Batman’s legacy in the video game world has been cemented ever since the release of 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum. Rocksteady’s initial foray into the world of the Caped Crusader flipped everything the gaming world knew about superhero titles on its head and blew both critics and the general public away. Batman’s transition from comic book icon to AAA video game character was an exciting, action-packed journey that left gamers waiting for more.
Following two other sequels, the Arkham franchise is set to return once more in the upcoming title Batman: Arkham Knight. With Rocksteady once more in the development role, it is abundantly clear that Arkham Knight is prepared to be the definitive Batman video game off all time. During a brief demo during E3 2014, every element of Batman: Arkham Knight that was showcased continually amazed and astounded.
The first thing that stands out in Batman: Arkham Knight is the game’s absolutely stunning graphics. Everything from Gotham City’s impeccable architecture to Batman’s new and improved Batsuit are incredibly polished. The amount of detail on screen at any given time is undeniably staggering. Rocksteady has done an excellent job once more of bringing the city of Gotham – and all of its inhabitants- to life. In turn, there is also a new level of detail that transcends to Batman himself. Every inch of Batman is crafted with care, none more evident that in his cape, which flows realistically in such a way that it is near-impossible to take your eyes off of it.
Gotham’s well-represented streets are bigger than ever before, especially when taking into account Batman: Arkham Knight’s newer emphasis on vertical gameplay. The game’s impressive visuals and emphasis on maneuverability in any direction are done so largely in part thanks to the power of the next-gen consoles the game is being developed for. Arkham Knight is one of the first games to truly feel ‘next-gen’.
One of the main drawing points of Arkham Knight is the debut of the iconic Batmobile into the hero’s arsenal. At E3, the Batmobile was featured heavily during the game’s demo, and it is clear that the vehicle will be a core component of gameplay.
In Arkham Knight, the Batmobile is more than just a simple method of transportation and the E3 preview demo showed off numerous impressive features the vehicle is host to. Batman will spend plenty of time in the Batmobile in Arkham Knight, and this will be enjoyable even for video game fans that tend to shy away from driving sections in other titles, thanks to how well the car handles and the sheer amount of enjoyment the Batmobile provides.
The Batmobile comes equipped with face-melting after burners which can be used to reach dangerously high speeds whilst in pursuit of foes. The feel of speed and intensity jumps off of the screen when the after burners are engaged, making for seriously unforgettable moments. Outside of traveling at high speeds, the Batmobile’s battle mode is host to a varied arsenal of weapons, including a winch, cannons and guns. These weapons, of course, are non-lethal but ever satisfying to hit enemies with.
Batman can also operate his Batmobile remotely, allowing it to be used in support as he fights foes on the ground. The remote control option is only a button press away, ensuring that if the fighting gets too much to handle, Batman will be able to call on his trusty car at a moment’s notice. The thrill of racing down the Gotham streets, ejecting out of the Batmobile, launching into free flow combat, all while remotely controlling the Batmobile as you battle is almost too much to take in and one of the most memorable video game experiences in recent years.
The Batmobile isn’t the only new addition to Arkham Knight, however. Batman has a few new tricks up his sleeve as well. Aside from his new Batsuit, the Caped Crusader also has a new wrist-gadget that projects video content in front of him as he talks with Commissioner Gordon and Oracle. These touches show off the sheer power of the game’s engine and further immerse the player into the game’s world.
New gadgets and vehicles are going to be a necessity in Batman: Arkham Knight, because the varied foes that were one display during the E3 demo clearly require some tactical prowess. Many of the foes on display were more than simple grunt types, and required Batman to utilize all of his skills to take them down with some careful planning. The variety in combat situations is great and will add miles of replayability to the game itself.
All in all, Batman: Arkham Knight put on a wonderful show at E3, proving once more why the Caped Crusader is king of the video game superheroes. Arkham Knight is set to release next year for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
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