Lately few new games have caught my attention. The exception being Civilization VI that I will eventually purchase for sure. I have come to enjoy these “lows” (in a strictly subjective sense) as they give me the chance to catch up a bit on the better games in the backlog. I used the last weeks to immerse myself in the now classic Braid and the infamous PC-version of Batman: Arkham City. I also spent some prime time with friends and family playing Doom, Trackmania Turbo and Fifa 17, but I have talked enough about those so let us focus on the former two games today.
Once more I am almost at a loss for words about how good this game is, and then I did have high expectations after adoring the The Witness earlier this year. If not the entire development team, at least lead developer Jonathan Blow worked on both. Most of you might have finished Braid years ago and I too gave it a shot at its PS3-release. At the time I saw some cleverness but was not as impressed as most media outlets and did not progress far with it. This time I started over with the PC-version and perhaps with more determination from my experiences from The Witness. The space-time-manipulation puzzles in conjunction with the story really struck a chord with me, on occasion on the level of The Witness. Also the graphics, soundtrack, controls and sense of detail are all great. I will not bother to 100% the game but am more than satisfied by the 5-6 hour “standard” experience. These games are for me personally on a higher level than 99% of the other games out there, the craftsmanship is magnificent, and you should all (if you have not already) give them a go.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Considering that Rocksteady’s Batman-games have been among my favorites since introduced I really held on long before attempting the final (?) entry in the Arkham Trilogy. It has of course to do with the release debacle about horrific framerate on the PC which made me wait for a substantial sale before buying. The first game in the series, Arkham Asylum, is still my favourite due to it’s intimacy, but Arkham City is almost as great while Arkham Origins (by a different developer, hence not included in the “main trilogy”) was worse where it truly matters but worked, in hindsight, surprisingly well on PC for me. There are two more games I have not yet bothered with, Origins-tie-in-game Blackgate (in my backlog) and Arkham VR. Still, Arkham Knight would be the pompous ending in some sense and where it matters the most (e.g. design, controls, sound, challenge) it is so far excellent and “AAA” when it is at its best! However, Knight will probably not reach Asylum/City-levels. There is a significant focus on the bat-mobile/tank, even to the extent that the controls I got used to during hundreds of hours of Asylum/City no longer functions the same way. It is a nuisance, just as the game’s inability to maintain even 30fps in the frequent driving sessions. While this is unfortunate, Arkham Knight is luckily good enough to wake the completionist in me and I expect to get several more enjoyable sessions before done with it. A respectable albeit not ideal end for Rocksteady’s great trilogy.