Batman: Arkham Knight was announced last week with a lot of fanfare, but its late-2014 release date may sit uneasily with some. It wasn’t too long ago Arkham Origins hit store shelves, and with a new Bat-game just months away, many are beginning to refer to Arkham Knight as Batman: COD Edition.
Such names are unfair, though not entirely without merit. Arkham Origins was too much like Arkham City (even going as far as to reuse the same environment, albeit differently) to be considered a ‘true’ sequel; if anything, it was a modest update. This isn’t to discredit any and all of the changes and additions the game’s developer, Warner Bros. Montreal, brought to the table, but when you look at the huge leaps forward made between Asylum and City, there was no distinguishable “wow factor”.
I understand acquainting Rocksteady’s latest to Activision’s annual FPS franchise, but there’s also a great deal of potential.
Here are six reasons why you should be excited to play this year’s Batman adventure.
Rocksteady is back in the development chair
Need I write anymore than that? With 2009’s Arkham Asylum and 2011’s Arkham City, this UK-based studio proved that, yes, developers can make a really good licensed video game, and all it really requires is to know the source material. And Rocksteady sure know their bat-lore, which when paired with their collective development skills, the studio seem incapable of delivering a bad game, or for that matter, a bad Batman game.
Batman’s vehicle of choice, the Batmobile, is the envy of every male on the planet. It’s slick, chock-full of fancy features, and chicks dig it like nobody’s business. And, finally, players will get their chance to take it for a spin when Arkham Knight launches later this year.
Rocksteady have already confirmed Gotham’s streets will be made wider, as to accommodate the Batmobile’s bulky profile, meaning Bats will be able to pursue criminals as they joyride through Gotham.
There’s no Joker
Having died at the end of Arkham City, we can only assume The Joker won’t be showing his smiling face at any point in Arkham Knight; and that’s a good thing. For how great the character is, he’s been hogging the spotlight for three games now, meaning it’s time for the spotlight to be cast onto Batman’s other villains, each of whom are just as deep and complex as Joker.
Admittedly, I might be calling this one a little early, but Rocksteady have already talked about how Arkham Knight’s story centres itself around the question; ‘what happens when The Joker dies?’. The short and sweet answer is; it creates a power-vacuum that sees Gotham’s supervillains team up to take down Batman, which on paper sounds like it’ll make for one heck of a story.
There’s a new, original character
A topic of confusion among some on the internet, there is, in fact, a new character, and their name is right in the game’s title. At this point in time it’s unknown exactly who the Arkham Knight is, where they came from, or how they’ll fit into the story; what we do know is he’s (or she) said to be somewhat of a “militarised” version of Batman, sans the cape, who’s packing a gun or similar firearm.
Arkham Knight is an original creation by Rocksteady, in conjunction with DC (presumably the one and only Geoff Johns), which means the character has the potential to appear in post-release issues of Batman comics if they prove popular. Hey, it happened with Harley Quinn after all.
It’s true next-gen
Unlike a myriad of games coming out in 2014, Arkham Knight is being built specifically for next-gen consoles (and PC), meaning Rocksteady are able to do a lot of stuff just not possible on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 (and Wii U). This includes lots of particles, polygons, a game map fives times the size of Arkham City, and a lot of other fancy things that will make you truly ‘become the batman’.
But the most important question you’re all probably thinking is; “will it run natively in 60fps, 1080p?”…
It’s the last game in the series
All good things must come to an end eventually, and so too does Rocksteady’s Arkham series. The studio have made it clear they’re looking to go out with a bang, sending off their own trilogy of games with an end that’ll both delight, and surprise fans. And until we play it, we’ll be left wondering if the game’s story will soar to the heights of The Dark Knight, or leave people with a weird sense of closure like the end of The Dark Knight Rises.
It’s also unsure whether publisher Warner Bros. will commission another studio to create more games in the franchise (like they did last year) after the fact, and we can only hope Rocksteady stay firm that their Arkham moniker retire completely.