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I’m not going to lie. I love Batman: Arkham Knight. It was awesome and it was everything I wanted from a Batman game. There was only one problem for me, though. There were no civilians.
Now, I know that Scarecrow caused the city to be evacuated. But, come on. The first game where we are actually in Gotham City that is the size we ask for, and on a new system. It is a perfect opportunity.
It would be great to be Batman, flying above the rooftops, then all of a sudden you hear a scream from below and a woman’s voice yells, “Help!” At that point you dive down as Batman, saving a civilian and kicking thug ass. Why isn’t that an option?
It’s actually a viable reason. The story couldn’t allow it. There’s no way that you could have epic drone tank battles with civilians everywhere. It just can’t happen. Rocksteady made a scenario where it was necessary to get rid of the civilians.
Many people are calling it a cop out. I would agree with them if it weren’t for one addition: the Batmobile. How can Batman stop Scarecrow and chase down the Arkham Knight when there is traffic in the middle of the road and civilians on the sidewalk?
The beginning was ultimately upsetting. You see all these civilians affected by Scarecrow. Then Scarecrow releases his toxin and it only affects Gotham, which is effectively thugs and supervillains. Where’s the real motivation? The fact is, it’s Batman. You are Batman and you are trying to save the city of Gotham no matter what.
The real question is what would happen if there was no Batmobile? Well then, the story couldn’t happen. Lowering the bridges wouldn’t matter, there would be no way to defeat the tanks besides jumping down onto them and blowing them up Batman style, and then there would still be a possibility of having civilians. But would there?
Would having civilians really help Batman: Arkham Knight be a better game? The answer is no. Because then the game would have had a completely different story. And what was the real story? Was it really about Scarecrow and his fear toxin? Well, yes and no. That was the overall arc. But what was really the driving force?
Batman. His inner struggle to keep everything in order, to know that everything was coming to an end for Bruce Wayne to be Batman. He realized that with Joker’s blood still in him, he was going to become the Joker. That internal struggle to keep the Joker out of his mind and to keep his psyche intact was the real struggle of this story.
Batman: Arkham Knight has a story that is a Batman lover’s wet dream. You drive the Batmobile, kick ass, and save the day. It’s what everyone wants. And you don’t have to worry about civilians constantly being in danger. You just kick ass and take names. That’s ultimately what Batman is about. Fighting the same villains, being fascinated with their obsession over Batman, and watching them fall at your hands.
So the real problem with Batman: Arkham Knight is that it would have been nice to have some civilians, but I think it would be nice to have some that got trapped or kidnapped, sort of like the firefighters, and you have to save them and get them back to GCPD. It would be interesting and maybe also a little nerve-wracking.
Do you think Batman: Arkham Knight needs civilians? Or do you think that it would make it too much for Batman? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!
By Cody Dunmire
Don’t Just Be Fit. Be Gamer Fit.