This is how the Batman died…
Gotham City is once again living in fear but this time that fear will be spread across the city if Batman doesn’t stop a toxin to be released by the Scarecrow.
This novelisation of the new Arkham Knight game by Marv Wolfman is more like the novelisation of a film reflective of the cut away films contained within Arkham Knight. In this it is very cleverly written as these lend the game its atmosphere and create the dark Gotham universe in the best way.
‘Riddler’s Gambit’, the prequel book to the game, evoked a gamer’s experience moving from puzzle and villain with an interlude between each chapter. Reading this book was not the gamer’s experience offered by ‘Riddler’s Gambit’ and in that way as an experience I felt more removed from the game play itself although it is intriguing and inspirational as a marketing tool in its own way. It is well written and full of suspense and Batman’s fate is not easy to predict there are so many twists throughout the reader is obliged to concentrate and have knowledge of the universe although some back story is provided. Batman remains in both physical and mental peril throughout sometimes in quite gut wrenching style.
I was pushed to read to the last page, having been sceptical about how good it would be given it was based on a game, my jaw dropped throughout the last chapters in particular. Given the intrigue of the book and the challenges Batman faced, I was inspired to follow this adventure through to its conclusion. This alone would lead me straight to the game so that I could join in as a player and work things out for myself.
I can’t decide what the book is offering however. It is a good marketing tool so it inspired me to play the game. However part of the enjoyment of game play is the strategy and planning and getting to the end without knowing what is coming next. It certainly should come with an enormous spoiler alert warning. If read after you have played the game, it is a great summary and an excellent adventure read however you know what is coming from playing the game through already but it’s a way to make the game portable when you don’t have the it with you. It also helps for game widows or widowers who don’t get why you are playing Arkham Knight so much and why you are so enthralled by it, so this might be a way to explain it in a way that is more palatable to those who enjoy reading and not gaming.
Either way I loved reading this book, it inspired me to know more about the game, it did what it was supposed to do and I was on the edge of my seat to the end, I still am, waiting to know what happens next.
GS Rating: 4/5
GS Blogger: The Aviator