Rocksteady Games created an impressive legacy with its Batman games, starting with 2009's amazing Batman: Arkham Asylum and topping itself with the even more mesmerizing Batman: Arkham City just two years later. By the end of this year, the developer will complete the Dark Knight's circle with Batman: Arkham Knight, the final chapter in the series. As you might expect, Rocksteady will send it out with a bang.
Making its debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Arkham Knight will bring plenty of change from the previous entries in the series, along with a few surprises for good measure. To help get you excited, we have 10 reasons you shouldn't miss Batman's newest adventure.
Batman’s Toughest Adversary to Date
The Dark Knight faced his share of villains and managed to walk away unscathed, including Solomon Grundy, the Penguin and of course, the nefarious Joker. However, in the demo, he meets his match with a new character that Rocksteady introduced, an adversary known only as the Arkham Knight. This dark vigilante seeks justice while holding a grudge against Batman. Who could this mysterious foe be, and can Batman rise to the challenge and defeat him? We can only guess at this point.
Gotham on a Massive Scale
Now that the series made the transition to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Rocksteady can capture the entirety of Gotham. Yes, you'll be able to make your way from one part of the city to the other without the need of a Batjet, traveling in real-time. Batman: Arkham Knight contains the largest explorable city to date, even bigger than last year's Batman: Arkham Origins. For good measure, you can drop in to any of the city streets and beat up a few thugs, in case you feel like getting into a fight.
Dive Bombs Look Better than Ever
To help remain in the sky with his glide techniques, Batman occasionally performs a dive bomb, where he temporarily plummets towards the ground for a few seconds before swooping back up with a newfound sense of speed. In Arkham Knight, this is more effective than ever, as you can jump from tall skyscrapers and really feel how dizzying the dive bomb maneuver is, only to come flying back up into the sky. Try it a few times; chances are you'll be blown away.
Batman Uses Melee Weapons and the Environment Against Thugs
For the longest time, Batman relied on fisticuffs – and occasionally his gadgets – when it comes to beating up thugs. For Arkham Knight, Rocksteady added a new component. The Dark Knight can now grab a bad guy’s weapon, such as a baseball bat or club, and temporarily use it against his adversaries to knock them out cold. In addition, if Batman's near an object, like a switch box or a trash can, he can ram enemies into those as well. Hey, improvisation goes a long way when it comes to crime fighting.
Unleash the Fear Takedown
Takedowns can be difficult, especially when it comes to armed thugs with itchy trigger fingers. However, with the new Fear Takedown maneuver, Batman can work quickly to defeat his adversaries. He simply lines up his targets within his sights, and with one button press, swiftly launches into action, beating them all senseless before they can fire their assault rifles. Now that's efficiency.
Oracle and Gordon Share the Spotlight
Batman: Arkham Knight has a good story going for it, especially when it comes to the involvement of the mysterious new Arkham Knight. However, Rocksteady wanted to add more of an emotional angle, so it concentrated on Oracle this time around. Batman's wheelchair-bound ally plays a bigger role, aiding him in finding objectives and even providing a lair where he can get more information. Also more involved in the story is her father, Lieutenant Jim Gordon, who thinks she safely evacuated from the city. Boy, is he in for a surprise.
Batman's Wonderful Toys
Batman has plenty of tools of the trade when it comes to crime fighting, and Rocksteady intends to expand their use in Arkham Knight. For instance, the Dark Knight can now throw Batarangs in the air, should he need to peg a target from a nearby rooftop. For good measure, he can also launch lines at any given point, either grabbing onto a nearby roof for additional speed or setting up a tightrope to perch upon while looking down at thugs below. Fans of the Arkham series are sure to have some fun with these goodies.
Enter the New Batmobile
The Dark Knight had no trouble getting around Gotham before, but now he obtained a mean-looking vehicle – the Batmobile. Similar in structure to the one featured in the latest Batman films, this tank-like behemoth can rampage through Gotham, busting through walls and flying through the air. In fact, throughout the demo, Rocksteady had no problem taking down several gas stations – though that leaves us wondering where Batman refuels his ride.
The Batmobile's Armed, Ready and on Call
Digging a little deeper with the Batmobile, it has some excellent features. Batman can call upon it at any time – even when he's gliding – and it'll remotely come to pick him up. For good measure, it's also armed with powerful missiles, so chasing down a military truck armed to the teeth is no problem. A few lock-ons, and this thing is toast. Finally, the Batmobile drifts like a dream, so don't be afraid to use that to your advantage – like if you need to ram a few thugs off the road.
The Riddler's Challenge – More Than a Trophy Hunt
Finally, in Batman: Arkham Knight, the Riddler returns, but this is no longer about finding little trophies hidden in air ducts. Instead, he set up much meatier challenges to put the Dark Knight to the test. One of these involves driving in a booby-trapped obstacle course, where Batman has access to a relay switch that activates platforms and doors. He'll need to time these moves perfectly, or risk crashing his beloved Batmobile. This was one of the more exciting parts of the demo, showing not only unpredictability, but also how much the Batmobile plays a part in the game. We can't wait to tackle more of these challenges.
Batman: Arkham Knight ships later this year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.