Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox One, PS4, Windows

Batman Arkham Knight, possibly the final game in Rocksteady’s amazing trilogy, once again brings Batman out for one long night. The main villains this time around are Scarecrow (again), threatening to release his Fear gas across the whole city, and the Arkham Knight, a new villain, who is trying to take out Batman with his not-so-small army of tanks and drones.

Some of the series’ standard villains return: Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, and Harley Quinn. Some of the lesser, side-mission villains include: Firefly, Man-Bat, Deathstroke, Professor Pyg, Deacon Blackfire, and Hush.

The game takes place in Gotham City, and on Halloween, one year after the death of the Joker. Scarecrow has made threats against the city. He’s planning on releasing his Fear toxin by means of explosive devices littered around town. The city has since been evacuated, and all that’s left is the bad guys.

After a brief boss battle with Scarecrow early on, Batman finds himself trapped, trying to disable the Fear gas bombs in an enclosed chamber. He does this, knowingly risking his own health, and against the better judgment of dear ol’ Alfred. As a result of this event, Batman has directly exposed himself to the Scarecrow’s Fear toxin, and for the remainder of the game we now have our long-lost friend The Joker, in our brain. The story is that the Joker, before he died, injected Batman (and a few others) with his own blood. This, combined with the Scarecrow Fear toxins, has fully revived the Joker, but only in Batman’s head. This is the best part of the game. When continuing along with the rest of the story, it seems that whenever you turn around, Joker is waiting for you, and talking away. You can turn and face the other way, and he’ll follow.

The idea and technology behind this mechanic is awesome, as the Joker always seems to appear out of nowhere, and more than once startled me with his presence.


Like the previous Arkham games, the city is wide open. In this version of Gotham, the city is split into 3 islands. By wing, you can coast and fly to each one, but you’ll have to progress through the story to lower the bridges, so that the Batmobile can follow. As well, the story progression will see you come up against the main supervillains and the Arkham Knight himself, but there are plenty of other side missions to complete along the way. Each mission requiring a certain number of completed tasks before coming up against that specific side boss directly. With Firefly, you’ll need to extinguish burning buildings and rescue firefighters, Two-face is robbing banks, Penguin has bomb stashes that need to be destroyed, etc.

The Gotham City Police Department building plays a bigger role in this game as well. You’ll find yourself driving here a lot to meet with the Commissioner or other story characters. The interesting, and very cool part of this building is whenever you enter, you first have to walk through the convict holding cells, and as the night progress, watch them slowly fill up with the villains you capture. It’s just the nice little touches that Rocksteady adds to the game that make it amazing.

The Riddler is always around, this time with 250+ trophies littered around. Additionally, this time, he’s captured Catwoman, and you need to complete a number of races involving the Batmobile, and fight off waves of enemies to save her life.

This brings me to the two big additions to the game: the Batmobile, and Co-op fights.


The Batmobile is the best addition to the series. Bar none. This game was exclusively released for the next gen consoles, and PC in mind, with an upgraded engine and visuals. The map is big enough to justify the Batmobile, and it’s a blast to drive. It’s beefy, and can drive through walls or pillars, so when speeding down the seedy Gotham streets, not much will stop you. It can be called to your location on a whim, and it is spectacular to watch it drift into view, filling the game camera, highlighting the intricacies and sheer detail of the design as Batman leaps in. Furthermore, Batman can eject himself out of the seat and into full speed wing mode. The Batmobile has a tether cable to hold on to contextual object, or pull down walls or pull itself up walls, and it has a dual function Tank mode. In Tank mode, it can drive in any direction and has beefy artillery with a 360 degree view.  The Arkham Knight has an army of tanks at his disposal, so throughout the game, you’ll find yourself in these wars, completely outnumbered, but luckily not out-gunned. The Batmobile can also be controlled remotely, when within range, guns and all.

The second big addition to the series is the co-op combat fighting. Throughout the game you’ll be paired up with Robin, Nightwing, or Catwoman, to fight again a large group, or multiple waves of enemies. Both heroes are fighting simultaneously and it’s incredible to watch it play out so seamlessly. But, at any time, you can switch perspective to the other hero, and take full control as them. This also allows for two-on-one beat downs or co-op maneuver. You almost feel sorry for the bad guys at the end of the fight, as the moves are so perfectly brutal.


Rocksteady has done an amazing job of seeing this Batman trilogy through to a satisfying conclusion. This final effort is a beautiful game, and nearly perfect in every aspect. The standard villains are there sure, but this time around, some new faces get a shot in the spotlight. The addition of Harley Quinn as a main player in the story is also a huge boon for me, and the mind-job the Joker causes during the playthrough is still memorable.

As far as Batman games go, I don’t think this one can be topped.

Good for those that like all things Batman, Bats, Punching Bad Guys and Tanks


Achievement department has the standard affair: story related, completing all the necessary tasks for each side villain, collect the Joker trophies (nope!), AR challenges, and Tank battles. Nothing truly memorable though.

Notable Achievement:

The Real Deal (Takedown 20 moving cars without using the Batmobile) – 5G


IDL NEWS – Nintendo In Mourning, Kojima Productions Shuttering?

Back on form. Back to the news. Another Monday creeps around again.

Today we had some sad news reported, so we’ll touch on that first.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Has Passed Away
At the age of 55, the President and CEO of Nintendo has passed away, due to a bile duct growth that he had been battling for the last couple years. He passed away July 11th, 2015.

Iwata began his long tenure with Nintendo as a programmer in the 1980s, and can be credited to the success of Kirby.

Batman: Arkham Knight PC Woes and DLC
Warner Bros. Interactive have apologized to fans for the notorious PC problems and suspension of sales. They’ve issued full refunds to all those they’ve disappointed. They’ve also announced that the upcoming Batgirl DLC will be delayed on PC until further notice. The DLC will not be available until the main game is fixed.

Kojima Productions Has Disbanded
More sad news. The Japanese voice actor for Solid Snake, Akio Otsuka has confirmed the closure of Kojima Productions.

“Kojima Productions was forced to disband, but it appears that the work that the team has been putting their utmost effort into is nearly complete,”

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that I expect it will become their greatest masterpiece. I couldn’t help it. I just wanted to say ‘Kept you waiting, huh?’ (Laughs.) But even if this is the end, Metal Gear Solid is immortal!”

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set to release on September 1st, 2015.


I’m very much excited to play this, potentially last, game. And the closure of the studio has pretty much confirmed my next tattoo.

Over the next coming week I hope to play Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes some more to get reacquainted.

Very sad news about Iwata as well, today.

I’ve been playing, and wrapping up The Crew, as evidence by the review from earlier today. I also tried Massive Chalice and will be posting more about that on Wednesday. Titanfall has been a blast to step into again, and I’ve been plugging away at Batman: Arkham Knight. Further impressions on what I’ve been playing later this week.

Tomorrow is the new games and deals day.


IDL News – Xbox Ultimate Game Sale, WWE, and Mortal Kombat X

Summer. What is it good for?

Super Hero Movies? Bugs? Forest Fires? Encouragement to sit inside and play games, thanks to the Xbox Ultimate Summer Sale?

batgirl-720x720Batman Arkham Knight First DLC
Warner Bros
has announced that the first story driven DLC for Batman Arkham Knight will be Batgirl: A Matter of Family. Available on July 14th for season pass holders and a week later for the rest.

The DLC takes place after the events of the main game, and allows the players to play as Batgirl, in an all new location, and will include multiple missions, side quests and secrets.

Mortal Kombat X Updates
Warner Bros
has revealed new details regarding Mortal Kombat and its new updates. The Predator character will be made available tomorrow as part of a DLC bundle, which also includes 3 new skins: Commando Johnny, Infrared Scorpion and Carl Weathers as Jax. Available tomorrow for those who have the season pass, or $7.99 on July 14th.

Predator will be made available on his own on July 14th for $4.99.

Warner Bros also announced the Klassic Fatality Pack. For free. Four classic fatalities from Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonja and Johnny Cage.

WWE_2K16_FOB_AGNOSTIC_ENG-720x1018WWE 2K16’s Cover
has revealed today that the cover star for this year’s WWE game, will be Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Over the weekend, 2K had some problems with their digital WWE 2K15 as it was accidentally removed from the Xbox marketplace. Normally, no real problem, besides a potential loss of sales, but the removal caused the game to fail to start for all the current digital owners of the game. Issues lasted about 4 days.

Xbox’s Ultimate Game Sale
Microsoft has lifted the lid slightly, on its upcoming Xbox Ultimate Games Sale. The sale kicks off tomorrow, July 7.

The sale will discount over 70 different titles by 40-50 percent. Plus those with Xbox Live Gold will be able to save an additional 10%.

Featured titles on the Xbox One include: Mortal Kombat X, Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, among others

Featured titles on the Xbox 360 include: Injustice: Gods Among Us and The Orange Box. More info will be made available tomorrow.

Some news on my front:

Extra Life 2015 campaign is going strong. To date, the charity has raised almost $500,000 which is double what was raised by this time last year. The big day is coming up in November, so I’ll have new info leading into that. The Extra Life team has joined with Ubisoft to help promote Rainbow Six Siege. Starting July 1st, 2015, anyone who donates $6 or more will receive a Guaranteed Access code to the Rainbow Six Siege Closed Beta. Beta Starts Sept 24th. I’ll be adding more info the Extra Life page as the event draws closer.


Started my playthrough of Batman Arkham Knight this weekend past, and boy, is it incredible. Very streamlined with some minor changes. But it is gorgeous to look at and play. I only noticed slight stuttering when driving the Batmobile at a few intersections, but otherwise very smooth. I’ll be leaving my thorough first impressions on Thursday.


I’ve also been dabbling in Evolve and TitanFall again. Now that TitanFall has been added to the EA Access subscription, it’s received some new life. And I’ve completed The Crew’s campaign so I’ll be writing a review for that in the near future.

Tomorrow is new games and news, when we get to see the first batch of games in the Xbox Summer Sale.

Stay tuned.


WHAT iM PLAYING – The Crew, BADLAND, Destiny, and Splinter Cell Blacklist

In The Crew, I recently reached the West Coast, and I’m starting to get the impression I’m nearing the end of the story mode. Certainly feels like it’s leading up to a climactic showdown. Not that the game is anywhere small, quite the opposite actually, but the story mode itself seems somewhat minimalistic.

Luckily, across the map, all the race types and missions can replayed to earn more money or a better score. And there’s the multiplayer and faction missions as well. Faction missions alone can be anywhere between 10 minutes long, to 4 hours. A couple weeks ago I posted a Twitch timelapse of a 1hr race.


So, obviously there’s a lot of replayability to the game, and I’ll continue to plug through the challenges to acquire the achievements. It’ll be my dedicated racer, I think, for a while. Maybe until Need for Speed comes out.

Badland GoTY has been a lot of fun to play solo and Co-op. I’ve noticed though, that the missions are very similar across the two modes, with a few minor differences for some of the puzzles. So not any variety. But more than enough content.

The game is, by far, the most fun when in co-op, watching the hundreds of flappy monsters explode against the blades and spikes. Especially when the map’s modifiers all come into effect: when you have dozens of clones, smashing through physics objects in slow motion. It even has the slow motion sound effect for added value.

I’m also nearing the end of the campaign in Splinter Cell Blacklist. The game is really showcasing its action sequences near the end, stealth be damned. There’s still the stealth options, but the game gives us 3 options to take on each mission, whichever play style suits us best.

The campaign aside, the side missions also show lots of variations to the gameplay, whether they be straight up stealth & eliminate, or wave based survival missions, the game has a lot of replay options. Also an option is to reply past missions for better score, or completing different gameplay challenges.

Lastly up is Destiny, and The House of Wolves expansion. The story is still very much the same as the campaign, relegated to voice-over, and not even worth listening to. There are some new enemy variants, and some of the missions introduce some new areas and platforming elements.

The game also introduced a new social hub, and two new multiplayer modes and a modification to the free roam social events, as they introduce new boss encounters.

The multiplayer modes are the Temple of Osiris, and Prison of Elders. Prison of Elders is the new 3 player Player vs Everything, wave based game mode. 3 waves, 5 rounds, each round mixing up the arena and round specific challenge.

Reviews for all 4 are around the corner as they’re getting wrapped up.

I’m still slowly plugging through Assassin’s Creed IV, and Far Cry 4. I do need to wrap up one of these games, or move on, before I open up Shadow of Mordor. That being said though, Batman Arkham Knight will be in my hands next week, and I might just lose myself completely in that.

I wouldn’t mind playing through Metal gear Solid: Ground Zeroes a few more times before V is released in September – so I might have to dust that off.

Also simmering on the back-burners are Battlefield Hardline, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, Contrast, and State of Decay, which I COMPLETELY forgot about – I wonder if all my companions are dead? I heard the game runs in a slower real-time mode when it’s not being actively played. As it’s been 2 months.

Last up, almost forgot, Tomb Raider and the Temple of Osiris, I’m currently playing in co-op, on the odd occasion. More impressions of that next week.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with some news about July’s Free Games with Gold and their new model, and hopefully a review for this weekend, plus Achievement of the Week, eee!


IDL NEWS – PC Woes – Batman Arkham Knight Recommended Settings

Today in the news there’s tears coming out of the PC camp as Batman Arkham Knight PC edition burned up in the atmosphere as its launch reached Earth. Also some Destiny stuff.

Bungie’s Plan for Timed Exclusives and The Taken King
Bungie has confirm that it will be releasing the extra content, originally restricted to the Playstation consoles once the Sony timed-exclusive expires later this year. This will bring a couple of extra strike missions and new exotic  to the Xbox this Fall. The strike will include the original version and a new refreshed version included with The Taken King.

The Taken King is released on September 15th, and will be available as a collector’s edition for $40, or for those who already own Destiny and the two expansion packs will now be able to pick up the content for $20


I guess it’s coming soon?

Batman-Arkham-Knight-Dev-Reveals-More-About-Main-Villain-s-Identity-457611-2Can Rocksteady Solve The Riddle of Batman’s PC Problems
Rocksteady had acknowledged the problems with the PC release of Batman Arkham Knight, and stated that they’re working with the graphics teams and NVIDIA and AMD. AMD GPU’s can expect hitches and stuttering and for the game to be run off an SSD harddrive. No timeframe for the patch.

Recommended Hardware Specs: XBox One or PS4

Warner Bros has since suspended sales of the troubled PC game until the issues have resolved, and are pointing fans towards the Steam Return Policy if they’re upset and want a refund.

I’ve nearly completed Badland and will have a review up shortly, and will be the feature of The Achievement of the Week, played in solo, and co-op, and I’m still playing The Crew and Splinter Cell BlacklistSplinter Cell being wrapped up shortly as well. Fingers crossed. More on these tomorrow, plus a round up of all the games I’m playing.

Yesterday I discussed a little more about E3 and some highlights from the show, notably Rise of the Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid V, Dues Ex Mankind Divided and Dishonored. I’ll be writing some of these over the weekend for next week.

November 7th, I’ll be participating in a 24 hour video game marathon to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Network. The event is Extra Life.

“Play Games. Heal Kids”

I participated last year, and I’m happy to be doing it again. I stream the whole event through Twitch as well. I’ve included a link on the main bar as well to highlight the event.

Tomorrow I’ll be going into more detail on my current queue of games, and discuss the reviews coming around the corner.