Batman: Arkham Knight – Rocksteady’s Social Marketing Manager Talks About the Upcoming Finale to the Arkham Trilogy
Batman: Arkham Knight is getting quite close to its release and despite the delays, we are likely to get one of the most promising titles of 2015, when it finally arrives on June 23 2015. Rocksteady has recently announced a small delay to their previously June 2nd release date to make sure that everything is ironed out perfectly and that they deliver the best game possible with Batman: Arkham Knight.
In an interview with GamingBolt, Rocksteady's social marketing manager Gaz Deaves talks about Arkham Knight and addresses some quite interesting questions.
In response as to how the game's combat is shaping up Deaves explains.
We’ve got one central goal that unites everything we do at Rocksteady: make the player feel like they are the Batman. Free Flow Combat is a big part of creating that feeling, and we’ve spent a lot of time looking at ways to supercharge that experience for the player. So this time around you can use parts of the environment against your enemies, like dropping a ceiling light on a thug’s head or pulling an air conditioning unit off the wall for a quick knockout. This opens up a positional element to the gameplay, because if you’re paying attention to the environment you can use it, too.
We’ve also introduced a weapon steal system, allowing Batman to confiscate enemy weapons like lead pipes, and turn those weapons against the thugs. Batman has always been a fighter who can use his brain just as well as his fists, and it felt very natural for us to build new moves like these into free flow combat. From a production standpoint, the game has been in development for over three years, so this final stage is all about polishing the experience to the point where we’re happy handing our baby over to the fans.
Deaves being asked about what changes have been made to the level structure and what new types of gadgets are available, continues to state:
One of the best things about working with Batman is thinking of new ways to use gadgets to solve problems. We haven’t talked about the new gadgets that we’re adding to Batman’s utility belt yet, but on top of all the new tools you’ll have access to, one of the things we wanted to do this time is expand on how some of our classic Arkham gadgets can be deployed.
So you can now use gadgets while you’re airborne – for example, throwing batarangs into a group of thugs to thin them out before you engage on foot. Some gadgets have been upgraded in response to the bigger design decisions we made in the game. For example, the skyscrapers in Gotham city are extremely tall, so to make navigation feel more natural, we’ve added a new chain grapnel that allows you to quickly ascend them by grappling multiple times in quick succession.
Even the design of the Arkham Knight’s helmet is a taunt aimed at Batman – a psychological weapon to provoke a reaction and prey on Batman’s fears.
Gaming Bolt's Rashid K. Sayed, asks what differentiates the Arkham Knight from other villains.
One of the most interesting themes in Batman stories is the idea of escalation: as Batman improves his abilities and gadgets to fight crime, his enemies have to improve and adapt in order to stay competitive. In response to this, Batman trains harder to become even more powerful, which creates this constant escalation between Batman and the super villains.
The Arkham Knight is the apex of that escalation: he’s broken the old rules of engagement and raised the stakes through the roof by bringing a full occupying army into Gotham. He’s an expert tactician who understands how dangerous Batman can be, and he knows that he’ll have to exploit all of Batman’s weaknesses to beat him. Even the design of the Arkham Knight’s helmet is a taunt aimed at Batman – a psychological weapon to provoke a reaction and prey on Batman’s fears.
In response as to whether the new Scarecrow sections will be creepier than in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Gaz Deaves clarifies.
Scarecrow is a hugely inspiring character to work with. He’s the principal antagonist this time around, and we chose him for our main villain because he reflects and magnifies some of Batman’s most powerful characteristics. The Dark Knight uses fear as a weapon, but Scarecrow is a true master of terror.
He understands the value of being a symbol just as much as Batman, and uses that to create uncertainty and fear in his enemies. In terms of both gameplay and narrative, that makes him very interesting, because as a player you never know what to expect from him.
Gliding and navigating the rooftops in Batman: Arkham Knight has been expanded to accommodate the increased size of the city
What challenges does the open world bring from a gameplay perspective?
Gameplay-wise, it’s been very liberating to take the Dark Knight from the confines of Arkham City into the massive, open explorable Gotham that we’ve built for this game. The extra scope has given us so much opportunity to enhance every aspect of the game.
Gliding and navigating the rooftops has been expanded to accommodate the increased size of the city – both in terms of footprint and vertical height – and at street level the Batmobile gives us a lot of options for mixing up combat, navigation, problem-solving and more. The groups of thugs that you encounter will be bigger than in previous games, and you’ll see them dynamically rioting and looting as they move around the city. It’s up to you whether you choose to engage them on foot, ignore them, or disperse them quickly with the Batmobile.
In response as to whether encounters with super villains making a return to Batman: Arkham Knight will be dynamic events this time around, Deaves explains.
Having a Rogues Gallery full of amazing villains is one of the great pleasures of working with Batman. Strong characters naturally inspire great stories, but in our game they also have a big role in shaping the gameplay. Batman is facing an attack like nothing he’s experienced before, as his enemies have all united for the first time to take the Dark Knight down once and for all.
Scarecrow’s plot has resulted in the evacuation of Gotham’s civilian population, leaving the city open for the super villains to take advantage of the chaos. At points in the game you’ll see them pursuing their own objectives, while at others they’re playing their part in Scarecrow’s plan to destroy the Dark Knight.
Batman: Arkham Knight releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on June 23 2015. We will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available. Be sure to check out our previous coverage for more information on the game, here and here.