If you thought Gotham was saved after the grand finale of “Batman: Arkham City,” you were wrong. Batman’s battle is only beginning: A new villain, the Arkham Knight, is waging war on Gotham, and only the Caped Crusader can put a stop to it.
At E3 2014, we got a chance to sit down with “Batman: Arkham Knight” and see how the city of Gotham is faring. Turns out, not so great. The Scarecrow has stepped in to replace The Joker, and is teaming up with an enemy who knows an awful lot about Batman — including his weaknesses.
Combat in “Arkham Knight” will feel very familiar to fans of the series, and utilizes the same timing and environment mechanics. This time, though, there seem to be a lot more interactive elements in the environment, leading to a lot more varied takedowns. Batman can hurl a crate into an enemy, then spin around and toss another into an electrical box, before finishing up with a devastating uppercut to a third baddie. All it takes is some careful timing and a few simple button presses, and as always, chaining combos in “Batman” feels awesome. And of course, Batman has some new moves. We got to utilize his new Fear takedown: From a hiding spot, Batman leaps out, startling enemies enough that he can chain together hits in a slowed down, bullet time-style combo.
But what’s Batman without his trusty Batmobile? “Arkham Knight” comes with a new Batmobile designed specifically for the game, and you’ll be using it a lot. It’ll help you out not only in traversing the new, massive map — five times bigger than that of “Arkham City” and 20 times bigger than the original “Arkham Asylum” — but also in certain combat scenarios. The Batmobile can switch from driving to combat on the fly, and Batman can even launch out of it to bust through windows, sail over chasms, or lock onto enemies for a glide kick.
“Batman: Arkham Knight” feels great to play, and looks incredible: grittier, darker, wetter, and grander. You’ve still got a ways to wait before it launches (sometime in 2015), but it’s never too soon to get excited. Batman is back.