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Batman: Arkham Knight Game Audio Review


Review by Alyx Jones & Sam Hughes

Edited by Sam Hughes

Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Composers: Nick Arundel, David Buckley

Sound Design: Andrew Riley (Lead), Pierre-Jean Griscelli, Daniel Murdoch, Andrew Quinn, Jessica Saunders with special thanks to Lee Banyard, Joe Cavers, Sam Jones & co.

Audio Programmers: Chip Bell (Lead), Simon Leary-Wood, Anthony Lloyd

Voice Actors: Kevin Conroy, Jonathan Banks, John Noble, Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, Tara Strong etc

Reviewed on: Playstation 4

*Mild Spoliers of previous Arkham Games but NOT this one*

With the release of Return to Arkham Announced today, Alyx and Sam thought they’d share their thoughts on the most recent addition to the series, Batman:Arkham Knight. Check out the release trailer as well as their full review here!


Batman: Arkham Knight is the acclaimed “final” installment in the Batman Arkham series by Rocksteady Studios, set one year after the events of Batman Arkham City. It is a third person, action-adventure game with strong elements of puzzle solving and melee combat. The narrative follows Batmans’ struggle against Scarecrow (John Noble), as he tries to prevent Gotham City being subject to a deadly gas. Following on from Arkham City, super villain, The Joker, is deceased, however Batman struggles to come to terms with the loss of his nemesis. Arkham Knight features a host of new gadgets; a new batsuit that gives the ability to perform triple takedowns, longer and faster gliding, as well as the new and improved Batmobile with an option between driving and battle mode.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 17.38.10


The Batmobile takes a much bigger role in Arkham Knight than previous games, with it being needed to access various areas of the city. It now has a winch attachment that plays a regular role in tearing down pesky walls that might be blocking your way, as well as battle mode being used to navigate narrow paths/roofs across Gotham, as well as remote access so we don’t even have to be in the vehicle in order to drive it! With all these new features, comes new sound design. When driving around the city, the Batmobile sounds very much like a Formula One car, with more high end acceleration and very little engine rumble.

Sam: As a massive fan of the Arkham Series (and their audio) I was exceptionally excited to hear the sounds of this next gen release. In terms of sound, it did not disappoint at all! Personally I found the Foley throughout the game beautiful. I spent a lot of time walking around rooftops listening to the individual tile movements and the sound of Batman’s outfit throughout the game. It’s just so crisp and a pleasure to listen to. The work of the team is as awesome and even better than previous titles (funny that, with the PS4 upgrade eh?) and I really think they’ve continued their endeavor for excellence in this addition to the series.

The sound design and mix I thoroughly enjoyed. I spent a lot of my time flying around Gotham (mainly to avoid once again using the Batmobile as I use it enough anyway!) listening to the different sounds. The wind flapping against his cape, the sound of the traffic and people below, and the sound of flying drones as they circle around the city. It was a soundscape I could, and often did, get lost in. I also used sound to track down the ever elusive ManBat, listening closely to predict distance, location etc. and found the occlusion between buildings to also work very smooth.

Now the Batmobile. Although personally I felt you had to use it A LOT, the sound never became irritating. The hyperbolic sounds of Batman’s famous beast of a vehicle were excellent and exactly what I felt the legendary car deserved. In terms of sound it is extremely powerful, and you really feel like you’re tearing down the roads of Gotham in a very fast, sci-fi tank basically. The tyre squeals, the engine size, and the gadget sounds are so tightly linked and with every action, the sounds all felt so tied together you could hear every little intricacy. For example entering and exiting the vehicle, the sounds of the cockpit opening/closing, engine starting and general gadgets initialising were just sweet music.

I can’t really pick anything wrong with the sound design. I find the mix thoroughly impressive considering the huge mount of sounds and implementation/level design features to consider and once again this game didn’t disappoint me (in terms of audio).



Nick Arundel
and David Buckley, do a stellar job on the soundtrack. It completely reflects the constant
threats faced by the fleeing citizens of Gotham, a dark and brooding sound of the rising toxic gas beneath the city. The rise and fall of the instruments almost feels like they represent the city breathing, trying to steadily clear its lungs. The use of brass and strings is predictable, but effective.  This is Batman after all, a long standing character, and recent film trilogy, that composer Hans Zimmer has particularly made a strong impact on, with regards to how Batman “should” sound. It’s very hard to breakaway from such a well known sonic association. It has been said that: “Zimmer and Howard both believed that creating a heroic theme that a viewer could hum would ignore the complexity and darkness of the character”. However themes are used more heavily in the Batman games, in comparison to the films, but partly because players spend far more time on a game than the few hours it takes to passively watch a film. Arundel says himself that it would have been “arrogant to ignore the love and respect for previous composers” (of the Batman franchise) and goes on to say he was “heavily influenced by Zimmer and Elfman“, in particular their techniques, and approach to harmonies.

Sam: Alyx will have a lot more to say than me as a composer, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the iconic instrumentation and timbre of the music that we now all attribute to the Batman franchise. Although the “Batman” sound seems to be closely modeled on the Nolan films, Arkham Knight still manages to maintain its unique approach to the music. The music does well to accompany the image presented by most of the soundscape (and general approach to the feel of the game), which is that this is the EPIC finale in the trilogy. It’s very bombastic, it’s very orchestral and it has a lot of big moments to accompany some big scenes that you’ll experience throughout. There is particular dilemma Batman faces in ACE Chemicals where the variation of the theme particularly called to me. I’d be interested to see if anyone else feels the same. The interactivity side to me appears fairly seamless as well, when changing between states such as roaming, combat etc. and no particular transitions felt out of place. I’ve always loved the way everything comes together in the combat, the music and sound effects really add to how much I love the combat in the Arkham games.



Alyx: The opening passage to the game features Mark Hamill as the Joker, menacing and crazed as ever while being incinerated. Kevin Conroy returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman after previous appearances in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, as well as various other roles as Batman in TV/Film franchises. Troy Baker also features as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, another reappearance from Arkham City. Overall the quality of voice acting is high (as expected), with all characters being brought to life by the many actors who make up the long cast list of well-known characters.

Sam: It’s so hard to discuss the dialogue without spoilers! As a voice actor and avid fan of the dialogue throughout the series, it was hard not to approach it with at least some bias.

Kevin Conroy will always be my (and many others I’m sure) Batman. He just encapsulates everything about the character, and after performing in the role for over 20 years you can tell he has become very accustomed to Batman’s way of thinking, feeling and emotional state. However, there were some instances where the dialogue seemed a bit stale in terms of performance. Only rarely, but still I felt as if Batman didn’t have the same impact on me as when he was speaking in the previous titles. It’s hard to explain what I mean by that, but it just felt a bit drier and without as much emotion. There was a particular moment, again in ACE Chemicals (I have completed the game various times btw not just the beginning!), where his response to the worker just didn’t follow. The worker says something to Batman, then the conversation just ends when the phrase definitely provoked some sort of response.

Troy Baker, as much as he is in EVERYTHING, is yet to disappoint, although I don’t think the depiction of the Arkham Knight was in his favour. This is just a personal preference, as I wasn’t a fan of the Arkham Knight character in general, so I could go on for ages but I won’t. The choice of changing the voice of Scarecrow was an interesting one. I’m not sure why they recast to role to replace Dino Andrade with John Noble. Maybe it was to capture the darker feel they wanted with him being the “Big Bad” of the game, but to me it wasn’t a decision I was on board with. Again, a personal preference but I feel Scarecrow lost a lot of what made his character believable and this was just not a positive influence in my opinion. Tara Strong always delivers a fantastic performance as Harley Quinn, and I can’t fault it at all. Tara always manages to capture the exact amount of everything that Harley is; crazy, lovesick, hurt, damaged, intelligent yet childish, stupid and funny. 

The dialogue was great as always and there are some fantastic moments (mainly from spoilers that I can’t tell you!), but I just felt there were moments and experiences that I had, which led to me not enjoying it as much as the previous ones and feeling like there was just something missing.



Alyx: Overall a vast and dark new game to the Batman video game series, featuring incredible amount of sound design and music to cover the length of the game. Definitely worth a play if you’re a Batman fan!

Sam: Aside from some minor issues with the dialogue, the game’s sound overall was incredible. So many powerful moments heightened by the excellent audio within the game. I’d love to hear how everyone else’s experience was and whether it differed to mine? I’m also now looking forward to Return to Arkham where the first two games have been remastered in Unreal Engine 4!



Arkham Knight

David Buckley

Kevin Conroy


Arkham Knight

Nick Arundel

Mark Hamill

Kevin Conroy

Troy Baker


Arkham Knight

Mark Hamill

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Alyx Jones
As Head Writer for The Sound Architect, Alyx is responsible for game audio reviews and event coverage. She is also founder of Silver Script Games, as well as having an extensive background in game audio, having worked on titles such as Elden Ring, Final Fantasy VII and Borderlands 3. You can always spot her flash of pink hair!

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