Friday, 24 May 2024

13 Ways Batman Begins Pioneered Gameplay Features Later Perfected in Arkham Knight

Saturday, September 26 is Batman Day, a celebration that gives us an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of Batman games. In particular, let’s take a closer look at the often-forgotten 2005 licensed game Batman Begins and how it laid the groundwork for the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Knight, released a decade later.

While Batman Begins may not have executed its mechanics as flawlessly as its successors, it introduced ideas that would later become staples of the Arkham series. Here are 13 gameplay features that Batman Begins pioneered, setting the stage for Arkham Knight’s success:

Stealth Movement

Both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight prioritize stealth gameplay, making it just as important as hand-to-hand combat. In both games, Batman adopts a crouched position that enables him to move quietly while maintaining momentum.

Stealth Takedowns

Batman Begins didn’t invent the concept of one-button stealth takedowns, but it certainly delivered them in a way that would set the stage for Arkham Knight. In both games, players can initiate a flashy takedown animation by sneaking up behind enemies in a crouched position.

Inciting Fear and Monitoring Enemy Heartbeats

In 2005, Batman Begins introduced a groundbreaking feature: Batman’s ability to change the temperament of his opponents by instilling fear. By orchestrating mysterious movements and explosive distractions while perched on ceilings, Batman could manipulate his enemies’ behavior. Arkham Knight would later build upon this mechanic, even tracking enemy heart rates to gauge their level of fear.

Scarecrow Toxin and Altered Perception

Batman’s struggle with Scarecrow’s fear toxin became an iconic element of the Arkham series. However, Begins also allowed players to experience Batman’s altered perception when affected by the gas. This unique gameplay feature would be revisited in Arkham Knight.

Prioritizing Disarming Gun-Wielding Enemies

One of Batman’s defining characteristics is his vulnerability to guns. Both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight highlight this vulnerability by specifically identifying enemies with firearms. Taking out these armed foes first becomes crucial for survival.

Counters as a Tactical Advantage

While counters played a smaller role in Batman Begins compared to the Arkham games, it was still a viable option during combat. Timing counters correctly allows Batman to gain the upper hand and emerge victorious.

Flashy Final Takedowns

In Arkham Knight, players know they have cleared a room when the camera zooms in, slows down, and focuses on a gruesome final takedown. Batman Begins may not have reached the same level of visual flair, but it did give players a sense of accomplishment by adjusting the camera angle for the finishing blow.

To explore more surprising similarities between Batman Begins and Arkham Knight, head to page two.

Interrogation Tactics
Both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight feature intense interrogations, complete with the trademark move of lifting the victims by their necks. This striking similarity showcases the consistent portrayal of Batman’s relentless pursuit of justice.

Grapple Your Way to Victory
The grappling hook has become a staple tool in Batman games, and both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight utilize this device to allow Batman to stick to ceilings and remain undetected.

Hacking Tools for the Tech-Savvy Detective
Batman’s utility belt always contains a variety of gadgets, including hacking tools. Surprisingly, both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight feature a unique hacking minigame that adds depth to the gameplay.

Vent Crawling for Stealth
Gotham City seems to have an unwritten rule stating that all building vents must accommodate Batman’s muscular frame. Both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight embrace this design choice, offering ample space for the Caped Crusader to navigate stealthily.

Room beneath the Enemy’s Feet
It’s not just the vents that provide hiding spots in the Batman universe—Gotham City also boasts hidden areas beneath floors. Both Batman Begins and Arkham Knight take advantage of this architectural quirk to keep Batman hidden from his foes.

The Iconic Batmobile
While it took six years for the Arkham series to introduce a playable Batmobile, Batman Begins had it from the start. Both games featured the tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, and both emphasized the Batmobile’s destructive capabilities. Furthermore, taking inspiration from the Burnout series, both games include lock-on missile systems for dispatching larger vehicles.

Some other similarities between the two games include plot overlap (Arkham Knight draws influences from Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe) and Batman’s inability to end a conversation with Alfred. It’s not surprising that games starring Batman share some similarities, but the connection between Batman Begins and Arkham Knight extends beyond the use of the same character.


Q: Can I play Batman Begins on modern consoles?
A: Unfortunately, Batman Begins is not available for current-generation consoles. However, you can still experience the game by playing it on legacy systems or emulators.

Q: Is Arkham Knight a direct sequel to Batman Begins?
A: No, Arkham Knight is not a direct sequel to Batman Begins. While both games draw inspiration from various Batman storylines, they exist independently within their respective universes.


Batman Begins may not have received as much acclaim as the Arkham series, but it laid the foundation for many of the gameplay features that would be perfected in Arkham Knight. From stealth mechanics to fear-inducing tactics and even the iconic Batmobile, Batman Begins deserves recognition for propelling the superhero gaming experience forward. So, celebrate Batman Day by revisiting the game that showcased the potential of the Dark Knight’s interactive adventures.

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