It’s no secret that Rocksteady Studios, the developers ofÂ Batman: Arkham Asylum andÂ Arkham City have been hard at work on the next installment in their blockbuster franchise for years. But just as they did with the release of the first Bat-title, the studio’s managed to surprise with the announcement of their next game, accompanied by a cinematic trailer unlike any from the studio before.
Batman: Arkham KnightÂ takes the open world gameplay of the series into the larger open world of Gotham City, but the first artwork for the game shows that besides a new suit, the addition to the core gameplay that fans have long demanded has finally arrived: the Batmobile. Rocksteady’s claim that it will be their finale to the series is enough to get fans excited, but the fact that it will be doing it on next-gen systems only is worth even more attention.
The announcement itself isn’t much of a shock, after European press hinted that the nextÂ Arkham game would grace the cover of GI‘s next issue, and just days ago the game’s logo and release date were leaked as well. Now some official details can accompany the rumored ones:Â Arkham Knight will bring what Rocksteady has called “an end to the series,” and the trailer certainly promises to delve deeper into Bruce Wayne’s role as Gotham’s protector than the priorÂ Arkham titles were able to.
Some stunning artwork has also been released with the announcement ofÂ Arkham Knight as the cover story for GI’s April issue. Like the trailer, the images maker Rocksteady and Warner Bros.’ early message clear: you asked for the Batmobile, you’re getting the Batmobile. However, the trailer also promises a return of nearly everyÂ Arkham villain of the past, and the collective threat is what has Rocksteady promising that this game will deliver on the story – and conclusion – that the studio has been building towards:
In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever.Â Batman: Arkham KnightÂ introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.
Rocksteady boss Sefton Hill and his team have been quite clear in the past about the need to focus on developing a gameplay vision that would provide the best experience, not simply give Batman fans the kind of gadgets and equipment they most remember. But as theÂ Arkham series makes its leap to next-gen systems, the result is not only a game world encapsulating Gotham City as a whole, but the long awaited arrival of the Batmobile:
“The team at Rocksteady Studios is putting a tremendous amount of work into delivering the final chapter of our Batman: Arkham trilogy so that fans can feel what itâ€™s like to be the Batman… Weâ€™re excited to be developing the game for next-gen platforms, which has allowed us to bring to life the design elements that we envisioned from the beginning such as the Batmobile and how it augments Batmanâ€™s abilities, to the fully detailed and realized Gotham City.”
With the Scarecrow calling the shots, and Gotham City being torn apart by the united actions of the city’s villains, the stage is set for an even darker story thanÂ Asylum andÂ City told, so perhaps Rocksteady’s claim that this will be the last chapter in the series is more than just marketing. It still seems unlikely for Warner Bros. to abandon their most popular DC Comics game just as Batman is once again set to appear on the big screen (in a metallic armor not unlike that seen in the trailer), but only time will tell. Rocksteady hasn’t disappointed yet, so this long a development cycle promises a polished send-off, if that is in deed their aim.
More details, interviews, and footage is likely on its way now thatÂ Batman: Arkham Knight has been let out of the bag, so what are your first reactions to Rocksteady’s new Batmobile? Does the design seem to be worth the wait, or is it Gotham City that has your interest (now boasting a story justification for a sparsely-populated game world)?
Stay tuned to Game Rant for more details as they arrive. Past reports hinted at a release date of October 8, 2014, but so far the official date has yet to be confirmed.
Batman: Arkham KnightÂ will be released in 2014 for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Game Informer