Batman: Arkham Knight
WB Games
(Xbox One, PS4, PC)

By Crispin Boyer

Gaming’s bat-suited badass returns in this final chapter of his blockbuster Arkham series, and this time he’s bringing his car. In fact, the Batmobile is integral to the gameplay. It transforms from an afterburner-powered pursuit vehicle—perfect for rapid commuting across sprawling Gotham City—to a cannon-equipped war machine that’s worth the horrendous gas mileage when Gotham becomes a battlefield. And this model is loaded: GPS navigation, forensic-analysis tools, street-racing gadgets, anti-thug deterrents—it’s essentially a Batcave on wheels. Don’t worry about remembering where you parked, either; the Batwing will swoop in to deploy the Batmobile in your vicinity.

Extra-vehicular activities include stealthy skulks through gang hideouts and the brutal hand-to-hand combat that defines the series. Batman works through his boyhood trauma by dismantling goon gangs and super-villain bosses organized by Scarecrow, the big cheese of this sequel’s bad guys. The new “Fear Takedown” maneuver lets you clear rooms quickly, taking out three targets in seconds, plus this time Batman has backup: Costumed allies Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman help out in hand-to-hand frays.

But even more than in the past installments, Arkham Knight is a battle of wits as well as fists. The “World’s Greatest Detective” has access to more crime-analysis gear on-the-go. His utility belt bristles with hardware—batarangs, a grappling-hook gun, explosive goo, etc.—that he can now launch mid-glide. It all makes for a more fluid, seamless experience that you can extend beyond the main story with an assortment of side missions and bonus challenges. Obsessive gamers might just spend their entire summer cruising around Gotham.

From the July/August 2015 issue of Penthouse