Right before the Electronic Entertainment Expo officially kicked off, Rocksteady Games and Warner Bros. Interactive dropped a tremendous gameplay video for Batman: Arkham Knight that got my blood pumping. The five minute video reinforces that Rocksteady is giving it their all for this title, and showcases how much fun it will be to use the Batmobile. The video also has a great, creative ending.
The video begins in Wayne Tower, clearly in Bruce Wayne’s office. Bruce Wayne just put on his new mechanized Batsuit. From his tower overlooking the entire city, Batman takes a dive, but he’s not looking for a sack of hay. Batman takes to the air using his cape and glide abilities. Eventually, Batman makes a picture-perfect landing before he seamlessly lands in the Batmobile and races into action. Gotham City has been evacuated of civilians, but the streets are still alive with activity. Police cars are pursuing criminals in their getaway vehicles. The Batmobile then transforms into Battle Mode before Batman gets the OK to let loose with the car’s multitude of weapons on unmanned enemy drones. The Batmobile combat looks incredible.
Batman disposes of the drones and launches out of the Batmobile. Based on all the videos I have seen, it appears Batman calls on or launches from the Batmobile whenever he is in free roam on the streets of Gotham. Batman then heads to the Penguin’s hideout, and the video shows us one of our first looks at the Fear Takedown. The combat and takedowns look much more amped up and intense than Arkham City. The Fear Takedowns allow Batman to chain multiple enemy takedowns together. As Batman ascends into the Iceberg Lounge to locate Penguin, things start to get weird. The video starts to blip and break, like a TV on the fritz.
Batman goes inside to take care of Penguin, but before the interrogation gets good, the video breaks. The regularly scheduled program has been interrupted by the Scarecrow, who has seemingly taken over the TV feed. Scarecrow shares some dark words Gotham City and for Batman, and by proxy, the players. This creative use of storytelling with the Scarecrow is brilliant and visceral. Scarecrow has never been this utterly terrifying. The break in the video makes it seem like Scarecrow is invading our brains and very thoughts. This is appropriate considering the potent affects of his fear toxin. My hope is that this setup with Scarecrow being the big bad is not some sort of bait and switch. The Joker’s death can be a boon to the series: It allows another villain to step into the spotlight. If the promising setup with Scarecrow is nothing more than a bait and switch, that would be a gigantic letdown.