PRE­VIEW: BAT­MAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT

TekSavvy Insider - - Contents -

There was a time, not too long ago, when the idea of comic book tie ins made video game play­ers cringe in fear.

Up un­til Bat­man: Arkham Asy­lum made its de­but, it is fair to say that the vast majority of su­per­hero games failed to live up to even a frac­tion of their con­sid­er­able hype, en­sur­ing that gamers would re­main skep­ti­cal of fu­ture projects. That all changed with Rock­steady Stu­dio’s afore­men­tioned Bat­man de­but, though. By 2009 the Dark Knight had al­ready es­tab­lished him­self as a ma­jor player in main­stream me­dia once again, with Christo­pher Nolan’s won­der­fully crafted big screen adap­ta­tions go­ing a long way to aton­ing for the, sim­ply aw­ful, hand­ful of Bat­man movies that had come be­fore it ( although we’re will­ing to con­cede that both the orig­i­nal Tim Bur­ton Bat­man, and follow- up Bat­man Re­turns, were fine ef­forts, all things con­sid­ered). With movie­go­ers now start­ing to come around to the fact that su­per­hero flicks could ac­tu­ally be de­cent in the right hands, the stage was set for an am­bi­tious de­vel­op­ment stu­dio to change the lie of the land for the genre within the gaming in­dus­try, and that’s pre­cisely what Rock­steady did. Right from the first look it was abun­dantly clear that Arkham Asy­lum was to­tally dif­fer­ent to the majority of su­per­hero games that had come be­fore it. There was a real sense that care and at­ten­tion had been paid to ev­ery facet of the game’s cre­ation. Es­tab­lished Bat­man voice ac­tors like Kevin Con­roy and Mark Hamill were drafted in to reprise their roles as the Dark Knight and Joker, re­spec­tively, from the fran­chise’s much- loved an­i­mated ef­forts, and the game’s plot and script were as much about fan ser­vice as any­thing else. Given the com­plete dearth of de­cent Bat­man games up to that point, Asy­lum proved to be an un­fath­omable suc­cess. The game de­servedly scooped count­less game of the year awards, and re­mains a con­stant in top 10 lists ever since, lead­ing to an even bet­ter re­ceived follow up in 2011, Arkham City. A third game in the se­ries, the least well re­ceived of the bunch, Arkham Ori­gins, wasn’t ac­tu­ally han­dled by Rock­steady, in­stead be­ing farmed out to the fledg­ling Warner Bros. Games Mon­treal, al­low­ing the stu­dio to fo­cus on the cul­mi­nat­ing part in the Arkham se­ries; a game that promised to be big­ger, bet­ter and more am­bi­tious than any­thing the se­ries had seen to date. That game is Bat­man: Arkham Knight, and its ar­rival is creep­ing slowly up on us, hav­ing orig­i­nally fall­ing foul of the dreaded pre­re­lease de­lay ear­lier this year. Arkham Knight has been built from the ground up for next gen sys­tems. With no PS3 or Xbox 360 ver­sions of­fi­cially planned, it means that de­vel­op­ers have been free to eke out ev­ery last drop of power from the Xbox One and PlaySta­tion 4, while PC gamers can most likely look for­ward to the most graph­i­cally ca­pa­ble ver­sion of the three - as usual.

The game takes place a year or so

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