After three games in the series, you probably are wondering how Rocksteady Studios can keep us interested in the Batman Arkham games. Well, first of all this is Batman we are talking about, which should be a good enough reason for you to be interested in the new installment. Not enough? How about getting behind the wheel of the Batmobile for the first time, an improved fighting system, exploring Gotham with new gliding mechanics, and a new story with Scarecrow as the main villain? Did I mention the get to drive the Batmobile?

Batman: Arkham Knight was announced earlier this month (insert link here) with a short cinematic trailer and not a lot more. This week Warner Bros. invited us to see the game for the first time in a special presentation in London. The presentation started with Batman sitting on the ledge of one of Gotham’s many buildings. We have seen Gotham before, in Batman: Arkham City, but Arkham Knight takes the city to a whole other level. Each building looks unique, making the city feel bigger with lots of places to explore.

At this point Rocksteady showed us the new gliding system. Batman can now do fast maneuvers in the air in case he want to turn around in midair or maybe do a sharp turn to a specific direction. Batman can also use his gadgets while gliding. As you progress in the game you will be able to knock enemies with Batarang, use the line launcher and connect it between buildings etc, all while in the air. Gliding will get more air time, so you can try and use all of these mechanics with ease (and so you can travel farther in this huge new city).

While gliding, we saw that this version of Gotham is divided into districts. The one he saw was Chinatown. There was a mission linked to Chinatown where a policeman got beat up by a gang of enemies.  As Batman swooped in to save the day, we got to see the new fighting system in action.  All in all it’s the same mechanic where you counterattack and chain combos together to defeat your foes. This time, though, if Batman disarms a thug from his weapon, he can then use this weapon on some of the enemies before it breaks. We saw Batman use a baseball bat being used to take down a few criminals. It got us to wonder what Batman will do with the guns.

Another cool addition to the fighting is environmental takedowns. You can use things around the environment around Batman to get rid of an enemy. We were shown how Batman throws a gangbanger headfirst into an electric panel to dispatch of him quickly. In another instance, Batman used a stealthier approach to defeat multiple enemies at once. Jumping up for a grate, the Dark Knight unleashed a cinematic flurry of punches, kicks and acrobatics to immediately take down three armed goons.

Then, after the fighting has subsided, we were introduced to the biggest, most exciting new feature in Arkham Knight – The Batmobile. With a simple push of a button, Batman summoned his iconic vehicle that immediately came hurling down the road, running over everything between it and its master. Batman can also glide straight down into the Batmobile from the air to add a dramatic flair. This Batmobile is a bit different from past versions, and looks like a heavily-armored sports car. This design was made in collaboration with DC Comics, and also influenced Batman’s new batsuit.

With the Batmobile, Batman can drive anywhere in Gotham in what looked like an arcady style of driving. It can go through cars, walls, trees and bad guys, but not buildings (well, maybe some buildings). From just looking at the game you get the feeling this iconic car is pretty much unstoppable.

Beside just driving around the city, the Batmobile is also key to overcomes The Riddler’s new challenges (yes, he’s back). The specific challenge we saw was an underground racing track, where Batman had to complete three leaps against a ticking clock. Each leap was more difficult than the last, with moving platforms, ramps and even pits (which Batman had to drive on the wall to avoid). We can’t way to see what else The Riddler has in store of us and how the Batmobile integrates into the rest of the game.

Once we won The Riddler’s underground race, Rocksteady took us to meet another familiar character – Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle. After discovering her secret hideout, which is also her apartment, Batman got the Oracle to use her computer skills to uncover new details about a villain’s evil plot (but we won’t spoil it for you). Speaking of villains, Rocksteady has so far confirmed five of them: Scarecrow, The Penguin, Two Face, The Riddler and Harley Quinn. We don’t know if they’ll be any others, but judging from past Arkham games, it’s safe to assume so.

Finally, we got to see a glimpse of the title character – the Arkham Knight. No, the Arkham Knight is not Batman, as everybody initially thought. He is a whole new character created especially for the game by Rocksteady and DC Comics. We’re not sure whether he is a villain or another vigilante, but we do know he doesn’t like Batman. The presentation ended with the Arkham Knight ambushing the Caped Crusader, pinning him to the ground and pressing a gun to his face. The screen went dark, and we heard one ringing gunshot.

Rocksteady really proved to us that the Batman Arkham series still has a lot to offer. Arkham Knight improves upon a lot of the series’ core mechanics, and frankly, we can’t wait to see where it goes next. Below we have an interview with Rocksteady’s brand marketing producer Dax Ginn, who talks about all the new features, the Batmobile and the Arkham Knight.

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