New details on Batman: Arkham Knight have been released in the cover story of this month’s issue of Game Informer. It’s a lot of information so let’s do it by bullet points:
- Alleged release date: While no release date was officially announced, several retailers have listed the game to release on October 14th, 2014. This date doesn’t seem to be a placeholder because the 14th falls on a Tuesday (when most games release) and because the past two Arkham games have released in October of that year.
- Story set-up: Arkham Knight will take place one year after the events of Arkham City. Crime rates have plummeted and the people of Gotham have never felt safer. The key criminals of Gotham have banded together to take down the one enemy they all share: the Batman. Each villain has a different task designed to spread Batman out thin and take him down once and for all.
- The Batmobile is drive-able: Players will be able to summon the vehicle at any time to drive through the city. City streets have been redesigned to accommodate the Batmobile creating more space between buildings that will also give players more room to glide. Players will be able to smash through objects, eject into an instant glide, and drive the Batmobile through racing challenges from the Riddler. Game Director Sefton Hill explained that Rocksteady’s mission was to create “the best car in any game ever.” The design of the Batmobile is so detailed, the memory required to render it would take up the entire graphical processing power of an Xbox 360 game.
- “Arkham Knight” doesn’t refer to Batman: The title of the game actually refers to a new arch-rival that Rocksteady designed in conjunction with DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns. Hill describes him as “someone who could really challenge Batman to go head to head with him in a lot of different ways.”
- The game is only single-player: Unlike Arkham Origins, this game will be a completely single-player experience. Hill explains that “This is a single-player game. There is no multiplayer. Right at the start this was our vision. It’s going to take all of our effort for all of this time. We don’t have the time to do multiplayer.”
- Next-gen visuals: Due to the power of next-gen hardware, the game was able to be created entirely with one single engine. Meaning there will be no visible difference between the cinematic cut scenes and gameplay.
- Next-gen world: The decision to create the game solely on next-gen consoles allowed the team at Rocksteady to do more than they have ever been able to do. Arkham Knight will feature an open-world Gotham City made up of three islands and will be nearly 5 times larger than Arkham City. Hill explains: “We want to make sure the world is rich and full of interesting things to do. We’re not trying to create the biggest open-world game ever. We are trying to create a really rich, vibrant, dense open world.”
- Next-gen combat: Tim Hanagan, lead AI and combat programmer, explains how next-gen hardware affects combat: “At any given time, there are between three to five times the number of thugs active in Gotham City than there were in Arkham City.” This means that riots on the Gotham streets will include 50 or more enemies at a time for Batman to battle in between missions.
- Play as Harley Quinn: Customers who pre-order the game will be given an exclusive DLC to play as Harley Quinn in special challenge maps. Harley will have her own unique weapons, gadgets, and abilities.
- Many voice actors will return: Kevin Conroy will indeed return as the voice actor for Batman/Bruce Wayne as follows his slip about the game last year. Many of the voice actors from Arkham City will also return including Nolan North (Penguin), Troy Baker (Two-Face), Wally Wingert (Riddler), and Tara Strong (Harley Quinn).
- Rocksteady’s final Batman game: Rocksteady wanted to make the ultimate Batman game before they said goodbye to the character that launched them into stardom. After Arkham Knight, Rocksteady will move on to a new, undisclosed, non-Batman game. No word yet if this marks the true end of the Arkham series, or if WB Montreal will continue the series in their pre-Asylum timeline.
If you have any other questions you can ask Twinfinite’s local Batman expert, me! @austinwgarcia
Batman: Arkham Knight will (allegedly) release on October 14th for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.