Rocksteady has a lofty aim for its highly-anticipated return to the streets of Gotham, next year's Batman: Arkham Knight. They want to create "the ultimate Batman simulator".
Marketing manager Guy Perkins spoke Arkham Asylum to the latest entry, which is missing a certain iconic villain this time around.at EGX last week, explaining the franchise's evolution from
“We try to create that very cinematic story-telling experience through the game,"
“We try to create that very cinematic story-telling experience through the game,"said Perkins. "Obviously Asylum was the starting point for that, but the intimate cat-and-mouse gameplay between the Joker and Batman really demanded it took place in the pressure cooker of the Asylum."
“So that had its place for that story, but then we took that into the open world to give players the next piece of the Batman armour as it were, which is the grappling gun and the ability to glide. The introduction of those pieces really required a bigger game world to support them, but then the big thing that was always missing for us was the Batmobile. It was always missing but wouldn’t have worked in Asylum or City, so to build an open-world around that was crucial.”
Interestingly *SPOILER WARNING* the demise of the Joker in Arkham City seems to have made Batman's job harder rather than easier. "The death of the Joker at the end of Arkham City has created a different world for the criminals of Arkham Knight," Perkins explained. "He’s not there to disrupt the things they’re doing, so you have to imagine a world where he’s not there and not causing that chaos. They can get organised, work together and offer a more formidable challenge."
Rocksteady believe returning villain Scarecrow, who made such a memorable appearance in the first game, will be able to provide an appropriately dastardly villain in the Clown Prince of Crime's absence. Even without Batman's most famous nemesis, Rocksteady are hoping to bow out the Arkham series with a big finish.
"If people walk away thinking this is the ultimate Batman simulator, then our job is complete," Perkins finished. "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."
Batman: Arkham Knight is still on course for that June 2015 release on PC and current-gen consoles.