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Feature: Five Badass Things You'll Do in Batman: Arkham Knight on PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

How Rocksteady is bringing plenty of pow to Sony's new system

A cynic may argue that it’s taken far too long for the cogs in the next-gen announcement cycle to really get turning, but Batman: Arkham Knight appears to have finally kicked the PlayStation 4 hype machine back into life. In production at series creator Rocksteady Studios, the London-based developer is aiming to conclude its superhero themed trilogy with a bang on Sony’s recently released machine. And speaking as part of a Game Informer cover story, the popular outfit has outlined exactly how it intends to finish the Dark Knight’s greatest ever gaming escapade on a high. Like the moody detective himself, we’ve analysed all of the details – and compiled a list of the five most badass things that you’ll do in the upcoming campaign.

You’ll drive the Batmobile

The headline addition to the impending sequel, Batman: Arkham Knight will allow you to drive the Batmobile for the first time in the series’ storied history. While the legendary vehicle has appeared in other titles starring the Dark Knight, this is the first time that you’ll be able to get behind the wheel in a sandbox context – and developer Rocksteady is really talking up the results.

According to the British company, its aim with the title was to create “the best car in any game ever”, and it’s piled a tremendous amount of resources into the futuristic four-wheeler. Apparently, the model alone takes up around 160MB of memory, meaning that it would consume an enormous chunk of the PlayStation 3’s power just to render on a black background.

You’ll be able to call the ride at any moment with the tap of a button, but the studio has also taken time to integrate it into the Caped Crusader’s usual roster of abilities. You’ll be able to eject out of the driver’s seat and enter a glide immediately, for example, allowing you to transition between the vehicle and more traditional Arkham City-esque navigation with ease.

The car will also be integrated into the Riddler’s challenge missions, with one example seeing the hero put to the test in a three-lap time trial through the underground tunnels of Gotham City. In a Split/Second-esque twist, you’ll need to employ your powers to open up new routes, which can be activated using a radar pulse that alters the world.

You’ll battle more baddies than ever

Batman: Arkham Knight takes place about a year after the events of Batman: Arkham City, in which crime has dipped significantly following the star’s success against the Joker. However, this period of inactivity has prompted the super villains of the city to join forces, with Two-Face, the Penguin, and Harley Quinn all set to cause mischief for our put upon protagonist.

The story starts with the Scarecrow having developed a new fear toxin, which he’s planted around Gotham City, causing it to be evacuated. Only the Dark Knight and his aggressors remain in the central district, giving you plenty of room to explore. However, despite the metropolis being deserted, you’ll still come up against more enemies than ever, with the engine able to render up to 50 foes at once.

Perhaps most excitingly, a number of noteworthy names will be making a comeback to voice the ragtag cast. Uncharted star Nolan North will once again perform his best cockney impression as the Penguin, while Troy Baker will play Two-Face. Meanwhile, Tara Strong will again lend her larynx to Harley Quinn, while Kevin Conroy will return as Batman.

You’ll fight an all-new enemy

While a number of famous faces will be making their return in Batman: Arkham Knight, the title will also introduce an even greater foe that will be unique to the game. The titular antagonist has been designed by DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns, and will challenge our hero in a slew of different ways.

Not a lot is known about the enemy at this stage, but it’s possible that he will mimic the protagonist’s moveset, giving him a taste of his own medicine. It’s unclear what his relationship with the other super villains in the game will be, but it seems likely that he’ll be acting as something of a ringleader in the pursuit to bring Bats down.

Fortunately, the intrepid animal impersonator will have a number of nifty new abilities in his arsenal. For starters, he’ll get a new set of armour – but this won’t be unlocked until later in the game. This will add new skills to the star’s combative options, but it’s unclear what these are. One thing that we do know is that he’ll now be able to use all quick-fire gadgets in mid-air.

Moreover, the Dark Knight will be stronger than ever before, and will be able to smash through glass in order to enter buildings and take enemies by surprise. The combat system will remain largely the same, though all goons will now be able to charge and tackle you. Fortunately, you’ll be able to counter these with new environmental hazards, which you’ll be able to mix into combat.

You’ll explore a massive sandbox

Batman: Arkham Asylum may have adopted a more Metroidvania approach to its structure, but Batman: Arkham City took this idea into full open world territory. The upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight will be around five times bigger again, with wider streets giving you plenty of room to ride around in the Batmobile.

Despite this, the studio is not bothered about taking on Grand Theft Auto V and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in the open world stakes. “We're not trying to create the biggest open-world game ever," game director Sefton Hill explained. "We are trying to create a really rich, vibrant, dense open-world.” Much like a Rockstar title, this area will be split into three distinct districts, with each presumably boasting a slightly different feel and atmosphere.

However, unlike a number of upcoming sandbox titles such as Tom Clancy’s The Division and Watch Dogs, the developer is not really interested in blurring the lines between single player and multiplayer, as this will be an offline-only affair. “We don't have the time to do multiplayer,” continued Hill. “We don't feel that it needs a multiplayer element.”

You’ll marvel at the visuals

Unlike most games at the minute, Batman: Arkham Knight will not be compromised by a PS3 release. Rocksteady has instead opted to focus on the PS4 iteration of the sequel, and it believes that this decision will allow it to fully realise its vision, with Hill describing the title as “a real, genuine next-gen game”.

As a result, the sequel will boast a significant increase in character fidelity, with enemies and heroes boasting texture counts three-to-four times higher than in the studio’s previous games. Fascinatingly, one specific lead will boast more polygons than the entirety of Batman: Arkham Asylum’s pseudo-sandbox environment, underlining the gigantic leap between generations.

Of course, this isn’t the only improvement that will be immediately obvious in the hotly anticipated follow-up. Rain will now gather on the protagonist’s armour, and you’ll be able to watch it run down his body and create shiny streaks that will glisten in the game’s moody lighting. Moreover, the hero’s trademark cape will now react more realistically, dancing in the wind.

And the game will achieve all of this without any loading screens at all. While atmosphere draining message prompts would punctuate the wait between entering different environments in the previous games, you’ll now be able to enter buildings without any pauses whatsoever. “There is no feeling between outside and inside now," concluded Hill. "It's just one continuous experience."


What are you most looking forward to in Batman: Arkham Knight? Are you impressed by all of the announced improvements, or are you still cautious about some aspects of the game? What are your thoughts on the introduction of the Batmobile, and how do you think that it will adapt navigation? Punch us with your opinions in the comments section below.

[via gameinformer.com, eurogamer.net, computerandvideogames.com]

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User Comments (24)

TasukiStaff

#1

Tasuki said:

I am really excited about this game, October can't come soon enough, at least though that's my birthday month so I know what I will be asking for.

As for what I am most interested in probably like most people cruising around in the Batmobile.
(For some reason that scene in Batman Forever where Robin takes a joyride in the Batmobile just popped into my head lol)

Also looking forward to the incredible story.

TerrorByte

#3

TerrorByte said:

Read the game informer story in the mag. The Arkham Knight sounds very intriguing. Can't wait to learn more about him.

get2sammybAdmin

#4

get2sammyb said:

@eliotgballade Sounds like the new enemy - the Arkham Knight - is brand new and exclusive to this game. I'm sure they'll release some comics fleshing him out a little closer to release, though.

banacheck

#5

banacheck said:

underlining the gigantic leap between generations.

And just think people where saying thay would hardly be a gap between the PS3-PS4, I think some are in for a shock.

Cannot wait to play Arkham Knight it's going to be excellent.

charlesnarles

#6

charlesnarles said:

Why the hell do they use the same 7 voice actors in every game? No middle-aged Texan was available for TLOU, and neither was one with a British accent to play Penguin, so they both had to be Troy Baker? Fake accents are really easy for brains to notice flaws in, I wish they'd get some authenticity up in that b.
Anyways, looks like I'll have to pick up the previous titles and play them all real quick cause I can't miss out on this
P.S. I hope the boss is Man Bat. [Shivers]

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#7

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

Kapow! Evil Superman? They should have cast Ben Afleck in thIs game so that I could spend endless hours slapping my own face up.

LordBagardo

#10

LordBagardo said:

Can't wait for this. I thought Origins was a bit of a cash-grabby installment from Warner Bros. so it's nice to see Rocksteady taking the wheel again.

N711

#12

N711 said:

Really great read. Thanks for putting this together. I think the main vilain is a kind of dark batman

ToddlerNaruto

#13

ToddlerNaruto said:

I'm looking forward to playing Batman: Arkham Knight, though sadly I'll probably have to wait a few years.

(for me to get a PS4, and for the eventual GOTY Edition to drop down to $30 New on Amazon)

BornOfEvil

#14

BornOfEvil said:

Now I don't know what I'm more hyped for, though it's probably still the Batmobile. I'm looking forward to exploring the city, too.

Munkyknuts

#16

Munkyknuts said:

Origins didn't do it for me....prequels never really have, and there were elements that were not as sharp as they should be. I'm quietly optimistic about this game. I'll wait to see more of the batmobile and how it works. I am pleased it's a focused PS4 release and that it will have all that extra bang because of it. The same franchise fatigue I got with Assassins Creed is starting to set in with the batman games. If this is the series closer I think I can suffer another visit to Gotham.

rastamadeus

#17

rastamadeus said:

The Batmobile worries me greatly. I really hope it's not used to make you drive ages in an attempt to con you into thinking the world is bigger than it is. Also hope Joker is nowhere near this game but have a nasty feeling in the back of my head this new villain will turn out to be him in a "shock" twist. Yes, I know what happened at the end of AC but when did comics or games follow common sense?

@banacheck People said the graphical gap between PS3/360 and PS4/One won't be as striking as they were in previous generations, not that the gap would be tiny, which is valid by the way. NES-SNES-PS/N64-PS2/NGC/Xbox were all massive, massive leaps but the last two generations not so much. A talented developer will be able to work miracles regardless of the tech though (Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii, for example).

@LordBagardo Agreed. Personally I will never again buy a game made by Warner Bros. Games Montréal. If you admit on your own website you're aware of God knows how many glitches, problems and game breaking bugs in your game but would rather concentrate on making paid-DLC than fixing said errors then your company is full of c***s.

FullbringIchigo

#18

FullbringIchigo said:

plot twist the joker isn't dead and he's now trying to be batman and calling himself the arkham knight jk

being serious I have no idea who it is but a brand new enemy just for the game sound interesting, I can't wait for this

SunnyShores

#19

SunnyShores said:

Thank the gods rocksteady is back on this one. I loved Arkham asylum, and Arkham city. arkham origins not so much. it was quite boring. but now I have a reason to be excited again! super stoked

ThreadShadow

#22

ThreadShadow said:

It's interesting to see how a lot of voice actors have been pushed out of animated movies by 'real' actors. Doing voice work for videogames may be the last rallying point for traditional voice actors.

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