Fans of the Arkham games will already be aware of the way the combat system has been significantly tweaked and improved over the course of the series. For this fourth episode the combat has evolved yet again and in a most dramatic and exciting fashion.
For the first time in an Arkham game, player’s will be able to take part in battles with two characters fighting side by side at the same time. Creating the system was, no doubt, a very complex process but the results are incredibly slick allowing players to simply switch between characters at will with no break in the action. Add to that the collaboration with NVIDIA and the result for players with a set-up powered by GeForce is an immersive game world that throws you right into the thick of super-smooth, seamless combat. More on that later though. First a little background.
Bat Business As Usual?
Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater Rocksteady has stuck to the same basic combat mechanics we’ve seen evolve through the previous games. In solo combat Batman can perform stealth kills, flying kicks, counter-attacks, single, double and triple takedowns and so on and so forth. So the brutal, crunching combat you all loved before is very much present in Arkham Knight. However, the threat to the Caped Crusader is far greater in this chapter so the developers have created within the story arc situations in which Batman’s story crosses with that of various bat-chums and they are able to team up to fight otherwise insurmountable challenges.
Who’s Up For a Fight?
Robin – Robin’s real name is Tim Drake. After witnessing the deaths of the Flying Grayson’s (the parents of Dick Grayson, the original Robin) he managed to figure out the secret identities of Batman and Robin (now going under the name of Nightwing) and persuaded them to train him to become the new Robin. His abilities are similar to those of the Batman with the difference that he is an expert in the use of the Bo Staff and Shurikens.
Nightwing – The original Robin, Dick Grayson now fights crime in the guise of Nightwing, a vigilante hero in his own right and sometime ally of the Batman. As the former Robin he is, of course, and acrobatic fighter and an expert in martial arts but his approach to combat is subtly different to either Batman or Robin. Knighting has no cape and therefore no glide kick manoeuvre. Instead he ounces on his enemies thudding down onto them from any available vantage points. He also has his own version of the Batarang (a Wing-Ding) and fights close up with Escrima Sticks.
Catwoman – Selina Kyle, like Bruce Wayne was an orphan but with none of the privilege of Wayne’s wealth she learned how to survive on the streets of Gotham as a thief and picking up impressive martial arts skills along the way. Her motives can be ambiguous making her a sometime enemy and sometime ally of the Batman. She is a far faster combatant than the others relying on gymnastic abilities. Because of her speed she relies less on counter attacks. She also use her claws to great effect as well as her whip to take out multiple foes..
How Dual Play Combat Works
When one of these other three playable characters enter the story arc it’s quite possible to just let them play out their scenes without any instruction from the player. Indeed, in combat it’s perfectly possible for you simply to play as the Batman and leave your allies under AI control to fight alongside you automatically. But where’s the fun in that? This is where it gets very clever. You can also switch seamlessly to another character with no break in the action whatsoever, at which point Batman will fall under AI control and continue in his own battles. More clever still is that fact that at any point, if you see the other character having trouble, or even initiating a particular tasty takedown that you would like a piece of you can switch between them effectively setting up and executing a cooperative takedown in one fluid, unbroken movement. It’s this complex and sophisticated combat system that really sets Arkham Knight apart from the previous games in the series.
Complexity of the kind found in Arkham Knight’s combat system means you need to be at the top of your game and when you’re in the thick of a bruising battle you don’t want to be compromised by screen stuttering and pesky input lag. Fortunately such problems are less problematic on PCs equipped with a GTX series GPU and virtually eliminated should you opt to finally treat yourself to that swanky new G-SYNC-ready monitor you’ve been cheekily eyeing up.
For a limited time, purchasing a new qualifying NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card will get you a free copy of Batman: Arkham Knight.