The Arkham Knight Looks More Than A Match For Batman
Batman: Arkham Knight has us all way too excited. I mean, we’ve seen nothing more than a CG trailer thus far but hot damn, what a trailer it was. Of course, Rocksteady’s pedigree with the Arkham games goes a long way to justifying that hype but let’s just keep it on our collective pants until we see some gameplay.
Rocksteady showed off their latest Batman adventure to press at GDC last week and the it seems there is plenty to be excited about. We’ve got some fresh gameplay details as well as words on the enigmatic key villain, The Arkham Knight.
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For the finale to their trilogy of Batman games, Rocksteady has crafted a new villain, The Arkham Knight, in close collaboration with DC itself. The antagonist is reminiscent of the main villain in the Court of Owls arc from the comics and an even closer resemblance to Red Hood. Let’s hope it’s not Jason Todd though but the chances are he will likely be revealed as a character we already know.
There’s a hope that the unknown identity of the Arkham Knight will result in a little more detective work.
Rocksteady producer and marketing guru Dax Ginn called the opportunity to make an original character in the Batman universe “terrifying,” but the team is relishing the opportunity to leave an indelible mark on the Batman universe.
“The opportunity is exciting, but the expectation [from fans] is off the scale,” Ginn told VG247 in an interview when asked about crafting this Arkham Knight. “That’s why working with DC is so awesome for us, because those guys are so experienced, and it’s obviously something they do a lot of.
“So when the idea was on the table for us to develop our own character and introduce that into Batman’s world, there was so much energy and excitement around it at Rocksteady – but we really were conscious of the value of the collaboration creatively we have with DC to make sure the gameplay role the Arkham Knight has is really reflected in his appearance and his outlook and his perspective.
“That’s not an opportunity that comes along very often, and I think we totally nailed it with this guy.”
The batmobile is as much there for fan-service as it is to facilitate faster navigation of the city and Gotham is designed to accommodate it with plenty of destructible objects to smash and shortcuts that would make Need for Speed proud. The streets are littered with hoodlums, as in Arkham City but this isn’t exactly GTA.
“Batman’s no-kill philosophy is pretty non-negotiable,” Ginn said. The game itself facilitates that, of course; thugs you’re speeding toward will try to get the hell out of your way, and those who don’t will be zapped by this Batmobile’s auto-taser gun.
The Riddler will not only test Batman’s reflexes but his driving ability through a series of obstacle courses which must each be run thrice. the catch is that each time it will change slightly with different obstacles and movable objects which players can interact with through a button press.
It’s essentially platforming with a Batmobile. Yes, there is a little bit of driving on ceilings.
The visuals have been compared to those of infamous: Second Son only it’s Gotham so everything is darker.
“There’s a lot that the next-gen hardware has enabled us to do, and for us it’s about picking and choosing where to spend that horsepower,” Ginn explained.
“The atmospheric effects that we really needed to integrate in order to bring Gotham City to life is something we just knew right from the beginning that we’ve got to invest in. So when you’re ejecting out [of the Batmobile] and gliding over the city and you can see the entire city laid out ahead of you, that’s a huge technical challenge to face down and overcome.”
The design for the Arkham Knight has been revealed in full, along with some screenshots so pretty your parents might die just looking at them. It’s a mashup of Batwing, the final villain in the Court of owls arc and Red Hood. All good influences and they’ve come together to form a unique and frankly awesome looking villain.
Let’s just hope it’s not Joker underneath when he removes his mask.