As we open, Batman is forcefully extracting intel from a thug about where to find Poison Ivy. Then he takes to the sky to glide his way over. It looks like his gliding ability has been substantially enhanced this time around, as he appears less dependent on the grappling hook to gain altitude. It’s unclear whether this is after upgrades or just a basic ability, but Batman looks like he can more or less straight-up fly this time around, which will be fun. Also take note of the colorful and detailed environments as he flies by — the billboards, rain, and flashing, neon lights all give it a marvelously film noir sense of place.
On he has arrived at the safe house, Batman pulls a classic bust-through-the-skylight entrance down into a group of henchmen in need of a walloping. The ensuing brawl is classic Batman: Arkham: punching, kicking, throwing, dodging, building up a huge combo meter. His various tools and tricks spice up the fight, with the batclaw to pull people down from a distance and a smoke bomb to obscure the battlefield (which pairs perfectly with his Detective Vision for seeing through it). The fluid fighting mechanics have been well-honed over three games in the series, and has had plenty of imitators in the intervening years. This time around it looks especially video-gamey, with colorful trails and splashes of light to emphasize Batman’s blows.
After Batman has cleared the room, he apprehends a scantily clad Poison Ivy (it’s 2015 — what’s it take for a girl to get a pair of pants?), femme fatale-ing it up. Batman packs her away into the back of the Batmobile and drives off to deposit her with Gotham’s finest. On the way, however, he gets a call from Commissioner Gordon that the Arkham Knight’s robot tanks have flooded the streets, giving Batman a perfect opportunity to show off the new vehicular combat. The tanks generously telegraph where they are going to shoot with a beam of light, giving Batman a few seconds to move out of the way and return fire. The Batmobile’s mobility is on full display as it nimbly dodges around and shoots off rockets. For good measure (and to test Poison Ivy’s motion sickness capacity) he spins a few doughnuts before rocketing off to the GCPD.
Batman: Arkham Knight is Rocksteady’s triumphant return to its hugely influential franchise. It is scheduled to arrive for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, a PC on June 23, 2015.
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