The “You can do Better than this” Award
Maybe one of my favourite games of the year was Batman Arkham Knight. I say maybe because I still do a lot of thinking about certain aspects about how that game dropped the ball in a few considerable ways.
First off we had the Arkham Knight himself. We all knew it was going to be Jason Todd right from the start and the character himself was even sidelined in his own game to make room for more Joker time. If you are going to name a game after the new character you’re introducing don’t make have him fuck off for half the game.
Then we come to the Batmobile. As I played more and more of the game I found myself developing a form of Stockholm syndrome with this car, but I can still say that I deeply dislike that car and how it changes the game in some ways. Yes, after three games with little innovation other than “Electric gloves” the game needed some way to spice up the old formula, which is almost done with the two character fight sequences.
Last but certainly not least was the game’s treatment of its women characters. yes, cry SJW at me if you will, but these objections come from an understanding of the actual characters themselves, not knee-jerk feminism as some would believe. You can read my essay on the woman of Arkham Knight here but the short take is: Catwoman is Kidnapped and fridged*, Barabara Gordon is fridged repeatedly, Poison Ivy is killed. Harley Quinn just about escapes with her dignity in shape.
Come on games, it’s 2015, we can do better.
*FYI to be Fridged is to be killed/kidnapped in order to give the main character (Typically a man) some sort of motivation for revenge, this term comes from a Green Lantern comic.