I’m often surprised at the number of guidebooks that still sit proudly by the tills at my friendly neighbourhood game shop. Yes, they look enticing, and the promise of 100% completion and mastery of the game is always alluring, but as they are usually priced at at least a tenner I can’t help wondering why people aren’t just using YouTube instead. Additionally, depending on the type of game and it’s age, many of these books become outdated very quickly. For example, the last game guide I bought was the Brady’s guide to Marvel versus Capcom 3. Although it was a superb book with more information than most people could possibly wish for, Capcom had patched the game almost as soon as it was released, meaning it was technically out of date before I got to look at it. Obviously this is not the publishers fault but it does highlight the limitations and inflexibility of this medium.
But enough criticism of guidebooks as a whole, how does this book fare at supporting you through a game as large as Arkham Knight? Generally, the book does very good job at making itself concise and clear with its instructions. Story mode in particular is covered really well, providing help in finding the right way to go or how to approach a puzzle or battle without ever giving away spoilers, which is especially important in a game with as many twists as Arkham Knight. Screenshots are clear and well chosen, although Arkham’s chronic lack of sunlight never makes it easy to be as defined as sometimes it needs to be. Similarly, side missions are also covered thoroughly and although sometimes a little more detail to the advice would’ve been nice, in a game this size it would have been impractical to cover every single element with a microscope. That said, it is a shame that so little support is provided for solving the Ridler trophies. Having played both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and getting almost nowhere with this part of the game, I was looking forward to making some real inroads this time around. However, the only real help you get is a vague description of the location and a thumbnail photo with no description or instruction how to find or figure out the trickier ones.
Other elements of the game such as the Rogues Gallery, the Waynetech Arsenal and general gameplay tips are covered nicely, and the book is presented beautifully throughout. The collectors edition reviewed here featured a superb hardback cover, quality pages throughout and an easy reference system to ensure that you could find where you are in the game quickly and easily. It also worth noting that the book came with a free digital version of the guide, allowing you access to support via your phone, tablet, laptop etc. You also get 4 nearly A4 collectors lithographs of Batman, Scarecrow, the Batmobile and the Arkham Knight himself, which are nice addition for, well, collectors.
The disappointment at the lack of help with riddler’s trophies aside, it is very difficult to find fault or argue with the quality of this guide. The collectors addition especially is a lovely thing to own and I found myself flicking through it whilst not playing the game possibly more than when I was. The art work and presentation will be appreciated by any fan of either Batman or the Arkham games and the only real drawbacks are with the format itself, rather than this specific guide. With so many online tutorials and walk-throughs available for free, it’s hard to recommend this to anybody whose only interest is completing the game. After all, being shown how to do something is always better than being told how to do it. However, if you’re after a quality product to own, hold in your hands and enjoy, as well as helping you through a great game, you can’t go wrong with this book.
Published by Brady Games
Available at Amazon.co.uk