Robin Turns Into The Punisher in New Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer
It wouldn't be a modern day video game release if there wasn't some kind of exclusive pre-order DLC at GameStop. Despite the hopes of just about everyone in the universe that isn't an executive at the gaming retail chain, even Batman: Arkham Knight has succumbed to the trend. Exclusive to those who pre-order the upcoming third game in Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham trilogy at GameStop, the Red Hood Story Pack puts you in the shoes of the vigilante for the first time in the series. If you recall, GameStop is also the only place you can get DC Collectibles' Batman: Arkham Knight Red Hood figure as well. Guess somebody over there really, really, really, really likes Jason Todd... if that's who this Red Hood is, anyway.
Today, we got our first in-depth look at the Red Hood Story Pack DLC outside of a brief commercial that's been airing hyping up the pre-order incentive. Unlike previous Batman: Arkham DLC packs, you'll actually be able to play through some story missions as the Red Hood. Previously, additional character packs were relegated to Challenge Mode only, save for the Catwoman DLC in Arkham City. This time around, Harley Quinn, Red Hood, and Batgirl will get playable segments, which would be a great new twist if both characters weren't used as bargaining chips in exclusive deals.
After watching the trailer, it's no wonder why Batman: Arkham Knight is going to be the first game in the series to earn an "M" rating from the ESRB. The Red Hood brandishes his pistols with reckless abandon, ensuring each bullet fired finds a home in some thug's body. While details on the narrative of the content are in short supply, it's clear the Red Hood is taking on the Black Mask, or at least the remnants of Black Mask's gang. The Harley Quinn add-on takes place prior to Arkham Knight's events, but it's hard to discern when this Red Hood narrative happens. What's not so hard to miss is the brutal gun violence.
Though the trailer meticulously uses edits to keep some of the more questionable gunplay off screen, there's little doubt that Red Hood will hold back as much as this footage. That's not to say it's entirely out of character; it's quite the opposite, in fact. The current Red Hood has very little issue using ballistics to get the job done, but it's still a bit jarring to see such in-your-face violence on display in an Arkham game. Rocksteady appears to be holding nothing back in its coup de grace.
Now, the big question is whether or not this Red Hood is Jason Todd. The Arkham games have flirted closely with DC Comics continuity, but have taken liberties where necessary. The Arkham Knight is an entirely new character, which at one time was speculated to be Jason Todd. With the inclusion of separate Red Hood DLC, Rocksteady could be hinting that the Arkham Knight's identity is someone else entirely (as I've speculated in the past), or the developer could be throwing a huge misdirect, and this DLC sets up Red Hood to become the Arkham Knight at its conclusion.
Whatever the case, we've only a few weeks to wait and find out. Batman: Arkham Knight, and its pre-order DLCs, will be available on June 23.