I think many people can remember my long rant about Batman: Arkham Knight and the fact that the game did not live up to my expectations. Well, here is the thing. I still love playing the game. I have been playing it the past couple of days. I don’t dislike the game, I just think it could have been substantially better then what it was. But, I do still enjoy it and I also enjoy the side quests that the game has to offer. Considering the game gives mountains of opportunities, I have decided to list them from worst to best. Now, I should add that just because a mission is at the bottom or the top of this list doesn’t mean that the game sucks for it or has changed the game forever. It is just the worst or best of the series that connects to a good game. I should also like to add that I am including the Season of Infamy Expansion on it as well. That being said, let’s start with our weak links.
Friend in Need (Hush)
We start off this list with a cop out. Now I am going to say this right now, I am not opposed to the one off “Do X, Complete Task” type of missions. As you will see in a bit, I do not mind the Deacon Blackfire Mission and the Mad Hatter Mission from City is one of the best missions in that game. However, this one feels like a shoe horned attempt to continue a story line that the creators did not want to continue.
Hush, at the end of City, has assumed the identity of Bruce Wayne and promises to make Wayne suffer. As a player, you are expecting something big in the next game. What will Hush do? He can do whatever he wants to Bruce Wayne’s life! Well, as it turns out, he shows up at Wayne Tower, tries to steal some money, takes Lucius Fox hostage, and you easily take him out with one counter.
There was so many possibilities set up from City, but it is clear that the creators had other plans in mind and had to say “Well we got to give something for Hush to do or else it will be a broken plot point.” So they shoe horn it in to the very end. While it does add a little bit by having Lucius in danger, it is still the weakest link out of all the missions.
Riddler’s Revenge (Riddler)
I fucking hate Riddler trophies and riddles. I hate them so fucking much. I know that this is an area where you either hate it or you love it, but my god, finding those fucking trophies is so tedious and requires so much fucking back tracking. I wasn’t a fan of these things in the other games either. But at least in Asylum it wasn’t important to find them and in City you did not have to find ALL of them in order to complete the Riddler quest. In Knight, you have to find all 100 of these fucking trophies! It is so tedious and I always spend the last several hours of the game trying to hunt down and solve each of these puzzles just so I can get the two minute long 100% completion ending. Coming from a person who is not a completionist, this is like getting root canals in each teeth without being knocked out.
The Line of Duty (Chief Underhill)
This mission would be higher up on the list if it wasn’t for the ending. The searching for fire fighters and fighting off their various captors is fun and engaging. It also makes you think outside the box on several instances on places to search for them, sending you to strange locations all over the map.
But the ending, when Batman still takes in Chief Underhill and throws him into Max Security with the likes of Two-Face, Professor Pyg, Scarecrow, and so forth… That is a little harsh in my opinion. Apparently burning down abandoned and dilapidated buildings in order to keep people employed is on par with cult leaders, bank robbers, gunrunners, terrorists, and serial killers. I get it, this mission is supposed to be a gray area where Batman’s stance on justice is so strong that he cannot differentiate between what is lawfully correct and what is morally correct. But it is still a stupid premise that just doesn’t work. One of my favorite parts about the whole thing is if you capture Underhill before you finish the City of Fear story arc and Joker comments that he is clearly not rich enough to avoid jail. Which is a legitimate concern. What Batman does is technically illegal, but he does it for good purposes. So apparently a rich white person beating up people in the name of justice is okay, but a working class black man burning down a few abandoned buildings that are going to probably be destroyed anyways to keep people employed is crossing the wrong fucking line. Sorry, but this mission ending can kiss the brownest part of my white ass.
Lamb to the Slaughter (Deacon Blackfire)
This mission is pretty good. One of the things that sets it apart from the Hush mission is the slow build that it has. After talking to Jack Ryder, gathering the Riddle on Blackfire, hearing the audio tapes, and hearing subtle hints of a cult in Gotham, there is excellent foreshadowing for this battle. That is about all I can say on this one. The mission is a one off mission, somewhat short, and fairly easy to win. Blackfire isn’t much of a challenge and is character does sort of get lost in the shuffle. Overall, it is a fun one off mission with a good build… But there isn’t really much to say beyond it.
Militia Missions (Deathstroke/Arkham Knight)
I am going to combine all of the militia missions into one for the sake of my sanity. This includes the rooftop locations, the road checkpoints, and the bombs scattered around Gotham. This is what you are primarily going to be doing in this game and it is both a blessing and a curse. Each of the missions are somewhat unique in their challenges, some are easy, and some are hard. The big problem though is, even though the missions differ, they can quickly become busy work extremely fast.
It was cool to see Deathstroke show up, but ultimately he is somewhat wasted on a pointless cobra tank conclusion that featured no hand to hand combat… Which was the highlight of Origins. Overall, these missions add a lot of things to do… But that is also one of the reasons why they feel very tedious.
Wonderland (Mad Hatter)
This is the first of the Season of Infamy expansion that added four new missions onto the main game and out of the four it is easily the weakest link. I do enjoy Mad Hatter, he truly is one of the most underrated villains of Batman’s long list of baddies. But his mission is somewhat wasted in the expansion.
Overall, it is a fun mission, gives some cool imagery, and even takes you back through Asylum and City which is cool. But the mission is somewhat easy, the markers take you straight to the spot where the cars are located, and Hatter’s end game is just somewhat confusing. Apparently it was all some elaborate scheme to kill a cop and… Control Batman? Maybe? At least in City you knew how Hatter did what he did. In this one it just sort of… happens? Because magic? Either way, it is a fun mission, though somewhat pointless.
Heir to the Cowl (Azrael)
Once more, we have a mission that was placed in the game, primarily to tie up story lines than anything substantial. However, unlike Hush’s mission that felt like nothing more than an add on, Azrael’s mission does have a sub-plot of being Batman’s replacement. This does include some great fight sequences as well as giving you a legitimate choice between fighting Batman or accepting that St. Dumas are a bunch of brainwashing asshats. Granted, considering the cool and mysterious set up that Azrael gives in City, this is kind of a let down. But the missions are solid and fun to play.
Two-Faced Bandit (Harvey Two-Face)
Two-Faced Bandit is solid. It is easily one of my favorite story lines in the game and is the game with, more than likely, the most strategy attached to it. You have to go to three different banks around town and prevent it from being looted by Two Face and his henchmen. Each place has its own set of obstacles you must overcome and each one has its own set of toys you can play with.
My only complaint about the missions is the fact that they are pretty much handed to you. While the rest of the missions has a sort of “find it” attitude, this mission just says “Here it is, go do it. You did it? Good go to the next one now.” It is one of the only missions that can be done in quick secession after it is initially given. I would have liked a little exploration, but overall I’m not complaining too much.
Creature of the Night (Man-Bat)
I love Kirk Langstrom’s logic. Seriously, this whole quest starts because he had the genius idea to combine human and bat DNA to cure deafness. You didn’t think anything was going to go wrong? That is like injecting speed in to one arm so that you don’t feel the effects of the tranquilizer you just took. Sure, it sounds like it can help, but you will probably end up killing yourself.
While I question this mad scientist’s practices, this is one of the highlights of the games. It is challenging, there is the right amount of intrigue, the lines of good and wrong are gray, it is all fantastic! The mission does span a solid chunk of the game and you will need to keep a fine tuned ear out for when Langstrom appears, but as long as you do that, you will have a good time.
Gotham on Fire (Firefly)
Out of all of the missions that include the Batmobile, I feel like Firefly’s is the best. Hell, Firefly is one of the best villains in the game. Not only do you have history with Firefly, he is references in multiple missions, but moreover his mission is the mission that has some of the best tests of your batmobile skills. His missions are easy to spot, but still require some search in order to find it and I’ll just also add that his animation is top notch as well.
I never saw Firefly has a major Batman villain until I played this game. Sure, he is secondary in every sense of the word, but still a solid character.
Beneath the Surface (Killer Croc)
I never thought I would see the game where they made Killer Croc a sympathetic character. But I’ll be damned if they did. This is the second of the Season of Infamy expansion which just goes to show how amazing the expansion is if we still have two to go after this. Croc, in this game, has now become more crocodile than human. He has spikes and even a tail at this point. Either way, he brings down the maximum security air balloon (never thought I would type that) called Iron Heights.
You later learn that he is being experimented on by the Warden in order to create a regenerating process for his men. The set up is excellent and makes Croc a sympathetic character. The missions themselves are also well done making you search for parachuting security guards and explore a sinking balloon in the middle of the bay.
In From the Cold (Mr. Freeze)
I love that they made Mr. Freeze a very relatable character in this game and sympathetic. Even if the entire premise adds on to the annoyance I have for Chief Underhill, the Mr. Freeze and Nora story arc is fantastic. It also wraps up their story line in a nice little tragically beautiful quite nicely. The mission is the most complex out of the four add ons and the one with the most payoff attached to it. I don’t want to give too much away so I suggest you get the expansion and play it soon.
I love Gunrunner. There is just so much that goes into the Penguin missions. It is filled with challenge, a decent amount of in game skill, and dripping with character. Not only do you take on Penguin, one of the best Batman villains in the entire series, but you are also reuniting with Dick Grayson/Nightwing. Together the two of you have a sort of blossoming respect for one another that evolved into a strong friendship. You can tell that Batman has a thing for young cocky men for his sidekick seeing as how Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd are all front row and center for this game. But out of all of them, you can tell that there is a deep love that cannot be understated. I love this mission and look forward to playing it every time.
The Perfect Crime (Professor Pyg)
For a character as tertiary as Professor Pyg, I have to say that they went all out in making his mission for Knight. All things considered, it is the best side mission out of the original product. Professor Pyg scatters his victims around Gotham, you have to find them in order to progress, and then use your detective skills in order to narrow down your search. The final battle between Batman, Pyg, and his little minions is well done, challenging, and rewarding when you are finally able to complete it.
Each time I play Knight, I always have fun, and always struggle to find all of the people that Pyg strung up around Gotham. This one is one of the most challenging and best created side missions in all of Arkham Knight.
Shadow War (Ra’s al-Ghul & Nyssa)
When I first bought Season of Infamy, I groaned. I wanted Ra’s al-Ghul to stay dead and just be the end of it. But I will be damned, once I played the mission the entire story changed in my book. This side mission is perfect and gives you a choice that is just plain painful. The mission itself is good and the story is there. You have to choose between Ra’s al-Ghul and Nyssa Raakto, Talia al-Ghul’s father and little sister. Basically, settling a dispute between the in-laws from hell.
Ultimately you have to make a choice between killing Ra’s or giving him the cure. It actually gives you the option to make a moral judgment and one that is certainly a gray area. Of course, no matter what you do, Batman does what Batman does. But the decision is there and ultimately plays with Batman’s cast iron sense of justice. I absolutely love it and it is why this is the best side mission in Arkham Knight.
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review, please like and subscribe for more from me.