Sok! Pow! Crack! Kazow!
OK, so the above words come from the Adam West version of Batman in the late 1960s (it was so camp but fun to watch: Oh, and let it be noted I watched it much later in life, not during the 1960s) but they’re so fitting for the announcement trailer of WB’s next Batman game, Arkham Knight – and man, am I shaking in my Batcave for this one to come out.
OK, so it’s only a cinematic trailer so we shouldn’t get all excited but damn, it’s hard not too when you get a glimpse of the caped crusader and all that’s going on in the 3 minute-something trailer. And the game’s coming from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City developers, Rocksteady. Yay!
The trailers got explosions, Penguin, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, (I think) a voice over from The Scarecrow telling Gotham City that this is its only warning, and a contemplative Bruce Wayne (oh, there’s also a voice over reading out the last will and testament of Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father, who hoped that Bruce used his money and legacy to the benefit of Gotham City).
In a nice touch, the trailer has Thomas Wayne hoping that Bruce didn’t waste the money on fast cars, outrageous clothes and a destructive lifestyle – just as we see a glimpse of the Batmobile and a new-look Batsuit. The Batmobile here is a pretty kick-ass Batmobile but it’s very reminiscent of the tumbler one in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, and that’s not a bad thing. THE BATMOBILE (calm down. Breathe, breathe).
The last Batman game, Origins, was, in my (semi) professional opinion pretty rubbish, if my memory serves me correctly. It just didn’t stack up against Arkham Asylum and City – and not surprising. given that it was made by a new studio created by WB while Rocksteady were secretly working on the next game in the franchise.
Well done, WB, well done, you kept this one quiet.
Back to the trailer, though: Woo-eeee it looks good. And did I mention that the Batmobile is in the game? And you get to drive it? I did? Oh, sorry.
And Batman Arkham Knight is being made for this current-generation only (that’s Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC). There’s not going to be versions for the PS3 or Xbox 360, and I think that’s a good thing. It means that Rocksteady can put all its effort in to creating good current-generation content rather than diluting it by having to make last-generation versions, too. More developers need to do that, actually.
So, Batman Arkham Knight is due out in October sometime. Time to start saving up some money, then.
Update number 1: I can’t believe I forgot to mention that Kevin Conroy, who really is the voice of Batman, makes a return as the Dark Knight in Arkham Knight, after being replaced by another voice actor in Arkham Origins. Yay for the return of Kevin Conroy.
Update number two: Here’s some more information I gleaned from Joystiq today.
Lead AI and combat programmer Tim Hanagan told Game Informer that “at any given time, there are between three and four times the number of thugs active in Gotham City than there were in Arkham City,” and that larger riots in the game will have up to 50 characters wreaking havoc.
Arkham Knight is set one year after Arkham City, in which Batman’s foes have banded together to tear the Dark Knight’s attention away from a crumbling Gotham City. The single player-only game will also include an arch-villain created from scratch by Rocksteady and DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns. Rocksteady’s initial announcement focused on another big addition to the Arkham series: Players will get plenty of time in the driver’s seat of the Batmobile, which can be fetched at the press of a button, can handle the jumps and boosts expected of the more reckless drivers among us and will eject Batman out of his seat at times. Also back to voice characters is, Nolan North who will voice Penguin, Wally Wingert who will voice Riddler, Tara Strong will continue as Harley Quinn and Troy Baker will voice Two-Face again.