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E3 2014: Batman: Arkham Knight Preview: The Batmobile Rises
Rocksteady is back, and ready to finish off the Arkham trilogy in style with Batman: Arkham Knight. Although the previous game, Arkham Origins, wasn’t terrible by any means, it wasn’t the game that we were all hoping for, as it was a game developed by the Warner Bros. internal studios, not Rocksteady. But with the presentation Rocksteady displayed at E3 2014, Batman: Arkham Knight is set to be an amazing experience.
The demo started with Batman ready to rescue several scientists being held hostage in a lab that was developing a mysterious fear bomb. But as Batman beings to enter the outpost, the titular Arkham Knight, a mysterious figure donned in a semi-robotic suit, shows up in a helicopter to blow up the bridge Batman needs to cross. To my surprise, the Arkham Knight just wasn’t a new nickname for Batman, but a brand new character that looks to be an integral part of the storyline. He seems to have intimate knowledge of Batman and his past, and has almost a personal vendetta against the Caped Crusader himself. Who he is and what his motivations are unknown at this point, but it’s definitely something that has piqued my curiosity.
But even with the Arkham Knight’s meddling, Batman can’t be stopped thanks to his new toy, the Batmobile. As the main new feature in the game, the Batmobile functions in a variety of ways. The presentation showed Batmobile using a grappling hook onto a wall, then driving away from it to pull the wall down. The Batmobile also has a battle mode, a more maneuverable configuration which allows for more precise movement than the pursuit mode, which is designed to make the Batmobile go at its fastest. In the battle mode, the Batmobile can shoot rockets and line up shots to shoot a consecutive missile barrage that can hit multiple targets.
People may question the usefulness of a car in a game where the main character can practically fly and grapple at his will, but the Batmobile can be utilized in some really interesting ways that aren’t as obvious. In one moment in the demo, Batman is cornered by the Arkham Knight and his thugs, but he calls his Batmobile via a remote control to bail him out. The vehicle slowly came up behind the group and started firing riot suppressor shots (remember, Batman doesn’t kill anybody), and even helped Batman out in combat. Batman performed some Batmobile assisted takedowns, as he can combo into the riot suppressor shots through an uppercut.
The overall combat and movement are getting some tweaks as well. Transitioning from flying to stealth was more seamless and fluid than before, and noticing these points of change will definitely make the movement more stylish. You can also now combo your stealth kills, which led to some slow motion take downs that were as brutal as ever. Of course, Batman still is a detective, and the demo showed a bit where Batman threw a batarang that began to revolve around the lab in a 360 degree motion, picking up and analyzing various conversations throughout the compound.
The Arkham games were some of my favorite games of the past few years, and Rocksteady looks to set the bar even higher with Arkham Knight. As a game that’s exclusive to the newest generation of consoles, it gives me hope that the game will continue to look as good, if not better, than what was showed at the E3 2014 presentation. Batman: Arkham Knight releases sometime in 2015 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.