We all know Batman is an entirely new beast with his Batmobile, but Rocksteady Studios wanted to make sure in their E3 demo presentation that every viewer walked away blown away by the Batmobile.
But aside from the stun gun, hostage vault, and lateral dodge boosters in your remote-control Batmobile, there's also new features like environmental take downs, hacking mechanics and enemies to spy on for when you're flying solo.
The demo presentation placed Batman at a chemical compound just outside of Arkham city. The Scarecrow is yet again trying to plague Arkham with his fear-instilling chemicals, and it’s your job to stop him. Unlike every other failed attempt, a new villain appears in a helicopter and destroys your only entrance into the isolated compound. It’s pretty clear this unknown enemy, later disclosed as the "Arkham Knight," hates you for some reason. He vanishes in the chopper and you’re stuck to find your own way in.
Which is fine, because you’re Batman.
You can already tell the graphics are stunning before Batman makes his first move. The seamless shifts from cinematics to actual game play made the audience occasionally question if you had control of the game yet. The Unreal engine Batman utilizes allows higher vertical distances in game, so Arkham will feel even more vast than before, says the presenter. It looks cool, but who knows if this may become more tedious than jaw-dropping when you’re playing for an extensive period.
The amount of design detail in Arkham Knight is also remarkable. When you speak with Commissioner Gordon, his camera shakes in the background and his arm holds the corner of the screen; you can actually tell he’s holding the phone like a selfie. Gordon and Orcale tell us we have to seek out hostages next.
So you break into the compound and fight a few thugs similar to older Batman games. The combat system contains a couple of fun finishing moves and grapples familiar to anyone who played the previous games. Some enemies have been upgraded in difficulty, and will even jump at you if you aren’t careful.
A gliding kick sends us to another level of goonies, and we get to see the new environmental take downs. Our superhero bashed heads into power fuses, sending electrical sparks everywhere, and lunged up to a ceiling lamp, only to smash it down on an opponent’s head. Tables were also smashed in a classic WWE style.
Upon reaching one hostage, we become trapped inside, surrounded by the Arkham Knight alongside a gang of goonies. Our new villain somehow knows a remarkable amount about your armor and fighting tactics, and is determined to cause your downfall. With no feasible way out with Batman's on-hand arsenal, we see the power of combining forces alongside the Batmobile. The Batmobile starts to shoot down each mob while Batman finishes them off with some pretty violent take downs. Alas, the Arkham Knight also disappears, and we're left to take the hostage back, which is one of the crazier parts of the demo.
The Batmobile has a hostage/prisoner compartment, which allows you to carry allies or villains around with you in a podlike capsule in the Batmobile’s trunk. So we put this hostage in the trunk and then throttle your boosters and thrash around the compound. You even jump over a ramp back to the bridge you started at, all with this poor guy lying down in the trunk. The hostage casually walks out as if he wasn't scrambled like a cooked egg in an earthquake, and you jump right back inside the compound.
The presentation finishes off with a final firefight in your Batmobile against enemy tanks with laser-beam missiles, just to assure you once again that this game is solidifying, sealing and locking in your love for this insane beast-tank on wheels.
Unfortunately, if you're drooling over the Batmobile's mechanics like the rest of our E3 audience, you'll have to patiently wait. Nobody has placed a specific release date on Batman: Arkham Knight -- we only get the knowledge of a 2015 release. Until then, we'll just have to settle with our curiosity on who the new villian, the Arkham Knight, really is.
Batman: Arkham Knight is scheduled for a release date of 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.