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E3 2014: Batman: Arkham Knight

Posted on June 13, 2014 AT 12:45pm

Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.
Developer Rocksteady Studios
Platform XB1, PS4, PC
Release Date 2015
You can read the rest of our Opinionated Guide to E3 2014 or head to our E3 hub for even more coverage.

The Rundown

In the third and supposedly final game in Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy (though if you believe it’ll be the last Arkham game period, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you), the Dark Knight once again has to fight crime in Gotham using only his wits. And his fists. And all those wonderful toys. But while this third-person stealthy brawler has him hanging out with such old friends as the Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, and the always lovely Harley Quinn, Arkham Knight also introduces the titular bad guy, who’s working with Scarecrow to end the Caped Crusader once and for all.

The Verdict

Easily one of the best games I played at this year’s E3, Batman: Arkham Knight has everything I’ve loved about the earlier games—and then some. Sure, he could always pound the stuffing out of bad guys in cool ways, but after playing a 50-minute-long chunk of the game—in which Bats had to rescue some workers from an occupied chemical factory—it was clear that he’s got some cool new moves. Of course, he also has a host of gadgets, but now they’re a bit more versatile. The open world in Arkham City and Arkham Origins was big, but here it’s absolutely massive. And, sure, this series has always had controls that were silky smooth and intuitive, but here…well, OK, the controls are the same, but it’s not like they needed improvement, right?

The big thing Arkham Knight is bringing to this series is the Batmobile, which does a lot more than get you from one end of Gotham to the other. With the touch of a button, Batman’s trademark vehicle converts into a tank-like battle mode that can take out bad guys or the trucks they’re driving around in, and it features other useful tricks such as a grappling hook that can be used to solve problems. The Batmobile also comes in handy when Batman’s in the middle of smacking around some bad guys, as it—upon command—can shoot non-lethal projectiles at enemies he’s kicked into the air.

In fact, the only bad thing I can say about the time I had with Batman: Arkham Knight at E3 was that it wasn’t longer, and that I’ll have to wait until next year to play the finished game. But I’ll tell you what I told the guy from Rocksteady who showed it to me: “You take all the time you need to make it right. We’ll wait, buddy. We will wait.”

Paul Semel, Contributor
Paul has been writing about movies, music, video games, books, TV, toys, celebrities, and other fun stuff since the early-’90s. A regular contributor to EGM since 2004, he's also written for Entertainment Weekly, Bikini, Maxim, Raygun, Walmart GameCenter, Rides, and Emmy, among others. Please follow him on Twitter at @paulsemel. Or don't. Whatever.

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