Video Game: Batman: Arkham Knight

This page contains unmarked spoilers for Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Origins.

"There is no savior. No more hope.
No more Batman."

"I have already won; emptied your city with a vial of toxin and a few threatening words. Thatís how little the safety you provided was worth. And when the dawn comes, when Gotham lies in ruin and I turn my gaze to the world beyond... the legend of the Batman will be worth nothing at all."
Scarecrow

Batman: Arkham Knight is the 2015 direct sequel to Batman: Arkham City and the fourth game in the Batman: Arkham Series. Developers at Rocksteady declare Arkham Knight to be their Grand Finale for the series.

One year after the death of The Joker in Arkham City, crime in Gotham is at an all time low. But that all changes on Halloween, when Scarecrow reunites Gotham's villains with one goal in mind: Kill the Batman. Gotham is evacuated after a threat to detonate bombs filled with fear toxin across the city, and criminals run rampant through the streets. The Dark Knight must now fight through his rogues gallery one more time, while also facing off against a dark mirror to himself, the mysterious "Arkham Knight".

The game is developed by Rocksteady, of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City fame. In addition to a Wide Open Sandbox much bigger than previous games, Arkham Knight introduces three major gameplay additions to the franchise. "Fear Takedowns" allow Batman to ambush up to three enemies at once before starting a fight; full use of the Batmobile for navigation and combat; and a dual-play system that allows Batman to swap out for Robin, Catwoman or Nightwing at any time.

Unlike the previous three games, Arkham Knight is exclusive to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. It is the only game in the Arkham series to receive a Mature rating from the ESRB, also making it the first Batman video game to ever receive this rating. It has a tentative release date of June 23, 2015.

Previews: Father to Son, Evening the Odds, ACE Chemicals Infiltration, Scarecrow Nightmare Missions, Gotham is Mine, Officer Down, All Who Follow You.

A Season's Pass for multiple DLC packs, including a Prequel (A Matter of Family) starring Batgirl, several challenge rooms, and other post-launch content.

The game contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The game combines a number of plot elements from previous Batman stories in the comics.
  • Alone with the Psycho: On a city-wide scale. Civilians have been evacuated from Gotham in the wake of Scarecrow's takeover, leaving Batman, his vigilante allies, Lucius Fox, and the GCPD in the city with Batman's rogues gallery, hundreds, if not thousands, of armed criminals, and the Arkham Knight and his mercenaries.
  • Anachronism Stew: As with Batman: The Animated Series. Gotham has 1930s-1940s gothic art-deco architecture, clothing from the 1940s-1950s, 1960s-era yellow cabs, and other cars from the 1970s. Further, the police have 1980s black-and-white cruisers and uniforms, and the villains use 2010s assault rifles.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The DL Cs allow you to play (in Challenge Rooms and Story Missions) as Harley Quinn, Red Hood, Batgirl as well as extra story missions dealing with Batman's Allies (Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, Azrael). In addition there's the dual-play mechanic where you can briefly switch over and play as an AI companion during a flight. All told that's a grand total of seven additional player characters.
  • Antagonist Title: The game's subtitle, Arkham Knight, is the name of one of the main antagonists in the game.
  • Ascended Meme: In the tie-in comics, Batman finally gives his signature line... albeit in German.
    Kidnapper: Was zum teufel bist du!? (Who the hell are you?!)
    Batman: Ich bin Fledermausmann! (I'm Batman!)
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • The Scarecrow, who leads the Villain Team-Up and is responsible for the bombs all over Gotham City.
    • The "Arkham Knight", a new villain created for Rocksteady by Geoff Johns to be "the ultimate test for Batman".
  • Body Horror: Scarecrow's new look. His eyes are milky-white, and his face now looks like a decaying corpse, complete with a rotting jaw, sunken nose and distorted teeth. The game's official website confirms that after he was ferociously mauled by Killer Croc, he surgically pieced his face back together with gruesome results.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Scarecrow returns after being absent from Arkham City, paying off Scarecrow's encoded message in that game.
  • Canon Foreigner: Arkham Knight isn't based on a character from the Batman comics, but is a brand new villain created by Geoff Johns for Rocksteady.
  • Carnival of Killers: In series tradition, you once again fight through a cavalcade of Batman's rogues gallery. This time around includes Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Firefly and the Scarecrow.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Barbara Gordon tells her father, Commissioner Gordon, she's evacuated the city, while actually staying to aid Batman as Oracle. Bruce feels conflicted about enabling this deception, while Barbara notes that her father is overprotective because he still blames himself for her losing the use of her legs...
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Bruce's new suit in this game contains elements previously seen in the "Armoured" versions of his prior costumes.
    • Harley Quinn's outfit mashes both her previous outfits. She wears her Naughty Nurse Outfit jacket from Batman: Arkham Asylum over her biker-chick outfit from Batman: Arkham City.
    • Two-Face still has the scars that Catwoman gave him in Arkham City.
  • Cool Car: In this game you can drive around in Bruce's high-tech, jet black Batmobile.
  • Darker and Edgier: The ESRB has given Arkham Knight an M rating, citing scenes where people can shoot hostages and unarmed enemies, and a torture scene with a "bloody operating table". According to the developers, the rating was not entirely intentional, and is mostly a result of the story going to much darker places than the previous entries.
  • Darkest Hour: All of Batman's foes have joined together under Scarecrow with the singular goal of taking Batman down for good. Most of Gotham has evacuated, the city's in flames, criminals are running loose in the streets, the cops are overwhelmed, and an Evil Counterpart to Batman is rampaging through the city.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Averted. Batman's rogues gallery has finally united for one reason: the Joker is dead, meaning he can't shake things up all the time for kicks.
  • Enemy Mine: The last time we saw Two-Face, the Penguin, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy, they were engaged in Evil Versus Evil - now they've all teamed up with Scarecrow to take on Batman.
    Poison Ivy: It started with a meeting. Everyone was there. Scarecrow said he had a plan that together we could take you out and Gotham would be ours.
    Batman: Over my dead body.
    Poison Ivy: I believe that was the idea.
  • Evil Counterpart: The villainous Arkham Knight to the heroic Dark Knight.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: The drop in Gotham's crime rate and the return of chaos in the events of the game are both related to one instance: Joker's death. Without him occupying the top of the criminal food chain in Gotham, crazy violence and mayhem has dropped with no equivalent threat to take over. However, the rest of the Rogues Gallery, freed of their internal rivalry and Dysfunction Junction tendencies (which were partially incited by the Joker), can now cohere and organize on a tangible goal: kill Batman, once and for all.
  • Five-Man Band: The Dual-Play Mechanic allows Batman to call for back-up and switch in-combat to play as your allies:
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In a callback to Asylum, the E3 trailer begins to glitch towards the end, obscuring some plot and gameplay details - then, ruling out just simple video streaming problems, it switches to Scarecrow, looking directly at the camera while addressing the viewer as if they were Batman....
  • Grand Finale: Arkham Knight is being billed as the final chapter in the Batman: Arkham Series, at least as far as Rocksteady Studios is taking it.
  • Hacker Cave: Oracle can be visited in her clock tower base, which appears to be this.
  • Halloween Episode: The game takes place on Halloween. Ironically, it's the only game in the series not to be released in autumn/fall.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the reveal trailer, a cop can't hit Harley while she's at point blank range and coming right at him.
  • Irony: Thomas Wayne's last will and testament tells Bruce not to waste his inheritance on "fast cars, outrageous clothes, and the pursuit of a destructive lifestyle", but rather to "honor the Wayne family legacy" by dedicating himself to improving and protecting Gotham - which, in part, he has done by pursuing a dangerous career as a cape-and-cowl-clad vigilante with a giant car. Done in an epic series of Gilligan Cuts (fast cars: Batmobile, Outrageous Clothes: batsuit, and destructive lifestyle: kicking bad guy rear).
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Joker is dead at the end of City. Also, Batman isn't doing so well mentally.
  • Man of the City: How Thomas Wayne feels about Gotham and what he hopes that his son will follow:
    Thomas: Invest in Gotham, treat its people like family. Watch over them and use this money to safeguard them from forces beyond their control.
  • Mecha-Mooks: They appear briefly in the "Follow you" trailer/ Looks like some of the Wonder City droids were salvaged.
  • More Dakka: The new Batmobile. The Arkham Knight is fielding what is, for all intents and purposes, an army, so Batman has responded by making a car that can turn into a super-tank. It has a massive main cannon, an anti-vehicle machine gun, a missile pod, and a rapid-fire riot cannon.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Oracle's base is inside a clock tower.
    • There is a poster for "The Ghost Wore Grey", a reference to the Grey Ghost.
    • A white bust of William Shakespeare houses a security device.
    • The Batmobile can turn radially from a full stop, much like the Batpod.
    • The Gotham police use 1980s-era black-and-white police cruisers similar to those seen in the Tim Burton movies.
    • Scarecrow's new look resembles his "walking corpse" appearance in The New Batman Adventures.
    • One of the neon signs in town advertises the company "Sartorico" with the slogan "Ignited Ideas!", a reference to villain Dr. Phosphorus.
    • Blimps bearing the name "Stagg Industries" can be seen orbiting high over Gotham; Simon himself even appears in the prequel comic, trying once again to marry off his daughter to a more "suitable" rich playboy (in this case, Bruce himself). Sapphire is not amused.
    • In issue #1 of the tie-in comic, Batman leaves the new Electrocutioner on top of the Sefton-Hill Building, a reference to Sefton Hill, Rocksteady lead designer and effectively the "face" of the Arkham games' staff.
  • Pre-Order Bonus:
  • Reconstruction: The game provides a counterargument to the "why doesn't Batman just kill Joker" question: escalation. Batman's Rogues Gallery put aside differences when they feel their lives are at stake, causing levels of chaos and collateral damage they could never manage individually.
  • Run the Gauntlet: As per series tradition. Unlike the other examples, however, this one appears to be collaborative.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • Batman gets to drive the Batmobile for the first time, and Gotham City's streets have been expanded in order to accommodate it.
    • The map itself will be five times bigger than City's, and therefore twenty-five times bigger than Asylum's.
    • Batman can now chain predator take-downs of enemies and use any available items in the environment to help him take down thugs, including environmental hazards like water.
    • There are five times as many thugs wandering around the city compared to Arkham City.
    • All gadgets can be thrown while gliding.
    • Batman will at times engage enemies with an ally on his side (so far Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman are confirmed) introducing a new "Dual Play" mechanic that lets the player switch control between the characters seamlessly while doing so.
  • Set Swords to Stun: The Batmobile can shoot bad guys in the head with "slam rounds" and instantly neutralize them during certain combos. As mentioned on Tap on the Head, this is actually very dangerous, and would have a high chance of breaking their necks. And that's not the only example.
  • So Last Season: Batman upgrades to his new Arkham Knight armor partway through the game, after his Arkham City duds aren't enough to take on all of Gotham's villains. He's also upgraded to a new, more heavily-armed version of the Batmobile since Asylum.
  • Tagline: Be the Batman.
  • Time Skip: The game takes place one year after the events of Arkham City. A prequel comic fills in the gap.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After being an annual Butt Monkey, even as the Big Bad of City's Post-Climax Confrontation, Harley Quinn is Promoted to Playable and capable of taking on cops in close combat.
  • Up to Eleven: The graphic system in Knight is at the point where the entirety of the Batmobile would fit inside of the Asylum disc with no room for anything else, and a single character model in Knight makes up the same amount of polygons as the entire environment of Arkham Asylum from the same game.
  • Victory Is Boring: Joker's death at the end of Batman: Arkham City led to Gotham's crime rate falling to an all-time low. Batman had little to do but make up gadgets and upgrades that he barely uses. Of course, that changes...
  • Villain Team-Up: Following City, the remaining villains have joined forces to kill Batman, believing that criminal enterprise can never thrive as long as he still lives.