Batman: Arkham Knight
Warner Bros. IE
PS4, Xbox One, PC
Before Rocksteady got a hold of the Batman franchise, the Dark Knight, like many of his superhero contemporaries, had only starred in games which were passable at best. That all changed in 2009 though, with the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Inspired by the graphic novel of the same name, Batman: Arkham Asylum was a graphic novel that set itself as pretty much a perfect game idea. Basically a surrealistic set of “boss battles” and “enemy encounters”, B:AA set the Caped Crusader against all of his most formidable antagonists in a wild gauntlet for the lives of a group of hostages. The interactive adaptation used this as a springboard for an entirely new narrative, which has since been extended to include three sequels: Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and the upcoming Arkham Knight.
With the death of the Joker curtailing the main antagonist of the previous Arkham outings, Rocksteady has chosen to make two bold choices for the narrative of the series’ final installment. The first was to bring back the Scarecrow, a character presumed dead after being dragged into the sewers by Killer Croc in Arkham Asylum. The second choice, one which is bolder still, is to introduce an entirely new character: the titular Arkham Knight. Between these two characters, players will find the main thrust of the story’s villainous machinations. Other characters confirmed to appear include: Two-Face, Riddler, Harley Quinn, Azrael, Catwoman, Hush, Ventriloquist, Robin, Oracle, and Jim Gordon.
Outside of the plot, Arkham Knight has plenty of new features to offer for series fans, the most notable of which is the iconic Batmobile. While the Batmobile has featured in the cut scenes of previous installments B: AK will actually allow players to drive it for the first time, and with a Gotham City which is purportedly 5 times the size of it’s AC iteration, this new driving mechanic is hardly surprising. Also amended will be the free-flowing fight style and glide abilities of the World’s Greatest Detective, each adjusted to allow for more freedom and, likely, a tighter gaming experience for it.
With all of this in mind, as well as the technical upgrade afforded by the jump to a new console generation, Arkham Knight is setting itself up as an exceptional end for the critically lauded Arkham series. Slated for a 2015 release, fans can only hope that the game will deliver on the wide scope and lofty promises it has leveled thus far.