Batman: Arkham Knight is a ‘journey of empowerment’

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Batman: Arkham Knight is, pretty much, a Batman game. Now before you split my eardrums with a harmonised “DUH”, hear me out. It’s not enough to just put on a rubber mask, lift a few weights and punch Smelly Joe the hobo. At the same time, I’m rather fond of my parents, and I’d like to keep them away from any muggers and bullets. So the next best thing is a Batman game then. And Rocksteady is pulling out all the stops to emphasise that feeling of being the Batman, in Arkham Knight.

“Our objective all along has been to send players on this journey of empowerment,” producer Dax Ginn said to Polygon.

In the early days of Arkham Asylum, Batman’s abilities were fairly limited. We added in the grapple-and-glide capabilities of Arkham City. Now we’ve added the Batmobile in Arkham Knight. You felt powerful at every step along the way, but now you are getting more powerful as the threat to Gotham increases.

A journey, which will allow players to focus on any one of Batman’s core pillars of particularly brutal justice. “It’s impossible for us to know in advance what every one of the millions of players who’ll play the game wants to play,” said Ginn. “Our attitude is, let’s offer them a smorgasbord, and they can pick and choose what components of that they particularly find appealing.”

For completionists who want to see and experience absolutely everything in the game, they will really need to master every aspect of Batman’s capabilities across the spectrum. But there are also gamers who just want to focus on combat. They won’t have to experience everything the game has to offer, right across the board.

Right now, I can’t think of anyone other than Rocksteady handling a Batman game (I’m looking at you Warner Bros. Games Montreal). The franchise has pretty much defined that developer. And in the beginning, that responsibility to create a great Batman game, was daunting for Rocksteady. “Early on it was about showing [DC Comics] that we’re not here to break or to ruin Batman. As the years have gone by, we’re more excited to show them the stories that we want to tell and the gameplay experience we want to offer,” Dax said.

We want to see if they are as interested as we are in our ideas. The conversation is a lot of us coming to the table with gameplay ideas, and our colleagues at DC Comics really focusing on character and character design. We have a lovely creative relationship, where we’re very open, very honest. The objective is the same: to create an authentic and genuine sensation of being the Batman. That’s always been the plan.

And I’ve seen that, from various previews and hands-on time. There’s a ton of little touches present in the game, to hammer home the Batman feeling. And I didn’t even have to lose a parent or weight for a rubber suit, to feel like the Batman. Anyway, here’s a bunch of new screenshots as well. For free! Enjoy!

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Last Updated: May 29, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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