Feature Article

What Did We Learn From The New Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer?

Back in black.

Warner Bros. has officially unveiled the next chapter in the Arkham game series today, with Batman: Arkham Knight confirmed for the PC, Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4 for release sometime in 2014. Our first glimpse at the latest adventure of the Dark Knight came in the form of a trailer, and while it didn't feature gameplay, the trailer still contained a few tantalising hints about what we can expect. So we asked GameSpot's Batman-loving editors to put on their fancy Riddler question mark bowler hats and uncover whatever secrets or influences they could uncover in the announcement trailer.

Check out our original news piece here: Batman: Arkham Knight announced for PS4, Xbox One, PC.

The Familiar and the New

"Given the way that the trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight starts with a heavily distorted voice threatening the citizens of Gotham, my immediate thought was that Rocksteady is leaning heavily on the Nolan films for influence, for this trailer if not for the game it represents. Since he threatens to unleash the citizens' "greatest fears," we can infer that the voice belongs to Scarecrow, not to Bane, but the nods to the Nolan films don't end there. The Batmobile we see in the trailer resembles the Tumbler of the Nolan films far more than it does the sleek Batmobile of the Burton films or other incarnations of the vehicle. The shaky-cam cinematography with which car chases and fistfights are framed, and the way that cars look like real-world cars, suggests to me that, like Nolan's Gotham, the Gotham of this game might try to feel less stylized and more realistic than the Gotham of the previous Arkham games."

"The ending of Arkham City left the criminal landscape of Gotham in a fascinating place. The Joker is seemingly out of the picture, but Harley Quinn is still out there, and as a discarded pregnancy test in Arkham City indicates, the Joker's legacy might literally be living on. In the vacuum left by the Joker's defeat, there would be plenty of opportunities for the city's remaining villains to capitalize on the situation, and indeed, the trailer paints a picture of a city at war, its citizens terrorized, its police essentially under siege. The downloadable add-on for Arkham City, Harley Quinn's Revenge, was disappointing, but did give us a sense that Bruce Wayne is in a dark place psychologically, that his battle with the Joker has left him shaken. I hope that Arkham Knight follows up on this and gives us a Batman who is struggling with his own demons as well as the criminal elements of the city."

"You can't make an Arkham game without the immensely satisfying combat and stealth elements that are the series' hallmark, but as Arkham Origins demonstrated, you can't just rely on those elements and expect it to be enough. Clearly, Rocksteady knows this, and are attempting to invigorate the series in this chapter with open-world driving elements. This gives me hope that the game might feel familiar in all the right ways without feeling overly familiar, like Origins did. I'm curious to see how Rocksteady is meshing the vehicular aspects with the wonderfully enjoyable ways you've gotten around the city in earlier games, grappling and soaring from rooftop to rooftop. If the developer can hold on to everything that was great about Arkham before and introduce these new elements in a way that doesn't interfere with what we all want and expect from an Arkham game, Arkham Knight could be something really special." -- Carolyn Petit

Batman sure has a sweet ride.

Car Trouble?

"I'm simultaneously excited and worried about this new Batman game after watching the trailer. How can I not be a little giddy at the thought of roaring through the streets of a massive Gotham City in my Batmobile? And since there's a car, doesn't it stand to reason that there might also be a flying Batplane hidden somewhere in the game?"

"But just like the Arkham series' amazing close-quarters combat, the earlier Batman games shined because they were so confined. Generally, the more a game opens up, the more empty and sparse it becomes (unless that game is Grand Theft Auto). And with a size that has to come close to the New York analogue in Grand Theft Auto IV, and a city that'll probably be under lockdown in order to keep you from exploring too far, will there be enough to explore to keep me excited, or will it just feel like a big obstacle that stands in the way of getting from Point A to Point B? The previous Arkham games felt like they were just at the limit of balancing how much game world I'd want to explore versus having interesting things I'd want to do. And driving the artistically aged streets of L.A. Noire was fun the first couple times, but it just became an auto-travel chore after the first few missions. Of course, the car in L.A. Noire wasn't equipped with rockets and a wide array of high-tech weaponry. Rocksteady has a crazy reputation to live up to, their own. But I'm mostly just excited that Batman is back in the hands of the studio that made me fall in love with Batman games in the first place." -- Justin Haywald

Open-world influences?

"Success in the video game industry means growth. When developer Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum descended upon our consoles back in 2009 it captured our hearts with its easy-to-play, fun-to-watch combat and Nolan-esque tone. Then Arkham City came along and went open world, and Arkham Origins after that introduced the series to asymmetrical multiplayer. So where does Arkham go from there? Rocksteady isn’t tipping their hand just yet--returning villains and a driveable Batmobile aside--but if you look to other open world games on next-gen hardware you might get some ideas."

I'm curious to see how Rocksteady is meshing the vehicular aspects with the wonderfully enjoyable ways you've gotten around the city in earlier games.

Carolyn Petit

"Take Dead Rising 3 for example. It had a massive, vehicle-filled city as well where you could drive from end to end without hitting a load screen. I doubt mowing down hordes of zombies in the Batmobile is in the cards, but the developers could spice up the driving with street races or by chasing down fleeing criminals. On the other hand, the upcoming Watch Dogs makes interesting use of their companion app by letting players help, or hinder, you from their smartphones. The Arkham series already has Oracle serving as Batman’s backup, and it would be interesting to see her hacking abilities put in a player’s hands as a way of providing cooperative play." -- Maxwell McGee

What other sorts of inspirations do you think Rocksteady will draw upon for this next Arkham game? Share your best guess in the comments below.

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Discussion

126 comments
adamortiz10485
adamortiz10485

Im so glad they're finally adding the Batmobile into the franchise. Its fun to glide all over the city but you can't have Batman without his car. 

WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

Ewwww... harley and joker did the nasty?

Decapod_10
Decapod_10

We learnt there will be a new Arkham game and that it could be pretty sweet...and that's all we need to know! I don't get this obsession with wanting to know everything about a game before it's even come out. I don't want to know every little detail about what happens and what you can do; I want to find that out for myself! Just give me the basics (there's a Batmobile, it's five times the size of City) and that will be fine. Give us another cinematic trailer and a standard gameplay demo, just to see what the graphics are like and that will do nicely.


And Origins wasn't the best of games, but it was good enough (although the constant freezing and the corrupted save file halfway through tried to ruin it). But it was pretty obvious it was just a stop-gap until this game came out

chkmode
chkmode

People moaning and complaining about Arkham Origins. I found the game enjoyable. I do not know why most of the critics and general gamers do not like the game ? :O

I have a very high expectations from Arkham City and I am sure Rock-steady would have played smart.

vinion2000
vinion2000

I couldnt help but chuckle at the comments being made here. So many people crapping on Batman Origins but back in the GameSpot review its filled with pissed gamers defending it. Ah but they say hind-sight is 20/20 and I am assuming that a lot of those "this game will be great", "I haven't played it yet but I know awesome when I see it", "fk you Carolyn" commenters now sit silently with egg on their faces. Only comforted by the fact that a third party developer made the game and not Rocksteady. 

Ill be interested in the shit storm the review for this game causes. Hooray for sequels!

ksbwings
ksbwings

The trailer definitely seems great but we have not seen any scene for the game style. I hope this Arkham season contains Bat-mobile opportunity to play freely and move faster around the city instead of jumping among the buildings. In my opinion, the stealth gaming style in Batman Arkham Origin was fantastic. I hope the new season has more enhancements for stealth techniques within open-world and not only limited to specific area such as adventure within building and so on.

KiriharaZro
KiriharaZro

Arkham again? really? No, I mean... Really? can't do developers something else? Oh! but now we're going to drive the batmovile... really?

Merseyak
Merseyak

we learned that this is the true next game after city

MasterTheHero
MasterTheHero

It better not be like Batman Origins. That game was a step backward for the franchise and Arkham Knight better not follow in their footsteps.

bourne714
bourne714

So, no definitive answer on what they have "learned" other than their thoughts on the Batmobile?  Thanks for the news update....

euphoric666
euphoric666

I've learned that game companies are still trying to fool us with CG movies.

PcGamingRig
PcGamingRig

We learnt that it was going to be facking awesome, that's what we learnt! :)

enagenado
enagenado

We learned that death sentence of the ps3 its signed

kvan33
kvan33

Rocksteady back in the picture.  Next gen only release.  Yes, this should be good.

ThePlantain
ThePlantain

 why do we only get to play as Harlequin for a short time?? i smell misogyny!!

CrashOV
CrashOV

What Did We Learn From The New Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer?

That in this one they made the city a bit bigger again. made another excuse for there to be no citizens and you get to drive around in batman's go-cart. At least Conroy is back and it's not a prequel this time. 

DeBrief
DeBrief

... Street Races? In a batman game? How about no. Laughable.

piyush181
piyush181

trailer looks great.. and now we have a bat car and who knows it just might convert into a bike too.. high hopes for this game

the_broodlord
the_broodlord

i hope Gotham is like the one from origins because that would be really fun to drive around in, as it's layout is very vertical. i wanna drive off highways onto roof tops of lower buildings than drive off those into the lower slums.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

Will this turn out like the last one? where they rather push out dlc instead of Fix bugs?

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

We learned that they intend to milk the franchise for what it's worth.

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

We learned that a game that deserved a sequel or 2 is becoming an annualized franchise by a greedy publisher.  Exploit us please!

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

@KiriharaZro  The game is exclusive to next gen consoles and PC. This will not be the same experience again. They have the ability to craft a much larger world now. Honestly, Origins should never have happened, then this game would simply be the finale of Rocksteady's trilogy and wouldn't be coming right off the heels of the previous game, but as they've already said, this IS the end of the Arkham series.

kingtrax
kingtrax

@euphoric666 Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me 999,999,999,999,942 times, SHAME ON...

Pytka
Pytka

@leakingdogmilk I know!!! I also want a batman beyond movie and game! Also a Superman game would be awesome

s3as3a
s3as3a

@DeBrief  It wouldn't really be racing, but more like chasing.

Ink129
Ink129

@tsunami2311  Warner Bros. Games Montréal made Arkham Origins - this game is made by Rocksteady who also made the first two games in the series. Arkham Knight should be a lot smoother than Origins, because Rocksteady have been living up to their name so far... or they may fail horribly - if so, it wouldn't be the first time a great development studio falls from grace. Only time will tell ;-) 


wristbreaker
wristbreaker

@BARRICADE_28  I skipped the last one as it sucked big time which should not be part of the Arkham series...

That last one was utter garbage and this one is returning to its roots... this is gonna be so effin good

Rambolike
Rambolike

@BARRICADE_28 Well said.  And let's cut out the rubbish, "This is the last game."  PUHLEASE.  If it sells well, and it will, they'll find a way to add another installment.

itay169
itay169

@BARRICADE_28  i dont count the last batman game as a part of the series, this is the sequel to arkham city and it comes out three years after it

KiriharaZro
KiriharaZro

@OHGFawx @KiriharaZro 

The end after 4 games, no matter if Origins wasn't made by Rocksteady, for me its just another hook to "force" us to change to "new" generation

MasterTheHero
MasterTheHero

@diggyphelps @MasterTheHeroI am aware Rocksteady didn't make Origins. However, even though Rocksteady clearly made 2 awesome Batman games. Arkham City had some serious optimization bugs when it was released and started the trend that Origins followed.


I don't want RS to copy anything that WB Montreal did except for maybe some art design.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

@Pytka Superman is about 99.9% indestructible unless you have kryptonite. Its hard to make a compelling story for a game when virtually nothing can hurt the hero. He's too powerful. Best to leave him to comics and film.

Ink129
Ink129

@Rambolike @BARRICADE_28  I think it was stated that this would be the last Batman game from Rocksteady studios - I might not remember it correctly, though. But there's definitely going to be more Batman/Arkham games. However, I do think we're going to see them from other development studios than Rocksteady after this one.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@Rambolike @BARRICADE_28  Half Life 2 and its episodes sold well.

Don't be so cynical this isn't EA and if the publisher was ok with no multiplayer then it's clearly not pressurising them too much.

Leria
Leria

@MasterTheHero


Uh, what? Serious optimization issues? I played Arkham City on the exact same hardware that I used to play Arkham Asylum at 720p (actually a little more than that: 1280*800) with all the graphic prettiness save one thing that my computer did not support turned on full.


Played it with those exact same settings in Arkham City, so it was at least as optimized as Arkham Asylum.


As to Arkham Origins, I have not bought it yet (waiting for it to go on 1/4th price Steam special sale before I bite) but I have friends who bought it when it was on 1/2 price on Steam.

It plays well, is about as fast on equivalent hardware as Asylum/City were. A few bugs (which have been fixed for the most part) but nothing really uber serious.