Batman: Arkham Knight went a bit quiet following its delay to June 2015. Developer Rocksteady Games was at EGX last week and talked a little bit about how it’s trying to make the ultimate Batman game.
Guy Perkins, marketing manager at Rocksteady Games spoke to IGN at EGX 2014, and explained the series’ evolution from Arkham Asylum to Arkham Knight.
“We try to create that very cinematic story-telling experience through the game. Obviously Asylum was the starting point for that, but the intimate cat-and-mouse gameplay between the Joker and Batman really demanded it took place in the pressure cooker of the Asylum,” he said.
“So that had its place for that story, but then we took that into the open world to give players the next piece of the Batman armour as it were, which is the grappling gun and the ability to glide. The introduction of those pieces really required a bigger game world to support them, but then the big thing that was always missing for us was the Batmobile. It was always missing but wouldn’t have worked in Asylum or City, so to build an open-world around that was crucial.”
Despite that, the game still keeps its narrative-driven gameplay, with “definite” story acts and side quests, making sure it remains interesting for both newcomers and series veterans alike, according to the developer.
With that in mind, how is Rocksteady going to make a Batman game without the Joker? “The death of the Joker at the end of Arkham City has created a different world for the criminals of Arkham Knight,” he said.
“He’s not there to disrupt the things they’re doing, so you have to imagine a world where he’s not there and not causing that chaos. They can get organised, work together and offer a more formidable challenge. He’s at the peak of his powers, but without his nemesis there to cock things up for everyone else then they get the chance to be a bit stronger, a bit braver and do things differently.”
Scarecrow is more or less replacing the Joker as the main challenge. “He’s a great mirror for Batman, as they both use fear as a weapon of choice. There’s a dichotomy there,” he explained.
All of that is in service of making Arkham Knight is the ultimate Batman simulator, according to the dev. “If people walk away thinking this is the ultimate Batman simulator, then our job is complete, we gave them Gotham City, we gave them Batman at the height of his powers and we gave them the Batmobile. I think those three elements come together to make a great game.”