Batman: Arkham Knight’s villains are designed to intimidate

Batman: Arkham Knight‘s title character (or subtitle character), the Arkham Knight, is a brand new addition to the Batman and DC universe, and developer Rocksteady has released a new diary video with lead character artist Albert Feliu Gomis to discuss just how the new villain was designed.

As the commander of a military force entering Gotham City, the Arkham Knight represents society’s modern fears: His suit gives him information about “everything that’s happening in the city” thanks to his army of unmanned drones, and his military camouflage not only helps him avoid detection, but acts as a symbol also worn by all of his henchmen. Even his helmet antennae are menacing, with Gomis saying that their similarity to Batman’s cowl is an intentional taunt at the Dark Knight.

But the Arkham Knight isn’t the only villain leading the attack against Batman. Scarecrow, who was last seen in the original game, Arkham Asylum, is back, this time with vials of fear toxin draping his clothes like belts of ammunition. His design resembles a zombie, and his menacing claws and gas mask make him a far cry from the character seen in both Arkham Asylum and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins film.

While not as drastic as Scarecrow, the Caped Crusader himself has also received a redesign. “The cape has been implemented not around the rim of the cowl, but underneath the armor padding,” Gomis says. “He needs to be heavily militarized. His design needs to reflect that of the Batmobile.”

As the Joker has been such a huge part of the Arkham games thus far, it will be interesting to see how Arkham Knight handles putting other villains in the spotlight. 2013’s Arkham Origins, developed by WB Montreal, largely bluffed when it focused on Black Mask in its pre-release advertising, as the final game still put the Joker front and center.

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