The new Batman game to hit shelves last week, Batman: Arkham Knight, is a fantastic game that you should play if you have a PS4 or Xbox One, and you like video games and Batman. The story is awesome, the gameplay is great, and there is more than enough suspense to keep you playing. If you’re into video games, what more could you want?
Well, if you are a liberal feminist writer OR self-hating male, you want female characters that aren’t so problematic… If you only look at those characters through about half of the game. Please note, below are some spoilers. I don’t want to give the whole game away, but there are some pretty major plot points in this post.
You can leave the post now. This is your last chance.
In Arkham Knight, you once again take control of Batman in order to save Gotham City from a supervillain (this time, it’s Scarecrow). Along the way, you have to interact with three female characters – a lot – and their roles in the game are significant. There is Barbara Gordon, who is the paralyzed daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon, and the former Batgirl. During the gameplay, Barbara is kidnapped. To make matters worse, Batman has a flashback to a famous comic book scene – where the Joker goes to her home and shoots her, severing her spine and paralyzing her. Batman will later witness her death.
Poison Ivy is a barely-dressed supervillain who can manipulate plants and is captured early by Batman. Later, she helps Batman save Gotham from Scarecrow’s plan, but dies in the process. After an act of selflessness.
Catwoman’s role is not as significant as the others’, but she is still vital to a certain extent. She is kidnapped by the Riddler and held hostage, a bomb strapped to her neck. Amid all the other chaos, Batman has to save her life. There is, of course, the romantic element that follows Batman and Catwoman through their comic book history.
Here’s the thing: Barbara is paralyzed, but still strong enough to fight if she needs to, and she is one of the most vital parts of Batman’s operation. Later in the story, she turns out to be extremely vital in major ways. Poison Ivy saves the entire city, and will be remembered as such. Catwoman helps Batman take down the Riddler. Despite all this, however, the liberal gaming rage want you to know that this Game of the Year contender is problematic, and it ruins the game.
“Catwoman is reduced to a damsel in distress” is one argument. This is a little inaccurate, as she is indeed captured and used as a lure for Batman, but she is a fighting hostage, who helps Batman solve the puzzles needed to free her and then helps him take down the man that ensnared her.
“Poison Ivy is barely dressed and used as a sex symbol” is another argument, and one that completely ignores her history in the comic books as well as totally downplays the role she has in the game where she gives up her own life to save Gotham City. I thought we weren’t supposed to pay attention to the physical aspects, and focus instead on the character of the person.
“Barbara Gordon’s shooting scene is troubling, her kidnapping reduces her to a damsel in distress, and her death takes away from her potential impact as a character” are the other arguments, to which I simply say “You didn’t actually finish the game, did you?” Barbara’s contributions to Batman’s operation, her strong will despite the paralysis, and her resolve to fight back even when she is kidnapped are vastly more important than anything else that happens in the game.
The liberal gaming rags, who I won’t even link here, that pan the game because of their need to find an issue, are trying their hardest to ruin gaming, just like their political brothers and sisters try to do in the real world.