Batman: Arkham Knight has several plot twists, the biggest being the identity of the mysterious Arkham Knight. Unfortunately, this big reveal wasn't much of a surprise.

SPOILER WARNING

Toward the end of Arkham Knight, Batman confronts the masked figure and demands to know his identity. The Arkham Knight unmasks to reveal that he's Jason Todd. Todd, the second Robin, was captured by Joker and apparently killed. However, he was actually imprisoned and tortured by Joker for a year. He wanted revenge on Batman for not saving him.

It makes sense for the Arkham Knight to be Todd. However, I doubt it surprised most Batman fans. Jason Todd's story was an important plot in the Batman comic books. While there are differences between the comics and Arkham Knight, the basic arc of Todd is the same: he resents Batman for not killing Joker and becomes essentially a twisted, more violent version of the Dark Knight. It's no surprise that when fans were predicting the Arkham Knight's identity in months leading up to release, Jason Todd was arguably the most popular guess.



Rocksteady Studios also tipped their hand with one of the pre-order bonuses for Arkham Knight. Consumers who reserved a copy of the game received the Red Hood Story Pack. This DLC let players control Red Hood, the ruthless vigilante that Todd becomes in the comics and eventually in Arkham Knight as well. This seemed to make Todd's identity as the Arkham Knight even more obvious. The Arkham Knight and Red Hood have several clear similarities: both wear a red suit inspired by Batman's and primarily wield pistols in battle.

I'm not questioning Rocksteady's decision to make Jason Todd the Arkham Knight. In fact, I think he's a strong choice. Todd is an important demon from Batman's past. He showed the flaw in Batman's code against killing criminals. If Batman had killed the Joker, he could have saved Todd's life among many others from the supervillain. Todd's death also explains why Batman is so reluctant to involve allies like Nightwing or Robin in his battles throughout Arkham Knight. He would rather take on the burden alone rather than risk another friend's death. I'm happy Rocksteady used such a pivotal character from Batman history instead of making Arkham Knight a brand-new villain.

The issue is that Todd fits too well. The developers could have done more to make the Arkham Knight's identity a secret. They could have tried to throw us off by teasing other characters that could be Arkham Knight. Or they could have just downplayed the similarities between Arkham Knight's costume and Red Hood's, or Batman and Arkham Knight's. Or he could've used a voice modulator that made him sound less like a twenty-something American. If you think Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight before you start playing the game, the game does nothing to challenge that assumption. That's an issue.

This shortcoming of the story doesn't change my overall positive opinion of Batman: Arkham Knight. Still, with just a few changes, the last chapter of Arkham could have been even better.

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