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Video Game: Batman: Arkham Knight

Unmarked spoilers for Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Origins.

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

Batman: Arkham Knight is the 2015 direct sequel to Batman: Arkham City and the fourth game in the Batman Arkham Seriesnote . 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 Gotham's villains team up with one goal in mind: Kill the Batman. Gotham is evacuated after a threat by Scarecrow 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. Unlike the previous three games, this game will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It has a tentative release date of June 2, 2015.

Previews: Trailer 1, trailer 2

The game contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The game combines a number of plot elements from previous Batman stories in the comics.
  • 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.
  • Antagonist Title: The game's subtitle, Arkham Knight, is the name of one of the main antagonists in the game.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • The "Arkham Knight", a new villain created for Rocksteady by Geoff Johns to be "the ultimate test for Batman".
    • The Scarecrow, who is responsible for the bombs all over Gotham City and leads the Villain Team-Up.
  • Body Horror: Scarecrow's new look. His eyes are milky-white, and he's apparently built a new mask to look like a corpse, complete with a rotting jaw and distorted teeth over his real mouth.
  • 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 and the Scarecrow.
  • Cool Car: In this game you can drive around in Bruce's high-tech, jet black Batmobile.
  • 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:
  • Darkest Hour: All of Batman's foes have joined together under Scarecrow with the singular goal of taking Batman down for good. Gotham is having to be 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. The stakes are a lot higher than usual to say the least.
  • Dysfunction Junction: This notable piece of the Batman rogues gallery is seemingly finally removed, along with a reason for it given: the Joker, who no longer can make that same effect.
  • Enemy Mine: The last time we saw Two-Face, the Penguin, and Harley, they were engaged in Evil Versus Evil - now they've all teamed up with Scarecrow to take on Batman.
  • 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 is 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 other members of the Rogues Gallery freed of their internal rivalry and Dysfunction Junction, which was in part fed by various plans from the Joker, can now cohere and organize on a clear tangible goal: Kill Batman for good, once and for all.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Joker is dead at the end of City. Also, Batman isn't doing so well mentally.
  • 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:
  • Pre-Order Bonus:
  • 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.
    • There are five times as many thugs wandering around the city compared to Arkham City.
    • All gadgets can be thrown while gliding.
  • Man of the City: How Thomas Wayne feels about Gotham and what he hopes that his son will follow:
    "Invest in Gotham, treat its people like family. Watch over them and use this money to safeguard them from forces beyond their control."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After being an annual Butt Monkey, even when she's been upgraded to Big Bad of the Post-Climax Confrontation of City, 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 a Gotham's crime rate falling at an all-time low. Batman had little to do but make up gadgets and upgrades that he doesn't get to use very often. Of course, that changes...
  • Villain Team-Up: As a result of the ending of City, the remaining villains have joined forces to kill Batman, believing that criminal enterprise can never thrive as long as he still lives. In the first trailer, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, Two Face and Penguin team up to empty Gotham and then rob a weapons shipment.

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