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First look at Batman: Arkham Knight’s gameplay

Rocksteady has finally given us a look — an admittedly brief look — at its upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight in action with the “Evening the Odds” gameplay trailer. 

Gotham City just can’t seem to stop handing over larger and larger sections of itself over to the enormous criminal population. The trailer opens with a threatening narration from The Scarecrow, the ostensible top villain in Arkham Knight, as he drives out Gotham’s civilians with the threat of his psychedelic fear gas. The criminals once again have the run of the place, and it’s once again up to Batman to grapple, glide, and punch the city back into order.

The playable swath of Gotham this time around is roughly five times larger than it was in Arkham City, and Batman’s transportation options have been scaled up accordingly. The trailer features his signature glides and dives, which will take you further than in previous games. The newly added Batmobile also gets a lot of screen time, as it will feature prominently in the game. You’re able to call it to your side from anywhere in the city, even while airborne, to have it ready for you when you land. Riddler trophies and challenges will also make a return, with the addition of driving challenges (likely hinted at in the brief shot of a rocket-powered Batmobile blasting across the ceiling of a tunnel).

Combat is only briefly alluded to with a groin-crunching knee blow and one of Batman’s post-fight interrogations, but the series’ signature combo-driven, dynamic melee is one of the few things that fans don’t need to be sold on. It’s worked in every game so far, and there’s no reason to suspect that Rocksteady won’t deliver more of the same here.

Plot-wise the trailer reveals little other than the setup. Big baddies Scarecrow, Penguin, Two-Face, and Harley Quinn all make brief appearances. We also get to see former Batgirl/current Oracle Barbara Gordon, who will be reprising her support role for Batman, as well as a tantalizing and ominous look at the new Arkham Knight, a mysterious, militarized villain that we see standing over the Batman with a gun pointed at his chest. The trailer cuts to black here as a gunshot rings out.

The two-and-a-half-minute look ends with a disappointingly vague “Coming Soon,” but we can be sure to expect a lot more information soon at E3.

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