One of any gamer’s guilty pleasures in games like Grand Theft Auto is the ability to attack or mow down helpless NPCs in a car. While these actions are here to stay in Grand Theft Auto, what happens when a similar high-speed car gameplay mechanic is introduced to another game that doesn’t allow the player to kill people?
Many gamers wondered how the developers could prevent players from mowing people down after learning that the final entry in the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight, would be introducing a drivable Batmobile for the first time. It turns out that the game developer stayed true to their word, but the results are amusing.
Batman: Arkham Knight came out today to critical acclaim, albeit with serious problems plaguing the PC edition of the game. Eurogamer set out to test whether or not the caped crusader could kill people in the video seen above, and the results range from hilarious to outright weird.
First and foremost, the capabilities of the Batmobile’s crushing weight was tested. While an enemy was incapacitated on the ground, the player purposefully drove over him and then left the car directly on top of him. While he should have been crushed, the game is apparently programmed so that incapacitated bodies don’t have any reaction to the car at all.
Furthermore, while the Batmobile can strike people or cars on the street, the car’s taser goes into effect, zapping them and shoving them out of the way so they’re not run over by the Batmobile. This is a mechanic purposefully introduced by Rocksteady Studios to try and explain why people who get hit by reckless Batmobile drivers don’t die, but given the extreme speeds the Batmobile is capable of, it’s a little farfetched. The Batmobile’s missiles can also send cars flipping or even blowing up, but people always roll out of them seemingly unharmed.
Finally, Batman’s no-kill policy is tested beyond the Batmobile. Apparently, an average henchman bad guy is immune to electrocution and serious injury, as Batman doesn’t hesitate to zap one by sending him head-first into an electrical conduit clearly marked as dangerous due to its exposed high voltage. A non-enemy police officer fares a little easier, but apparently has some secrets of his own, as Batman sails right through him when he tries to punch or otherwise harm him, leaving Batman looking like he’s performing an awkward dance around the cop.
While other Batman games and films have shown that Bruce Wayne possesses a great deal of self-restraint to not simply kill the bad guys, Batman: Arkham Knight is a little different. Here, the villians seem to be immortal and only susceptible to being knocked out, no matter what the punishment, and innocent civilians simply can’t be harmed to begin with. While critics have come to the general consensus that the game is an excellent conclusion to the Arkham franchise, this particular mechanic does add a layer of silliness to the game that’s hard to ignore.
While it’s enjoyable from a storytelling point of view to see Batman struggle with his own self-imposed no killing rule, it wouldn’t be fair to give players a Batmobile and not let them have fun with it. If the choice was to play through the game carefully not killing anyone, or to be able to drive in the Batmobile and simply not have the ability to kill characters, most would gladly take the Batmobile.
Batman: Arkham Knight is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.