In 2009, Rocksteady Studios kicked off a wonderful new Batman video game trilogy with the debut of Arkham Asylum, a terrific action game where you utilize all of the Dark Knight's abilities to restore order to the facility while keeping the heinous Joker at bay. Two years later, the developer topped that with Batman: Arkham City, opening up a new world of danger, complete with the addition of several new villains, the ability to glide around the city with a Bat-Cape and even more Joker shenanigans.
Next year, the trilogy comes full circle with Batman: Arkham Knight, which should be the biggest and best adventure to date. The developer turned Gotham City into an even larger playground that you can explore on-foot, in the air or with the help of the newly added Batmobile. Plus, you'll once again tackle a who's who of villainy, from returning favorites to the mysterious new foe, the Arkham Knight.
On that note, here's the lowdown everything you need to know about Arkham Knight, coming your way this June.
Scarecrow is up to no good
The game takes place one year after the events of Arkham City, with citizens getting used to some peace and quiet. It doesn't last long, however, as several of Batman's foes team up in the hopes of killing off the Caped Crusader once and for all. Scarecrow, the madman who specializes in fear toxins, unleashes a plague upon the city that forces an evacuation, leaving only criminals and an overwhelmed police force behind.
Batman doesn't waste any time vowing to get to the bottom of Scarecrow's heinous plot. However, there's a sinister new element at play, as a new villain known only as the Arkham Knight appears. He's powerful and shrouded in mystery, just like Batman, and he brought an army that will stop at nothing to level the city. Now comes the big question – who is he really?
Fans of the Batman series will be happy to see a number of returning favorites in Arkham Knight, including Harley Quinn (who has a score to settle after what happened with Joker), Riddler, Penguin and Two-Face. Other villains are likely to appear closer to the game's release, so you know the Dark Knight will have his hands full.
Also making her return is Oracle, who once again assists Batman in locating trouble throughout the city. She's stationed in the high-tech Batcave, where Batman can simply drop in, replenish supplies (if he's running low) and get an update as to what's happening. As part of the story arc, Batman will also speak regularly with Commissioner Gordon – who's the father of Oracle, AKA Barbara Gordon.
Batman’s Wonderful Toys, and Getting Around Gotham
Similar to before, Batman has a number of abilities and weapons that he can use over the course of his adventure, like the Batarang and his glide-assisting Batcape, along with new techniques, such as the intimidation factor. With this, Batman can quickly clear a room of heavily armed criminals, jumping in and taking them out in a matter of seconds.
In addition, you'll be able to switch between open-world exploration and fighting within close quarters. To get around, you can glide with your cape, or use your grappling cable to latch onto buildings and ascend. You can also move around on foot if you prefer.
Enter the Batmobile
Batman's most luxurious toy is the Batmobile, introduced for the first time in the Arkham series. You'll use it to explore Gotham at high speeds, crashing through buildings and making your way over ramps with ease. It's very similar to the Tumbler featured in the recent Batman trilogy. During high-speed pursuits, you can shoot missiles at enemies, or in pure Burnout video game fashion, ram them off the road.
In addition, the Batmobile has a secondary mode where it transforms into a tank. This is especially useful when you're invading one of Arkham Knight's enemy camps, as you'll have to deal with cannons and vehicles. While in tank mode, the Batmobile goes much slower, but is heavily fortified and can fire more ammunition than before. You can transform at will, but it's best to keep it in driving mode until the situation calls for it.
Best of all, the Batmobile is on call. You'll be able to summon it any time, and it'll automatically drive up to your location. During a recent demo, we saw Batman call for his ride, then swoop down as it went driving up, allowing him to simply jump inside with little effort.
The Riddler Challenges
Finally, Arkham Knight will have its fair share of side missions to complete, like rescuing police forces and solving side mysteries. However, players will enjoy hunting down a series of new Riddler Trophies, as well as hidden challenges throughout the city.
Riddler has even trickier objectives, including some awesome driving courses where you can activate switches and avoid perilous obstacles, all while trying to beat his posted target times. These are a good way to get the hang of what the Batmobile can do (especially with its thrusters), and will get you that much closer to 100 percent completion.
Batman: Arkham Knight will release on June 2, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.