Mar 6 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Arkham Knight Puts You In The Driver’s Seat... Of The Batmobile

Batman Arkham Knight

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 Of interest to those who remember the shareware era in gaming, perhaps, but frankly, Duke Nukem today is an outdated property - odds are, whether or not this game ends up seeing the light of day, very few will actually care.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.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or other angles you want us to examine, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

Chris Nelly
1. Aeryl
I never played Arkham Asylum, but Arkham City came free with my new 360 I got for Xmas, so I've tried it out. It is neat and interesting, but the combat is kind of confusing, the instant commands it pops up for you and WAY TOO TOUCHY, IMO. But I am loving Mark Hamill's performance, since I was never into the Batman animated shows that much.

"A direct line to my best friend in the whole world. Why didn't I think of THIS sooner?"
Dr. Batman
2. Dr. Batman
The combat in the Arkham series is absolutely incredible. I can see why you might find it confusing, but play a little bit longer and you will really enjoy it. Rocksteady has done a good job of evolving the combat too so that your favorite moves are still there to utilize, but so are a new aresenal of gadgets and takedowns. Best series ever, can't wait to drive the car. Chicks dig the car.
Pritpaul Bains
3. Kickpuncher
@1 Aeryl - I've always kind of viewed the combat in the Arkham series as refined, fluid button-mashing. A bit antithetical, I know, but I've found that generally there's no need to get caught up in the precise controls so long as you know when to counter, perform takedowns, or perform a critical hit.

It seems a bit confusing at first but starts to feel pretty fluid after about a few hours.

And ditto @2 - Dr. Batman re: the gadgets. No other Batman series has handled the gadgets, which are so key to the universe, so well.
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
Well, I'm an achievement hunter. I can DO the combat fine, but doing it the way the game says to get achievements, seems almost impossible.
Pritpaul Bains
5. Kickpuncher
@4 Oh, okay - that makes sense. Yeah, that's definitely trickier. ;) Sometimes like trying to pull off those 20-odd hit ultra combos in Tekken or SF.
6. hoopmanjh
Hmmm ... Papa Wayne's Last Will and Testament seemed oddly specific ...

Aeryl, I highly, highly recommend Arkham Asylum, which was smaller and less open than Arkham City, but which was delightfully creepy and atmospheric.

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