaDOS and Handsome JackYour mileage may vary., it’s fun to hear from a well-acted, cleverly-written foe. Their taunting is a reward for progress.
But the other side of that coin is that there’s nothing that sucks all the joy out of a videogame quite like a dumb adversary. If we define a spectrum with GlaDOS on the high end and Kai Leng on the bottom, then Arkham Knight falls on the very low end of the spectrum. He’s much too similar to Kai Leng for my taste. He’s got the same voice actorThe amazingly talented Troy Baker, who I don’t blame for this., the same “jackass high school punk calling you a cheater when he loses in Counter-Strike” delivery, a “trying too hard to be cool” costumeTo be fair, Batman is probably guilty of this, too., the ability to poof in and out of the scene at the whim of the writers without regard to reason or means, and the same super-power where he makes you fight like a complete dumbass in cutscenes. Arkham Knight is just a milder version of the same horrible approach to motivating the player.
His lines are repetitive, pestering, and not particularly clever. But while he’s annoying, I just can’t work up the energy to hate him more than the main villain, the Batmobile. (See my Twitter feed for my four-day rant about that.)
At the fifteen minute mark I try to describe using the takedowns with the mouse and keyboard controls. I was just guessing and I’m sure I got the details all wrong. On the controller, the upper-right buttonsY+B for Xbox, Triangle+Circle for Playstation. does an instant-knockout while the upper leftY+X or Triangle+Square. buttons will disarm a foe and destroy their weapon. These pairs fit nicely under your thumb so you can hit both buttons cleanly. It’s not so nice on the keyboard. Worse, your left hand is already doing WASD for movement and now you’ll need to put some of those fingers to work hitting attack buttons. I don’t think this is a case of bad porting; I honestly have no idea how you could improve on what we have. This is just a game that was designed for a controller in the same way that Civilization is designed for a mouse, and using a different input system is unavoidably going to be an awkward compromise.
In case it’s not clear: I’m really enjoying this season.
 So we ended up comparing it to Arkham City for 6 episodes. We tried.
 Your mileage may vary.
 The amazingly talented Troy Baker, who I don’t blame for this.
 To be fair, Batman is probably guilty of this, too.
 Y+B for Xbox, Triangle+Circle for Playstation.
 Y+X or Triangle+Square.