It’s hard to believe, but Rocksteady Studios is just months away from releasing their last entry in the Arkham series of video games, Batman: Arkham Knight. The titular villain is still wrapped in mystery, but to take him down, Batman will be in need of a brand new Batsuit, a new set of wheels, and more determination than ever before.
Topping their previous two games will be no easy task for Rocksteady, but they’re clearly swinging for the fences in several aspects of the game. We got a chance to test drive the Batmobile’s Battle Mode at E3 2014, but the developers promise that the desire to bring new content for fans will be found throughout the experience, and we now have a few more examples to look forward to.
Arkham Knight producer Dax Ginn has spoken in the past about the studio’s close relationship with the top minds at DC Comics, with the team having more than proven to be experts in the core of the Batman character. Speaking with AusGamers, Ginn reiterated the partnership, and gave a new detail on how the commitment to the character allowed the developers to take a closer look at Bruce Wayne’s lifestyle – revealing a new location players will get to explore in the process:
“There’s a lot of back and forth with DC, because those guys just have the final say and the first point of creative inspiration for so much of the stuff that we do. Whether it’s the layout of Gotham City itself, the location of key locations, designing the Arkham Knight, we’re in daily contact talking about the creative directions and the creative license that we can take with things.”
“Areas like the penthouse at the top of Wayne Tower — which is Bruce Wayne’s private office — that was something that we feel is a space that hasn’t been deeply explored, so that we could design the location of where the Bat Pod goes, for his change of clothes — from his suit into the Bat Suit.
“We put a massive bar in there, because he’s always entertaining. So little things like that, that fit the way that we’ve interpreted Bruce Wayne. It’s awesome for us to just let loose and really come up with a creative space that we feel is true to the Arkham experience, but also true to Batman.”
The developers aren’t confirming just how much of the game will actually be spent as Bruce Wayne, as opposed to his nocturnal identity, but with the wealth of villains on hand to ruin his evening, we doubt he’ll have much time for socializing.
Where Arkham Asylum kicked off the series with a linear, story-focused adventure, Arkham City added to the surrounding cast of characters; and Arkham Knight is looking to keep that momentum going. The team has shown that Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Oracle will play a much larger role in the game’s story, aided by the extra attention paid to both she and and her father in Arkham Origins. Ginn reveals that their inclusion will offer assistance to the player, but also show that being a friend to the Bat can prove costly:
“We delve deep in terms of characters and characterization, because a Batman game isn’t complete with that sense of real depth in terms of the villains that you come up against, but also the allies and the support that Batman has. So delving deeply into the relationship between Commissioner Gordon, his daughter Barbara — thinking about the connection that Batman has with these people that he loves was a really big part of it.
“Those characters have been part of the Batman Universe for so long, but we, in the telling of this part of the story, wanted to ask ourselves: what happens when Batman goes to war? What happens when the people that he loves start to pay the price for the decisions that he makes about his war on crime?”
There’s no doubt that Rocksteady plans to end their series with a bang, and pulling Barbara or Jim Gordon into the crossfire would certainly be one way to do it. While the gameplay and story have both been detailed at length, it wouldn’t be an Arkham game without some serious plot twists along the way, so anything is possible.
Are you interested in seeing the Batman/Bruce Wayne fiction expanded upon in Arkham Knight, or is it the next-gen gameplay and action that has you most excited? Care to make a prediction on just what price Batman’s friends may end up paying? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Batman: Arkham Knight will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2015.
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