These are the words every fan of the Dark Knight will likely be screaming the day Batman: Arkham Knight hits store shelves next summer!

I won’t retread old ground here by singing the praises of previous installments in the Arkham franchise, as I’ve made my love of the series well known in the past. Many others have done the same, with virtually every news outlet you find continuously showering Rocksteady’s baby with one glowing review after another. Instead, I think today is a good opportunity to reflect not on where we’ve been, but where we’re going. With Arkham Knight being the third and final chapter in this epic story arch, some (myself included) are left wondering where the road leads…or rather…ends.

One thing is certain; the next-gen consoles are an x-factor promising to completely change how we interact with Gotham City. Just as Arkham City expanded upon the foundation laid in the first game, Arkham Knight is expected to cap things off with a bang (quite literally). In fact, the additional power under the hood of the Xbox One and PS4 have opened so many new avenues, Rocksteady has gone so far as to compare their upcoming release to more of a simulator than just a simple sequel. In a recent interview, marketing manager Guy Perkins states, “If people walk away thinking this is the ultimate Batman simulator, then our job is complete. We gave them Gotham City, we gave them Batman at the height of his powers and we gave them the Batmobile. I think those three elements come together to make a great game. If people go away feeling like it was awesome, we’ve done a good job.”

So to Mr. Perkin’s point, let’s breakdown his three key elements listed above to see just how deep Rocksteady will need to dig in order to blur the line between our world and that of a next-gen Gotham.

A City That Never Sleeps…

While swinging around the rooftops of Arkham City is all kinds of fun, it’s when you rappel down to the gritty streets below that you get a feel for how alive the map truly is. Beyond the typical group of thugs you have to pummel from time to time, there is always something to find around this corner or down that alley. Even though Origins expanded on the sandbox slightly (by allowing us to traverse areas outside the maximum security prison from game #2), Arkham Knight will be nothing like we’ve experienced before. The secret here will be continuing the tradition of exploration, rewarding players with little “in-jokes” and Easter Eggs that keep us coming back night after night just to see what else we can discover.

The Badassed-ness That is Batman!

Counting the recent prequel, this will be our fourth outing as the caped crusader. It’s pretty safe to say the design team feels they’ve hit on a winning formula with his combat system and gadgets, as they’ve yet to stray from its familiar setup. Personally, this is one area I feel has gotten a bit stale. When I’m dropped into a room full of henchman I’m required to clear before progressing to the next area, I essentially lean on the same play mechanics over and over. The same can be said for when I’m tasked with solving a crime or gathering clues. I’m always toggling between normal and detective modes in order to find my way. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Here’s hoping that with the new platform comes a few new surprises to Batman’s arsenal.


It’s the Car Right? Chicks Dig the Car.

By far, one of the most anticipated new aspects of Knight is the advent of a fully functional Batmobile. And I’m not talking about a one-off driving level like you might find in LEGO Batman or a mobile app. Based on the gameplay footage we’ve seen, this beast is every bit the sidekick Robin or Nightwing ever was! Some have said it’s so heavily armed, it’s going against Batman’s anti-firearm spirit. I give Rocksteady a pass on this, in light of the importance of creating a fun game. Plus it stands to reason that Batman would need some heavy artillery when attempting to recover his city (which is currently under siege in the opening).

My biggest complaint right now is not about the game itself, but the huge delay. The carrot of Holiday 2014 was originally dangled in front of us, leading many to believe we might get our hands on this beauty before the end of the year. Now with the launch date being pushed back to June 2 nd , the wait is drivin’ me batty (+1 for punning). I suppose giving Rocksteady a chance to polish things up is a good thing, it’s just that I’m suffering from a serious case of A.W.S. here (which of course stands for Arkham Withdrawal Syndrome ).

Perhaps it’s time to revisit some of those unexplored side-quests I’ve been meaning to tackle to help tide me over!

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