GameInformer has published its March 2014 magazine edition, which features the exclusive reveal of Batman: Arkham Knight – and of course this means online publications have a chance digested all the details.
Rocksteady Studios is once again at the development helm, which should be good news to series fans. Arkham Knight is scheduled for release in 2014 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Below is a summary of what has been revealed so far.
Arkham Knight is set a year after events of Arkham City, in which we saw the death of core villain [SPOILER ALERT], and the defeat of many other series baddies.
It seems that Gotham’s criminal overlords have begun to work together to re-establish their power.
The Scarecrow makes the first move, planting his new fear toxin around Gotham City, which is subsequently evacuated, while Batman slips into the fray.
Rocksteady game director, Sefton Hill confirmed that Arkham Knight would bring to an end Rocksteady’s run at the Batman franchise.
Interestingly, Hill said he wants to “close the trilogy with a bang” – he is possibly referring to Rocksteady’s own trilogy of Arkahm games, but this does hint that Rocksteady doesn’t regard the lacklustre Arkham Origins (developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal) as part of their creation.
Entirely new arch-villain in the Batman world
DC Comics and Rocksteady collaborated to create a brand new Batman villain. Details are scarce at this point, probably being saved for a later marketing reveal.
“We wanted to introduce someone who could really challenge Batman, to go head-to-head with him in lots of different ways. This guy is definitely a formidable foe for Batman,” said Hill.
Kevin Conroy will return as the voice of Batman.
Ubiquitous gaming voice actor Nolan North will play Penguin; Wally Wingert will play Riddler; Tara Strong Charley will play Harley Quinn; and Troy Baker (of The Last of Us fame) will play Two-Face.
The Batmobile will be central in this outing, as Batman will be zooming around an expanded Gotham City. It can perform burnouts, jumps, boosts, and circle rotations.
The bulletproof armour allows the Batmobile to smash through barricades, trees, and the corners of buildings.
The Batmobile can be summoned by Batman, and it also boasts an ejector seat, shooting Batman up into a glide while the car halts itself down below.
Fans of the series will be familiar with the established free-flow combat mechanics which will be making a return.
All the classics are in place – dive and glide attacks, zipline perching, grapple gun take-downs, Batarangs, counter-attacks – it’s all there.
Rocksteady hinted at a couple of new counter moves and takedown types which will freshen things up, but they didn’t fiddle too much with the established system which arguably was near perfect to begin with.
Batman will have a new suit and gadgets that will unlock as the game progresses.
Other Bat bits
Since the game is heading only to next-gen consoles and PC, Rocksteady has more hardware grunt to work with.
Gotham City will be split into three islands, and the total area is claimed to be five times the size of Arkham City. Mobs of baddies can number up to 50.
The characters will boast three to four times more polygons than those in Arkham City. Rocksteady claimed that one character has a higher polygon count than the entire environment of Arkham City.
“Flexing textures” and Apex cloth physics will be integrated. Rocksteady promises there will be no loading screens breaking the immersion.
Arkham Knight will have no tacked-on multiplayer mode (à la Arkham Origins).
“We don’t have the time to do multiplayer. We want to focus on making the best single-player experience we can. We don’t feel that it needs a multiplayer element. Warner Bros. backed that up right at the start,” said Hill.
Are you excited for Batman: Arkham Knight? Just show me where to pre-order the collector’s edition…