Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay Video: Drone You Forget About Me
With Batman: Arkham Knight due to arrive in just a few weeks, it's time for the endless promotional assault on your senses to kick into high gear. Some skins and pre-order exclusives were touted earlier this week, but now Rocksteady Studios has returned with a new bit of gameplay showing off both hand-to-hand and vehicular combat.
As the third game in the Arkham trilogy proper (Rocksteady doesn't count Arkham Origins, and neither should you), Arkham Knight appears to be the most ambitious Batman video game yet. Besides the obvious graphical improvements offered by the current crop of consoles, Rocksteady's included a wealth of new features for its open world Gotham, including the ability to get behind the wheel of the Batmobile and shoot the crap out of some tanks. But don't worry Bat-fans, these are just drones. Batman isn't killing anyone; he's just maiming them really, really, really, really badly.
Bits and pieces of this gameplay have been seen before, particularly the conversation Batman's boot has with one of the Scarecrow's goons, and the brief tête-à-tête Bats and Poison Ivy share outside her condo. We could sit here and talk all day about how almost everyone in the Arkham games gets a new costume each entry, except for Ivy who's still rocking that Arkham shirt and little else since Arkham Asylum, but there are actual new and cool things to talk about instead.
Transitioning into buildings from skylights is all new this time around, and won't be the only way Batman is able to enter buildings seamlessly in Arkham Knight. There is a bit of cinematic slowdown just as he breaks through the window, and I wonder if that's to mask the loading just a tiny little bit. Once he's inside, Batman quickly begins dispatching the guards rather easily, and at first glance, it appears that not much has changed in the way of combat. However, there are definitely a lot of new animations in there, as well as some spicy new combo attacks and effect flourishes to highlight Batman's badassery.
The real star of this trailer though is the Batmobile, for which Bats has opted to add a trunk instead of an actual second seat in the cockpit. Now I understand this is just a bit of game design to allow Batman a way to rescue hostages and the like, but was two baby seats in the trunk really the best option? Ivy shows little surprise at being asked to hop in the trunk, but I'd probably still opt to walk wherever it is we needed to go if Batman offered me a ride. Have you ever been locked in a trunk? It's not fun. It's probably (at least) twice as not fun when you're sitting above a jet turbine in the middle of a firefight against tanks.
I can't deny how interesting the car combat looks though. As silly as Batman fighting off endless waves of drone tanks in an armored car sounds, the execution is fairly impressive. The warning sightlines of where the tanks are aiming are a nice touch, as are the Batmobile's defensive maneuvers. Curiously, the AI inside the drone tanks thought a circular attack pattern where they were all in each other's firing lines was a good idea. Hopefully these engagements won't happen too often, as it would be a real hassle to constantly have to fend off tanks left and right when trying to navigate Gotham's streets.
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