In many ways, developer Rocksteady Studios revolutionized modern superhero video games via their conception of the Batman: Arkham series. Their work spans the first two games of the series (the innovative Arkham Asylum and Arkham City), and presented gamers with a darker Bruce Wayne, tight storylines, memorable villains, and innovative combat/exploration gameplay. This year, Rocksteady will develop what is suspected to be their final Arkham game (though undoubtedly the series will live on through other developers) in Arkham Knight—a game that seems poised to build on the legacy of Asylum and City.
Arkham Knight is set a year after the events of Arkham City, and a slew of Gotham’s most infamous villains are ready to welcome you back to the city. Confirmed baddies at this point include Scarecrow, Penguin, Two-Face, and Harley Quinn, but as this is a finale of sorts, more are sure to leak out as the game’s launch date nears. Knight falls in line with Rocksteady’s MO of evolving their games in some way from one iteration to the next. Arkham Asylum introduced the universe and core gameplay mechanics; Arkham City created more of an open-world feel by expanding the setting from the asylum to the city as a whole; Arkham Knight takes the next step by introducing a larger city and—the piece de resistance—a drivable Batmobile that is expected to be a central part of gameplay. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Rocksteady’s series finale as its launch date nears.
Batman: Arkham Knight launches later this year on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
In other gaming news this week, Diablo 3 evolves, Nintendo intends to stay in the hardware game, and Titanfall continues to look amazing. Read on!
- Developer Interceptor Entertainment, most recently in the news for a licensing feud with Gearbox surrounding Interceptor’s work on a new Duke Nukem game titled Mass Destruction, purchased 3D Realms this week. Interceptor continues to argue it holds residual rights to Duke Nukem and that they are in the clear to release their latest offering. Of interest to those who remember the shareware era in gaming, perhaps, but frankly, Duke Nukem today is an outdated property – odds are, whether or not this game ends up seeing the light of day, very few will actually care.
- A Portuguese retailer is claiming that GTA V will launch for the PS4. No word from Rockstar yet, but stay tuned…
- Prepare to get your mech on, Xbox fans. Titanfall launches for the Xbox One, 360, and PC on March 11. Check out the latest trailer below.
- Give Blizzard credit where credit’s due. Despite Diablo III’s financial success, the game was panned for balance and replayability issues months after release. Blizzard kept chipping away, which resulted in their massive Items 2.0 patch launching last week, and by all reports, it’s now a whole new game that’s much more rewarding. Just in time for the launch of the Reaper of Souls expansion at the end of the month…
- There have been questions in the industry about Nintendo’s interest in staying in the hardware game. In a shareholders letter, president Satoru Iwata affirmed the company’s continuing commitment to console hardware going forward.
- Eidos Montreal, developers of the tepidly received Thief reboot, laid off 27 employees this week, a month after the game’s release.
- Finally, South Park: The Stick of Truth launched this week. General consensus seems to peg it as an excellent game, especially for South Park fans, but a bit buggy—if you’re looking to pick this one up, you may be better off waiting for a patch or two.