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Batman: Arkham Knight (PC/PS4/XB1, 2014) media & Game Informer details [Up: More]

Superman

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Aug 22, 2013
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Just watched the trailer on the "What's New" section on the PS4... Genuinely blown away how good the trailer was! I'm pumped.
 

SJRB

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I don't know about that. Arkham City is insulting in many ways in terms of how it treats certain characters and how it pulls events and situations out of thin air.

Origin's story wasn't exactly mindblowing, but at least it was coherent, had a clear arc and a good payoff. Arkham City is just random as hell.

Arkham Asylum is still the best by far in terms of narrative.
 

Alienous

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Jan 20, 2013
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I don't know about that. Arkham City is insulting in many ways in terms of how it treats certain characters and how it pulls events and situations out of thin air.

Origin's story wasn't exactly mindblowing, but at least it was coherent, had a clear arc and a good payoff. Arkham City is just random as hell.

Arkham Asylum is still the best by far in terms of narrative.
I'd say it's worse with Arkham Origins.

Just because Troy Baker can do both voices doesn't mean it makes sense.
 

Discotheque

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Oct 5, 2009
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No it wasn't. Origins was great and if you skipped it you missed out.
yeah i think it was the best of the three easily. but then again i didn't have many technical issues either.

it had a more refined story whereas arkham asylum and city especially was trying to go for a big event thing.

and the toned down gordon looked great. he didn't look like he could go head to head with batman lmao.
 

foxtrot3d

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Mar 28, 2013
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AC had a better story than Origins? Come on now. I think that coma really messed you up.
Yes.
For one I didn't care for the whole Joker/Batman first get together, the game was marketed as featuring Black Mask and all the assassins hired to get Batman on one night. But, instead of focusing on a fresher story with a less well known character that could be fleshed out they went right back to the tried and true Joker formula even after Rocksteady just closed the chapter on his story. Thus, once the Joker shows up early on the entire assassin plot gets thrown to the wayside and it becomes the Joker/Batman show. But, fine whatever if I let that pass then the "Origin" tale is alright, its nothing spectacular and nothing that hasn't been told before in better comics, movies, or TV shows.

However, while the main Joker plot can be considered "good" everything else surrounded the game's plot sucks really hard and makes no sense. Rocksteady does an amazing job building the world that you inhabit and establishing context for certain events, the reason Batman doesn't have all his fancy gadgets at the start of Asylum is because he is trapped in the Asylum. The reason there are so many goons around Arkham City is because it's an actual prison, a walled off section of the city meant to house them. Now, please tell me why in the hell there are so many goons on the streets and on top of rooftops in Arkham Origins? There is no explanation given and as far as we know Gotham is just always full of nothing but goons. Also, why are there no civilians on the street, plenty of people are out on the streets on Christmas Eve in real life but not in Gotham for some reason. Why does Batman have all of these fancy current gadgets which weren't available in the sequels or which he has to unlock or build in those games? Why does everyone else use current technology like iPhones and whatnot when it is a prequel? How does Joker convert an entire hotel into a funland amusement park full of TV's and traps in such a short span?

All of this and more just chalks up to a lazy effort, the developers couldn't be bothered with creating a unique Batman prequel which would drastically change the gameplay as you play as a younger Batman and just decided to stick with the Arkham formula despite it making zero sense. But, worst of all Origins cheapens the other Arkham games, the whole point to Asylum was this truly creative and original plan by Joker to take over Arkham Asylum yet by the end of Origins he already did such a thing with Blackgate Prison. Again, I just found Origins to be a cheap and lazy attempt at a Batman game, there are some good moments but only because they are building off an already established and well crafted foundation.
 

Jaded Alyx

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Apr 17, 2007
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Yes.
For one I didn't care for the whole Joker/Batman first get together, the game was marketed as featuring Black Mask and all the assassins hired to get Batman on one night. But, instead of focusing on a fresher story with a less well known character that could be fleshed out they went right back to the tried and true Joker formula even after Rocksteady just closed the chapter on his story. Thus, once the Joker shows up early on the entire assassin plot gets thrown to the wayside and it becomes the Joker/Batman show. But, fine whatever if I let that pass then the "Origin" tale is alright, its nothing spectacular and nothing that hasn't been told before in better comics, movies, or TV shows.

However, while the main Joker plot can be considered "good" everything else surrounded the game's plot sucks really hard and makes no sense. Rocksteady does an amazing job building the world that you inhabit and establishing context for certain events, the reason Batman doesn't have all his fancy gadgets at the start of Asylum is because he is trapped in the Asylum. The reason there are so many goons around Arkham City is because it's an actual prison, a walled off section of the city meant to house them. Now, please tell me why in the hell there are so many goons on the streets and on top of rooftops in Arkham Origins? There is no explanation given and as far as we know Gotham is just always full of nothing but goons. Also, why are there no civilians on the street, plenty of people are out on the streets on Christmas Eve in real life but not in Gotham for some reason. Why does Batman have all of these fancy current gadgets which weren't available in the sequels or which he has to unlock or build in those games? Why does everyone else use current technology like iPhones and whatnot when it is a prequel? How does Joker convert an entire hotel into a funland amusement park full of TV's and traps in such a short span?

All of this and more just chalks up to a lazy effort, the developers couldn't be bothered with creating a unique Batman prequel which would drastically change the gameplay as you play as a younger Batman and just decided to stick with the Arkham formula despite it making zero sense. But, worst of all Origins cheapens the other Arkham games, the whole point to Asylum was this truly creative and original plan by Joker to take over Arkham Asylum yet by the end of Origins he already did such a thing with Blackgate Prison. Again, I just found Origins to be a cheap and lazy attempt at a Batman game, there are some good moments but only because they are building off an already established and well crafted foundation.
.........there's a curfew in Gotham, that's why Origins has no civilians on the streets. How did you play through the game and somehow miss that?
 

LastNac

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May 5, 2012
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Walken is far and away the best thing about Returns. And Pfeiffer's Pffierness, if not her character.

I'd say the first legitimately good theatrical Batman movie was Mask of the Phantasm, which has those visuals and music from the Burton films, but with a much stronger Batman story.
This doesn't ever really happen, but...

I agree with you here.
 

SJRB

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May 10, 2012
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Yeah that's a lame plot device cop out. Gotham residents are very cooperative, there is 100% adherence to the curfew.

I prefer AC's prison city. At least it makes sense.
The worst part is that breaks any kind of immersion in Origins because literally everyone you encounter is a thug. You see a group of unarmed guys on a rooftop, you swoop down and beat the shit out of them. Why? They're just standing there. They're unarmed, not doing anything illegal. But they're outside so that's a good enough reason to just beat the crap out of them.

I really disliked how Origins handled the city.
 

Some Nobody

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Aug 8, 2013
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The worst part is that breaks any kind of immersion in Origins because literally everyone you encounter is a thug. You see a group of unarmed guys on a rooftop, you swoop down and beat the shit out of them. Why? They're just standing there. They're unarmed, not doing anything illegal. But they're outside so that's a good enough reason to just beat the crap out of them.

I really disliked how Origins handled the city.
FFS. They're all criminals because how else would they stop players from having Bats beat up the people he's supposed to protect?
 

ArtHands

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FFS. They're all criminals because how else would they stop players from having Bats beat up the people he's supposed to protect?
You are not seeing the point. There's nearly no people you sees that requires batman to save in arkham origins, that's the problem. Even the cops on the street are criminals because they are "corrupted". Those instances where you are actually protecting the civilians are few in between.

Whereas in previous games you have actual people to save like the political prisoners, those gcpd cops who got kidnapped by penguin, the gcpd cops whom the riddler held hostage to, vicky vale etc, the guards like aaron cash, just to name some.
 

Psykoboy2

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Just because Troy Baker can do both voices doesn't mean it makes sense.
I don't understand what you're saying here.

a different studio means a different quality of product. that is easy

different voice actor means loss of continuity. its generally not a big deal for most VO's in game. but still its worth talking about.
I think my point here is that passing on something for these kinds of reasons means there's a very good chance someone will miss out on something they may really like.

Especially the voice actors nonsense. I'm a fan of the character before I am the person who did the voice. Besides, I've been through so many different Batman voices now in the animated world that it doesn't phase me one bit when Conroy isn't the Bat. I still watch because of the character and the story.
 

EatChildren

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Had absolutely no issue with Origin's lack of civilians. Christmas eve, in the middle of a snowstorm, while gangs roam the streets. Worked just fine for me.
 

Alienous

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I don't understand what you're saying here.
As far as I could tell
they had Troy Baker impersonate the actor who played Black Mask, during the sections where it's Joker. Listen specifically to when Loeb is murdered at the beginning
.
 

Sentenza

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Dec 3, 2011
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This. Cant understand all the complains about this...
Unrealistic expectations.
"I want a Gotham full of common citizens".
No, you don't, because you don't want to play at 10 frames per second and/or in a city filled just with random content, as there wouldn't be enough resources to manage good setpieces as well.
 

Lasty95

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Feb 17, 2014
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This. Cant understand all the complains about this...
Rocksteady conceptualised the environments so that Arkham City, for example, made sense narratively and was itself a character in the story.

In Origins they said, 'well, it's normal Gotham, but everyone's just gone inside'. It was lazy and unconvincing.

I notice that RS are selling a mass exodus from Gotham in the trailer to explain the empty streets. Reminds me of the Dark Knight Returns set up, and again makes much more sense and seems suitably climactic for Bat's epic last stand, especially with the Batmobile going around smashing everything to pieces.

A fully populated Gotham would be ace, but it's not right for an Arkham game.
 

GAMEPROFF

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Unrealistic expectations.
"I want a Gotham full of common citizens".
No, you don't, because you don't want to play at 10 frames per second and/or in a city filled just with random content, as there wouldn't be enough resources to manage good setpieces as well.
Exactly. Also, I really dont want to pay attention to civilans while beating thugs or (in Arkham Knight) driving the Batmobil.
 

Shake Appeal

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Had absolutely no issue with Origin's lack of civilians. Christmas eve, in the middle of a snowstorm, while gangs roam the streets. Worked just fine for me.
Yep. Slightly strains credulity that there is no one who's not a thug, but it makes absolute sense in gaming terms.

The idea that the ultimate Batman game is just GTA with a cape is bonkers to me.

I'd say the first legitimately good theatrical Batman movie was Mask of the Phantasm, which has those visuals and music from the Burton films, but with a much stronger Batman story.
Cold truth. Burton Batman mostly doesn't feel like Batman to me.
 

Can Crusher

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Dec 10, 2012
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Yep. Slightly strains credulity that there is no one who's not a thug, but it makes absolute sense in gaming terms.

The idea that the ultimate Batman game is just GTA with a cape is bonkers to me.
Well the excuse has ran out though. I mean, are they going to keep coming up with ridiculous reasons to justify an open city?
 

ZeroX03

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City had the political prisoners. There weren't a lot, but they were basically regular citizens you couldn't attack / had to protect. Hopefully Knight will do the same.

Don't want the city to be fully inhabited though. This isn't GTA where we can just wreck havoc, Batman isn't going to go around punching citizens, or running them over. They're more likely to get in the way than anything. It's great for ambiance but little else.

Well the excuse has ran out though. I mean, are they going to keep coming up with ridiculous reasons to justify an open city?
City had a perfectly good reason for not having regular people - it was a prison - and Knight has an evacuation due to city wide bombs (TDK style). Origins is the only one that says "they're all just at home".
 

Shake Appeal

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Well the excuse has ran out though. I mean, are they going to keep coming up with ridiculous reasons to justify an open city?
I don't think Batman needs an open city, and I'd rather they designed (large) enclosed missions that are perfectly tailored to the mechanics (more Asylum than City, for the most part), but I understand that's a minority position.
 

EatChildren

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I like bits and pieces of both Aslyum and City/Origins, but I don't really want Batman Theft Auto with a city full of pedestrians. I don't really care about plausibility, I care about the game, and I think the reason Rocksteady haven't bothered with this direction is because it doesn't fit their game design. City/Origins might have an open world hub, but it's not supposed to be anything like your stereotypical living breathing sandbox environment. I know it might seem that way because you get to fly around as bats, but it's not. City/Origins are basically character action games with light puzzle solving and stealth placed in a larger, Zelda-like hub with dungeons. Even something like Zelda isn't particularly heavy on NPCs except in designated "town" zones, the open world areas far more populated by hostiles. The Arkham games are the same.

I'd love to see a more sandbox like Batman game eventually, if just to see what kind of design they'd come up with, but I don't feel that vision has a place in the Arkham series and Rocksteady's design.

EDIT: I also think Origins narrative is a victim of marketing and the expectations placed on it by City.
If you actually look at how the narrative is structured it has very little to do with Black Mask and all the assassin's at all. It's got far, far more to do with Bats' personality at the time, his recklessness, issues with the police force, and the way all this changes when he meets the Joker. The game continually highlights the Joker's aimless violence and carnage compared to the focused crime of other villains (even those seeking revenge on Bats), and Bats' struggle to deal with a menace that he's never faced before. Bats' frustration escalates and the Joker's obsession with his other half is born.

I think from the very start Origins was supposed to be, at its core, a story of Batman and the Joker, given how important the Joker is the Arkham series. His relationship with Bats is supposed to be significant, his death at the end of City even moreso, but we're never really told how they met or what history they have in this universe. Origins fills that gap, and pretty well in my opinion. Unfortunately while writing the plot they chose to go with the "Joker in disguise" thing again, which I thought actually works a lot better than it did in City, but meant they had to market the game outside of the twist. To deliver their story they had to market it as a game about Black Mask and a bunch of assassins even if that wasn't true. They set up false expectations necessary for the twist, and despite Origins story being pretty solid it ended up doing more harm than good.
 

saska

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World of origins is just bloated mess. It destroyed all the work rocksteady had done building a believeable world. I don't want to see what's behind the walls in ac if the answer is literally nothing. In aa and ac gotham felt like a real living world.
 

tringworldso

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EatChildren

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World of origins is just bloated mess. It destroyed all the work rocksteady had done building a believeable world. I don't want to see what's behind the walls in ac if the answer is literally nothing. In aa and ac gotham felt like a real living world.
Right, most of Origins problems (to me) come down to structure of the world. I didn't dislike it as much as you, but it has problems. The "twice the size of City" is made less significant when that extra chunk of city is disconnected from the rest via a bridge, far less memorable than City, and the other half is literally City with alterations.

Going by the screenshots this is partially why I'm really excited for Knight. Even though Origins had far greater play space than City, it was heavily segmented. Knight is five times the size of City, but looks properly distributed as a singular mass of play space. Not two chunks of city separated by a linear bridge that obscures loading times, but instead five times the play space of City in one singular city of its own.
 

AdrianWerner

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City populated with lots of civilians is one of those things that sounds obvious and good, but in reality just wouldn't work. That said, Arkham Knight should have more than just few lonely guys bullied by others on the streets. Ocassional small group here and there, like for exampl family running away, would be very nice.
 

Alienous

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It doesn't need to be full of pedestrians, but have some running around. Sort of like the political prisoners in City, but more dynamic.

That's part of the Batman appeal. I don't just want to punch thugs because they're bad, but to prevent them doing bad things, like attacking a civilian.
 

Schweinehund

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My only real issue with origins is the story didn't pan out how it was hoping it to.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT PLAYED AO


I'd rather just not make this a huge annoying block of (marked) text.

I didn't like how batman seemed unconcerned about the 8 assassins chasing him around. The initial media marketing made it look like the entire night would be batman just trying to survive. Deathstroke was promoted as a forefront villian. This was suppose to be batman's night to prove that he was the real deal, all it seemed to me is the story was written by a batman power creep fanboy. Deathstroke, the man who fights the teen titans by himself, ambushes batman in a boat like 2 hours into the game. Batman freaking fights him hand to hand, BREAKS HIS STAFF, and of course, token "what are you?" line is spoken by deathstroke. This is absurd, batman doesn't just always brute force his way through encounters, there should have been multiple encounters, with batman always losing the physical component, but then finally winning with a tactical advantage.

The treatment of Deadshot and Lady Shiva was unfair. They get sidelined in favor of two more major well known villians. Shiva's easy battle is sort of explained as being a test for him, but he still shouldn't have won hand to hand, this is suppose to be like his second year. I could see a AC batman taking her on more easily. Deadshot was basically a reskinned thug, but atleast it was a little bit better than his AC incarnation.

Copperhead and Firefly were actually handled quite well. I like both their encounters and they weren't characters I really cared about beforehand. Electrocutioner was kind of a joke, but he's never really been a significant or interesting character in the first place.

Joker and Bane are of course the mainstars of the game, and they were handled well. I could have done without the Joker part, and instead used his time in the game as time for Deathstroke or Deadshot/Shiva, or just present Black Mask. The bane stuff should stay in, it actually explained how he came to be the way he is in AA/AC, and his fight emphasized tactical thinking over bruteforce.
 

ArtHands

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It doesn't need to be full of pedestrians, but have some running around. Sort of like the political prisoners in City, but more dynamic.

That's part of the Batman appeal. I don't just want to punch thugs because they're bad, but to prevent them doing bad things, like attacking a civilian.
This exactly. Nobody is talking about populating the city with pedestrians gta style, but more of having that small amount of innocents whom you can protect in-game, just like those in arkham city. It help adds a layer of realism and serves as a reminder that batman is first and foremost a protector of the people in gotham city rather than a bully to those thugs.

In origins, the only instances where i feel i am actually saving someone is harleen quinzel and that train full of people at the bridge. Most of the time i am just beating up thugs who's trying to steal cash from the atm. Whereas in arkham city i was saving people from the penguin, riddler, victor zsasz etc on top of the political prisoners.

I hope the batmobile doesnt serve as a constrain to this aspect. I still hope i can beat up thugs who's bullying the homeless people once a while in some small alleys where the batmobile can't reach in arkham knight, but i guess this won't be the case now.

Even with the curfew in place, there has to be people who slipped through the cracks and failed to back their way back home in time due to the road closures and bad traffics or whatever reasons. People who works (and died) in the hotel and the bank, and people who got trapped in the train are just some example.
 

jon bones

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quick question: is arkham origins story cannon for the game universe? i have no desire to play it, but i may read the story if it's relevant to ak.
 

Sojgat

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quick question: is arkham origins story cannon for the game universe? i have no desire to play it, but i may read the story if it's relevant to ak.
Yes, and it's easily the best story in the series so far. It's all just backstory though, and I doubt any of it will come into play in Arkham Knight. Watch a movie edit on YouTube if you're interested. Origins is really good, despite all the bugs.
 

jon bones

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Yes, and it's easily the best story in the series so far. It's all just backstory though, and I doubt any of it will come into play in Arkham Knight. Watch a movie edit on YouTube if you're interested. Origins is really good, despite all the bugs.
i should have just played it at launch, but now i don't want to burn myself out before AK.

will check out a yt edit, thanks!
 

Kabuto

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This is from last Friday but I don't think it's been posted yet

Five Reasons Batman: Arkham Knight Has Us Excited

“You can see interiors of buildings as you fly past, and you can actually see inside, through windows, into some of the buildings,” says studio director Jamie Walker. “And I think for me, that’s an amazing feeling of being lifelike, and it’s definitely something that we’re doing here. You go by and you see in and you say, ‘Oh, that’s really cool,’ and then you can go in as well, which again makes it very believable and authentic.”
The easter egg potential :O
 

scoobs

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Story? Heck no. Origins is far and away a better story in my opinion. The city story was pretty damn mediocre. Thought the script, performances, etc.. were all way better in Origins. That game takes way too much flack, it did almost everything better than City. It was just a bit redundant so people shat on it.
 

Slixshot

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New GI article is up. It justifies the new suite. I like it.

Batman doesn’t start his Arkham Knight adventure with a new suit. The updated armor is a necessity once the Batmobile is introduced. After seeing the intense way he enters and exits the vehicle, it’s clear why a sturdier shell is needed. The design team worked to ensure that Batman’s car and his updated armor were visually – and functionally – compatible with one another.
Attentive fans might notice that Batman’s cape looks different in Arkham Knight, too. It works the same way – even allowing Batman to glide more effectively thanks to an upgrade – but now its design supports its in-game functionality. “The cape still covers the shoulders, but now he has the armor on top,” Feliu says. “If you imagine, if you were gliding down like Batman, down a city, to support that amount of muscle and weight, it makes more sense that it was attached to the cowl. What we did was build this armor thing, and one of the purposes of it was to hold the cape in place when it’s gliding around and all this ridiculous force to keep Batman and the cape attached. The cape is actually still there, it’s just that it’s covered.”
 

On Demand

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Some new info from the Official XBox Magazine UK. I found it on the WB games forums.

http://community.wbgames.com/t5/Batman-Arkham-Knight-Discussion/Summary-Official-XBox-Magazine-UK-Cover-Story/m-p/150968#U150968

From this opening reveal, it’s a near seamless transition from CG cinematic to gameplay.
 
- We can’t help but ogle the way the rain patters off Batman’s cape as he glides, or how the city lights twinkling through the rain bounce from the puddles collecting on the slickened streets.
 
- The act of getting around the city seems more effortless than before, thanks to Batman’s new suit and superior gadgets.
 
- Gotham City --  looks more vibrant and alive. It does look like a real city this time, and not a smaller, closed-off version of one that’s been left to rot. Gotham proper, the main setting for Arkham Knight, is a far more built-up and densely populated area than Arkham City.
 
- Once you’re fully into combat, things will feel familiar, but there are a few new systems being introduced to ensure that the classic Rocksteady combat still feels fresh. for example, when you’re countering, you can push the thumb stick in the direction of the thug attacking you, and Batman will throw him, rewarding you with double damage. You can also pick up and smash your victims into other enemies – if you’re fast enough.

- The Batmobile -- It’s a beast of a thing, looking a bit like a cross between the Tumbler of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knightfilms and the more classic-looking Batmobile models of old. The car itself can smash through pretty much any obstacle or material – from stone and steel to street lamps. It’s clear the team have spent a fair amount of time and effort on getting every aspect of the Batmobile just so, from the squeal of the tyres to the crack and burst of nitrous flames from the exhaust every time you use the car’s rechargable boost to accelerate. It’s also invulnerable to machinegun fire.

- While you’re inside the vehicle, there’s no world mini-map – a deliberate design choice, we’re told, as Rocksteady wants you to be paying attention to what’s going on around you, rather than using a map display to navigate. “We’ve done a lot of work to ensure that the information for the objectives is within the city,” Hill reassures us. You can, however, set waypoints, and tyre tracks will periodically appear on the ground to highlight the way ahead.
 
- Hill claims the game has been designed so that there wouldn’t be just one main storyline and a lot of optional side objectives. “The city is full of all these different, co-ordinated attacks by the various supervillains,” he says. “They’re all designed to push Batman to his limit. We wanted it to feel like there isn’t one key main path and [then] all these side missions; all of these different components and attacks by the supervillains have their own really interesting story that you can follow.”
 
- The developer isn’t talking about any other villains or characters at the moment, but it does concede that certain storylines begun or teased in Arkham City– such as hush’s ‘Identity Theft’ sidemissions or Azrael’s mysterious prophecy that “gotham will burn” – will likely be further explored and concluded in Arkham Knight.
 
- Barbara Gordon -- She’s just as feisty and razor-sharp as you’d expect her to be. There are some brief references to The Killing Joke during Babs and Bats’ back and forth.
 
- The Arkham Knight -- A figure stalks into view. He’s wearing a kind of robotic Batman-like cowl that covers his entire face, and there’s a stylised ‘A’ symbol emblazoned on his heavily armoured chest. There are shades of Prometheus and Wrath about him, even a touch of Jason Todd’s Red hood in the pseudo military get-up he wears.