Question: when are you supposed to encounter Catwoman?
Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:25 AM
Batman: Arkham Knight announced
The final game in the trilogy from Rocksteady Studios is due out this year complete with drivable Batmobile and a fully explorable Gotham City
And so the Dark Knight returns once more. Rocksteady, the London studio responsible for the critically acclaimed Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City adventures has announced its third and final title in a series that has redefined the super hero video game. Due out later this year Batman: Arkham Knight will be on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One only. And once again he’s up against a veritable army of super villains. This time Scarecrow is the lynchpin, assembling a diabolical collective that also includes Two-Face, Harley Quinn and Penguin, all determined to destroy Batman forever. In what publisher Warner Bros is referring to as the end of the trilogy, the scale has been ratcheted up with a fully explorable Gotham City, available to players in its entirety. Previous titles Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have featured only closed off sections of the metropolis.
Furthermore, Arkham Knight will feature a new exclusive interpretation of the Batmobile, designed by the Rocksteady team. It will be the first time the iconic car has been available to drive in the series.
Interestingly, the game will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One only. “We’re excited to be developing the game for next-gen platforms,” said game director, Sefton Hill. “[It] has allowed us to bring to life the design elements that we envisioned from the beginning such as the Batmobile and how it augments Batman’s abilities, to the fully detailed and realized Gotham City.”
Released in 2009, Arkham Asylum provided an authentic vision of the Batman universe and was acclaimed for its smooth controls and accessible combat mechanic. Co-written by DC author Paul Dini the story captured the gothic darkness of the best Dark Knight comics. The sequel, Arkham City, expanded the action to feature a whole area of Gotham, but retained the original’s style and atmosphere.
The news of this third title will be bittersweet for fans – the prospect of another Rocksteady-developed adventure is exciting, but if this is the studio’s last it places a question mark over further Warner Bros Batman titles. Last year’s spin-off, Batman Arkham Origins, developed by Warners’ in-house studio in Montreal, was not as acclaimed as previous instalments. But then Batman is a comic book character well used to unexpected comebacks.
Just when I'd more or less resolved not to bother buying a PS4 anytime soon.
Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:55 AM
Retailers seem to have let the cat out of the bag regarding the game's release date (for some reason, it wasn't mentioned in the initial statement ). It's expected to arrive on October 14, which I'm guessing points to an October 17 release in the UK.
The worst-kept secret in the industry is finally out as well, with Kevin Conroy now confirmed as the voice of the Bat. Also apparently due to return to their former roles are Nolan North as The Penguin, Wally Wingert as The Riddler, Troy Baker as Two-Face, and Tara Strong as Harley Quinn.
More info here...
Batman: Arkham Knight out October – and is five times bigger than Arkham City
Further details on the new Batman game have emerged from American mag Game Informer (which is itself owned by GameSpot). In it Arkham Knight is revealed to be the name of a new supervillian, created specifically for the game by comics writer Geoff Johns. What the new bad guy looks like isn’t yet known, but it sounds like he’s a sort of anti-Batman style character who uses guns.
Kevin Conroy has been confirmed as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne – after working on Arkham Aslyum and City, but not Origins. Following his involvement in Batman: The Animated Series, and many of the other DC cartoons, he’s considered the definitive Batman voice by most fans.
According to developer Rocksteady the game will take place in a new ‘central zone’ of Gotham City, which is split into three island and is roughly five times the size of Arkham City. That’s still not that large compared to other open world games, but Rocksteady are emphasising that they want their world to be the most detailed and vibrant, not the biggest. They’re also adamant that the game will not have any multiplayer, and that the studio is focused on ‘making the best single-player experience it can’.
Although the phrasing is slightly ambiguous it doesn’t sound as if Gotham City will feature much in the way of civilians or normal traffic, as Scarecrow is threatening to flood Gotham with his fear toxin (as seen in the trailer) and the city has been evacuated. According to Game Informer that means only criminals are left in the city, with fives times the number of thugs compared to Arkham City and riots of up to 50 characters at a time.
Confidant Oracle is also back in the game, and a character you physically meet this time. Although wheelchair bound in the games she was previous Batgirl in the comics – but it’s unclear whether she’ll take on that role again in the new game. Oracle is also the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and her remaining in the city against his will is apparently a key plot point.
The game’s much admired combat system maintains its elegant simplicity, but there will be numerous tweaks, including being able to use quickfire gadgets in mid-air and new throw counters that allow you to grab and throw enemies into each other.
Although the gadgets will also be upgraded and tweaked the Batmobile is the most important bit of new tech in the game and designed to be ‘the best car in any game ever’, according to Rocksteady. You can call it to your location at any time and it can do jumps, boosts, burnouts, and rotate in a circle even when stationary (presumably inspired by that scene in Batman Returns).
In terms of graphics Rocksteady insist they’re trying to make the game look as much like pre-rendered CGI (such as in the trailer) as possible, with the polygon count for one character apparently being as big as the whole of the Arkham Asylum environment.
Rocksteady describe Arkham Knight as a ‘genuine next-gen game’ and that not having to make the game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was key to being able to do everything they wanted. ‘Obviously, you see a lot of games that are cross-gen, and they feel a bit reined in because of that,’ said director Sefton Hill. ‘Because we were able to make that decision quite early, we were able to be more ambitious with the design and make a real, genuine next-gen game’.
But Rocksteady has also given some interesting hints as to what will happen after Arkham Knight, insisting that their next game will not be Batman related (although that doesn’t necessarily rule out the rest of the DC Universe).
Although this will be the final part in the Arkham series, with Arkham Knight set quite late in Batman’s career, Rocksteady has also hinted that other Batman games will continue without them – presumably via Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal.
Posted 08 March 2014 - 06:54 PM
Origins was good and all, but Rocksteady back in the driver's seat feels much better. Perhaps most encouraging of all was this:
I really hope they live up to that. A bigger city with the ability to drive the Batmobile sounds great, but I'm worried about how much they'll have to sacrifice in terms of detail and quality. So glad that developers can finally break the shackles of the crusty old PS3/360 hardware holding everything back
Batman: Arkham Knight out October – and is five times bigger than Arkham City
... but Rocksteady are emphasising that they want their world to be the most detailed and vibrant, not the biggest.
my model can beat up your model
Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:02 AM
Another new trailer has just debuted at Sony’s E3 2014 press conference, looks like it's the real deal in terms of actual gameplay footage this time. They appear to have combined some of the best traits of 'Asylum' and 'City', and the speed at which Batman is able to fly around the rooftops is terrifyingly impressive.
Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:57 AM
Ah, I hadn't heard about Rocksteady's change of heart regarding the game's release date until now. Not the worst thing in the world, I suppose, especially if it means creating a better product than we'd have had in October.
Interestingly, it seems deliberate that they haven't featured much of Detective Mode as yet. The thought occurs that they may have figured out another way of incorporating its attributes without forcing the player to be in it quite as often. It was never any more than a minor irritation, but I remember feeling an ever-so-slight tinge of sadness when I had to use it for long periods of time in the previous titles, because it meant appreciating the level design less.
Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:15 AM
I know what you mean with the detective mode. I can't imagine they're going to drastically change the way that works though - the visual style of that mode is quite a distinctive signature of the series. Maybe they'll introduce a sort of 'tagging' mechanic so you can still track enemies through walls and whatnot once you switch out of it I do quite like what WB did with those investigation segments (eg. the rewind mechanic) - It'll be interesting to see if Rocksteady pick up on that and push it to some more interesting interactions and gameplay features.
my model can beat up your model
Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:32 AM
I’d definitely jump at the chance to fully take in the atmospherics while tackling the main story missions, especially now in what promises to be such a breathtaking digital rendering of Gotham. Obviously though, it’d be extremely difficult (not to mention risky) to suddenly start pulling staples of the series up by the roots. Plus, you can almost always revisit things afterwards, for Riddler trophies and suchlike. I’m probably just getting a bit greedy.
It'll be most interesting to see Scarecrow take centre stage in this one. His voice has changed a bit, but his monologue towards the end of the trailer was genuinely chilling. The so-called 'Nightmare Missions' were always such great psychological asides to the first game's narrative.
Posted 21 June 2014 - 06:25 AM
Some interesting stuff regarding the Batmobile here.
Batman Arkham Knight preview: Hands-on with the indispensable Batmobile
Until recently, the Batmobile in next year's Batman: Arkham Knight - the headline-grabbing addition in the final chapter to Rocksteady's adventure series - has been mostly used to roam the larger, sprawling next-gen vision of Gotham City. But an early-game mission - which sees Batman explore a hostile-filled chemicals facility at the edge of the city - shows it's more than a means of going from A to B, proving instrumental in infiltration, puzzle solving and combating criminals.
For starters, the Batmobile has a deployable winch, which when latched onto the dead end of a bridge to create a ramp, and followed by the well-timed use of an afterburner, sees the Batmobile rocket over a huge expanse and land inside the chemical plant's gates. It seems that you need it to reach certain areas in Arkham Knight's expanded open-world. Once inside, the Batmobile proves ideal for quickly zipping through courtyards and a network of chemical pipes that stretch to the outer edges of the facility. Naturally, there's resistance throughout in the form of missile-wielding vehicles, but a special Battle Mode sees the Batmobile turn into an agile battle tank that makes short work of them with its own homing projectiles.
The most impressive showcase of the Batmobile, perhaps, is when Batman is on foot. When it's exploring indoors, it can be called and controlled remotely to help blow up walls that expose switches and new routes to progress onward. Provided it's sitting outside, it can even spice up Batman's acclaimed combat, where an uppercut can be stylishly finished off with a blast of a missile while the thug is mid-air. (These missiles will only stun, so don't worry about Batman suddenly turning homicidal now he's got his driving licence.)
Batman in the Arkham games has always felt a little on the stiff side, so it's impressive how quickly he can transition from car to combat. A simple button press will allow you to smoothly eject from the Batmobile, slide into an air duct and go straight into a combo, and you can return just as quickly whenever you decide to leap back onto the streets. While the transition between fighting and exploring is fluid, actually controlling the Batmobile might come with a small learning curve.
It accelerates as you'd expect from a car in a game - with a pull of the right trigger - but to brake you need to press a face button (on PS4, this is Square). This is because holding the left trigger transforms the car into its aforementioned Battle Mode, where handling changes to something similar to a third-person shooter, with the two sticks to turn and strafe and the right trigger to fire off cannon shots. Adjusting between the two styles is a little confusing at first, and becomes even more so when summoning the Batmobile while Batman is elsewhere. Puzzles that require the vehicle's winch or projectiles begin with a series of button presses - starting with a shoulder button, to a move of an analogue stick on a radial wheel followed by a tap of a face button - before you then remember how to select one of the many toys the Batmobile has at its disposal.
On the bright side, using it in combat is really easy - it's simply part of a combo that flashes on-screen, and at the very least that sequence of switching between Bat and car highlights the sheer range of abilities now available to Batman in Arkham Knight. This limited early-game slice proves the Batmobile isn't just a fun ride, but an indispensable and cleverly-implemented weapon in the Dark Knight's battle to save Gotham.
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