A new title in the Arkham series is in the works, and this time around, gamers will have more power and freedom than ever before. Not only will they don the Caped Crusader’s cowl, they’ll also be able to explore his native territory and go beyond the walls of Arkham City. Here are eight reasons why we’re excited for Batman: Arkham Knight:
1. Iconic supervillains
Players will be in direct conflict with the likes of Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, and the titular Arkham Knight. This menacing new shadow-version of Batman looks more than ready to kick some serious ass. Luckily, our hero won’t be fighting these battles on his own. He’ll enlist the help of Commissioner Gordon and Gordon’s daughter, the Oracle.
2. Gotham City is completely pimped out
Not only will Batman’s open-world playground be five times larger than in Arkham City, it will be entirely accessible, much like the massive maps of the Grand Theft Auto series. Richly-detailed and mind-bogglingly massive, players will undoubtedly want to check out every secret nook and cranny Gotham has to offer.
3. The mystery of the Arkham Knight
The Arkham Knight is a robotic, militarized version of Batman powerful enough to overthrow the Caped Crusader himself. He wears the “A” logo representing Arkham Asylum on his chest, which leads many fans to believe he could actually be some form of the Joker. Others theorize he could even be Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne.
4. The Batmobile is totally kickass
Developer Rocksteady Studios’ new rendition of Batman’s iconic set of wheels may be the coolest yet – it’ll feature new non-lethal gadgets, an aesthetically-pleasing futuristic design, and a larger, wider frame. The Batmobile is so central that Gotham City’s entire design was created with it in mind, and it’s the only vehicle players can use throughout the game. Oh, and did we mention Batman can control it remotely? Because he totally can.
5. Batman uses fear as a weapon
There’s no doubt that combat has been one of the Arkham series’ biggest strengths, but a new skill, dubbed the “Fear Takedown,” allows for even more impressive combos. As long as Batman remains undetected, he can jump out and startle up to three opponents and overwhelm them via Max Payne-style bullet time slow motion.
6. The graphics are built exclusively for next gen consoles
Since this title will not be released for the PS3 or Xbox 360, Rocksteady focused on harnessing the maximum capabilities of next gen systems. This means the game will have fewer technical constraints – cutscenes can be rendered in real time and more characters can appear onscreen during skirmishes. The Apex physics system allows clothing to react realistically to in-game stimuli like wind or character movement, upping the authenticity factor. The game will use an amped-up version of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, which powered the Gears of War trilogy.
7. No multiplayer
You read that correctly – no multiplayer whatsoever. So why are we looking forward to it? It’s because of what director Sefton Hill told Game Informer, “We want to focus on making the best single-player experience we can. We don’t feel that it needs a multiplayer element.” We’re looking forward to seeing what they’ve come up with.
8. It’s the grand finale
Rocksteady announced that this game will wrap up their Arkham trilogy. The last chapter ended with the death of the Joker. Now, one year later, we’ll see the effects of this pivotal event on Gotham. This series is sure to go out with a bang, and we wonder just how shocking, tragic, or completely unexpected this last hurrah will be.
Originally slated for an October 2014 release, Batman: Arkham Knight got hit with a delay. We’re now counting the days till the new June 2, 2015.