The release of Batman: Arkham Knight is only four months away. Come June 2, Rocksteady Studios hopes to release the developer’s magnum opus of the Batman: Arkham Trilogy. It will be Rocksteady’s last Batman game, and the company hopes to culminate the franchise with a bang. With the release drawing so much closer, I want to look ahead at the most exciting features about the game’s release.
HONORABLE MENTION: Harley Quinn as a Playable Character
In the Batman: Arkham City story DLC, Harley Quinn’s Revenge, the events of Arkham City have clearly shattered Harley Quinn’s maniacal fragile state to a greater degree. Quinn was already insane, and the death of The Joker only served to push her off the deep end. So now, after the loss of The Joker, Quinn will capture a bit more spotlight in the game. Harley Quinn has traditionally been known as a supporting character– essentially a henchwoman, as the girlfriend of The Joker. Quinn is an interesting character, so I am happy to see she will shine further in the spotlight for the game. Even more, she will get her own DLC story pack. I am curious to see how Quinn will play for the game. I wonder if her attacks and assets will resemble The Joker’s from Arkham Asylum, or if she will get her own original animations and builds. Regardless, it is a fantastic opportunity to play from the perspective of the villainous and insane Harley Quinn.
5. The Scarecrow Steps Up
Based on early trailers for the game, it looks like The Scarecrow is one of, if not the main, masterminds behind the conflict of the game. His brand new redesign looks downright terrifying. Previous Arkham games have contained some misdirection regarding the identity of the villainous mastermind. The marketing materials for Arkham City played up Hugo Strange as the mastermind behind the plot. That turned out to not be the case. For Batman: Arkham Origins, the marketing materials played up Black Mask as the main villains. I realize Origins was not a Rocksteady game, but that was also a situation where the developers and the publisher built up a villain who turned out to not be the main threat. Hopefully, there is not a similar bait-and-switch with regard to The Scarecrow. This appears to be The Scarecrow at his most frightening. There were clues littering Arkham City hinting at the revenge Scarecrow was planning against the Dark Knight. It is time for Scarecrow to unleash his wrath.
4. Mystery Villain
One of the big attractions for Arkham Knight is the extistence of the eponymous villain of the game, the Arkham Knight. He carries the Arkham emblem, but has an armored suit that resembles Batman’s. Based on the E3 demo, the Arkham Knight appears to be a mercenary for hire. He is male. His attitude is rather cocky and arrogant. There have been some supposed rumors about the Arkham Knight’s identity; but hopefully, Rocksteady will come up with a nice surprise. If the reveal of his identity is a letdown, fans will not let Rocksteady hear the end of it. Actually, the attitude and personality of Arkham Knight is highly reminiscent of Jason Todd’s version of the Red Hood from the DC Comics. However, Rocksteady has already revealed that Jason Todd/Red Hood is a playable character in the game.
3. Open-World Gotham City Sandbox
I have been salivating over ever since Arkham Asylum, an open-world Batman video game where all of Gotham City is the Caped Crusader’s sandbox. Arkham City did not quite go into that direction, as all of the game was set in a cordoned off slum of Gotham City which was fashioned into a prison. This time, it will be Gotham City as the sandbox. It will not be confined to Arkham Island or a slum prison. Unfortunately, Gotham City will not be fully populated and interactive, because the city is being evacuated due to the threat from Scarecrow. However, the Gotham City map in Arkham Knight will be five times the size of the one in Arkham City, meaning the sandbox for the game will be gigantic.
2. Jason Todd/Red Hood as a Playable Character
Batman and Harley Quinn are not the only playable characters in Batman: Arkham Knight. Rocksteady has also announced that the Jason Todd version of Red Hood has been added into the mix. One of my favorite elements of the Arkham Games was getting a chance to play as alternate characters with different moves and different play styles than that of Batman. Arkham Asylum gave players a taste of that with The Joker, who was a playable character for the PS3 version of the game for The Joker Challenge Maps. Arkham City took it a step further with the Catwoman story missions and Challenge Maps. Robin and Nightwing also received their own Challenge Maps for the game. I am curious to find out if the Red Hood Story Pack for the game will include actual story-based DLC, or if they will only be story missions. Still, Red Hood/Jason Todd is a favorite character of mine, so I am happy to see he will have some presence in the game.
1. The Batmobile
This one was a long time coming. The Batmobile and Bat-Wings made appearances in previous games of the Batman Arkham franchise, but players were never able to actually control and do anything with those vehicles. Now, players will finally have the opportunity to use a fully functional Batmobile in the game. The Batmobile is armed to the teeth and uniquely designed for the game. Since there will be alternate Batmobile skins, I am hoping that means Rocksteady figures out a way to incorporate skins of the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie Batmobile and other versions of Batman’s ride into the game. I have seen the Batmobile in action at E3, and it is a sight to behold. I am prepared to fully enjoy patrolling the streets of Gotham City with the Batmobile in Arkham Knight.