And so the Dark Knight returns once more.
Rocksteady Studios, 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.
Further more, 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.
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image: © Rocksteady Studios