While we’re still in the infancy of the PlayStation 4 era, true next-gen exclusives are rare. We’ve had the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack, of course, but many of the big multiplatform games have released on the PlayStation 3 as well. The recently announced Batman: Arkham Knight is aiming to buck this trend and point its attention firmly at Sony’s newest format – but why is that?

“Obviously, you see a lot of games that are cross-gen, and they feel a bit reined in because of that,” game director Sefton Hill told Game Informer magazine as part of its cover story. “Because we were able to make that decision quite early, we were able to be more ambitious with the design and make a real, genuine next-gen game.”

The developer continued that making a title for new hardware is easy – but the real challenge is squeezing every last drop of juice out of the device. “It's not a challenge to move to next-gen,” he continued. “The real challenge is making sure that you're getting the best out of the machine. It's easy to get the game running, but it's about, 'what can we do that really pushes these machines?'”

So, how will the game look better than its PS3 predecessors? Well, according to one senior artist at the London-based studio, a handful of the title’s character models will sport more polygons than the entirety of Arkham Asylum’s sandbox environment combined. Moreover, you’ll see things such as rain run down the Dark Knight’s cape, and cloth physics will react more realistically to the wind.

“At the beginning, we started making characters that were about three to four times the polygon count and texture sizes of Arkham City,” explained lead character artist Albert Feliu. “As we kept going with every character we just pushed it more. It's the kind of thing that sounds insane. Like one character is as big as the polygon count of Arkham Asylum, the whole environment.”

The title is running on a modified version of the Unreal Engine, which is presumably the same codebase that it used for previous iterations in the franchise. Despite this, the game’s map will reportedly be five times bigger than Rocksteady’s previous release, giving you plenty of opportunity to drive around in the Batmobile. Are you excited for the upcoming sequel? Honk your horn in the comments section below.

[via gameinformer.com, computerandvideogames.com]