Arkham Knight hides an absolutely brilliant storytelling tool amid the punching
I’m sorry. I need to talk about this a bit because it continues to blow me away. If you haven’t played the game yet I’d suggest just stopping on this sentence and going no further. I’m serious, I’ll be talking about things that you want to experience organically. Are you still here? No, they are gone? Alright close the door we don’t want them hearing anything. A fair way into the game you’ll find yourself in a clocktower. Batman starts hallucinating (something he’ll be doing quite frequently in this game) and you’ll find yourself in a scene from the killing joke.
Here I am as Batman standing in a room where I can’t interact with anything. I’m pressing X next to everything and nothing is working. Shit, I think, I’m stuck the game is broken. And then I start looking around. Each time I pan things change, the world slowly filtering back to reality. A flash pan later, that I controlled, and I’m back in the clock tower. The way this game handles spawning and scene changes via camera movements is absolutely stunning. Say what you will about the game as a whole (personally I’m loving it) but this stuff is blowing my mind.
The hallucinations that spawn as you turn your camera and vanish just as quickly. Rooms shifting each time you look, sometimes subtly, other times extremely. It’s all so fluid and organic. This is the most impressive mechanic I’ve seen in a game in years. It’s strange that such an amazing thing is hiding in a Batman game. I wonder if it is getting as much credit as it should be. I’m sure other games have done something similar and I seem to recall experiencing this before, but the level of detail and the quality of it are far beyond what I’m used to.
Everything feels so natural, every transition is so slick that it unsettles me. Which I think is beautiful given that the main villain is the Scarecrow. Each time I play the game I feel a twinge of discomfort and am reminded why I like Rocksteady so much.