The third game in the Batman: Arkham Series, released worldwide October 25th, 2013.Set several years before Joker takes over Arkham Asylum, Batman is in his second year as a crimefighter. Notorious crime boss Black Mask has offered a substantial reward to anyone who can kill the Dark Knight. On Christmas Eve, eight of the world's deadliest assassins gather in Gotham City to collect Black Mask's bounty. At the same time, a number of corrupt cops in the GCPD are also looking to claim the reward. Batman must learn why Black Mask wants him dead, fight off his assassins, and prove to Gotham that he is a hero to be trusted.Notably, Rocksteady is not the developer of the game - instead, WB Montreal (who did the Wii U port for Arkham City) is taking up the reins while Rocksteady works on another title in the series. Similarly, the voice actors for Batman and Joker, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, have been replaced by Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker respectively. Both voice actors do admirable impersonations of their predecessors, reflecting the game's status as a prequel.The PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game also include multiplayer. Players must take control of armed thugs in the Joker or Bane's gang, and try to kill each other while also fighting off two players stalking them as Batman and Robin.The teaser trailer can be viewed here, and the first gameplay trailer can be viewed here.
This game contains examples of:
100% Completion: It is nigh impossible to perform a 100% completion on a first playthrough barring meticulous planning and in at least two cases outright exploiting a glitch or workaround. Some of the most glaring examples are:
The 'Worst Nightmare' challenges due to predator rooms not respawning after completing them in the main story.
The final rank of 'Gotham Protector' due to no Crime in Progress spawning on the Pioneer Bridge except for one point VERY early in the story where players would definitely not have reached that point in the challenge yet if not on a New Game+.
One of the Gotham Communication towers can't be completed because Batman can't climb up a critical vent (Which has since been thankfully fixed in a patch).
Actually Pretty Funny: When Batman reveals that he just temporarily stopped Bane's heart instead of killing him in order to Take a Third Option, Joker scowls and deems it not funny. When he's being taken away in the ending cutscene, however, his opinion on the matter changes and he laughs it off.
Affably Evil: Riddler is far more courteous as Enigma then he is in Asylum and City. He even seems to consider Batman a Worthy Opponent. That said, we can see the shapings of a Villainous Breakdown that likely led to his Riddler persona in game, especially later in his storyline.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: A standard for the franchise, character skins are Downloadable Content that can be used in campaign after finishing the main plot, as well as on challenge maps beforehand. These include ones for Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke. Unusually for the series, however, there are also skins for completing elements of the game itself, such as Batman One Million and Worst Nightmare. Particularly notable is the sheer NUMBER of costumes, 12 pre-orders, and coupled with all of the available multiplayer skins, the two known unlockable skins, and the Adam West and Knightfall Batman pack, that puts the total number of available Batsuits at25.
Anti-Frustration Feature: It's harder to knock out Riddler's informants in this game, and special combo takedowns prioritize other enemies over them, even if they're closer.
Arbitrary Skepticism: When one of Killer Croc's henchmen mentions he doesn't believe Batman exists, another guy points out that not only does he work for a nine-foot-tall reptile man, but that his boss was just taken down by Batman an hour ago.
Armor Is Useless: Subverted. While in-game Batman is about as durable against various attacks as seen before, a few cutscenes explicitly show the armor cracking as it deflects a few bullets. It's especially interesting as this design looks to be more hard armor strapped together rather than the more flexible fabric armor seen in the Asylum and City games.
Armor-Piercing Attack: Once activated, the Shock Gloves allow you to plow through enemy defenses like shields with ease.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The collector's edition includes GCPD bulletins on the assassins. Killer Croc's crimes are Burglary - Forcible Entry, Aggravated Assault, and Theft From Coin Operated Device.
Artifact Title: Not quite. While Arkham Asylum itself doesn't show up, this game serves as the "Origins" of the Arkhamverse via many Continuity Nods and, more importantly, the significance of Arkham Asylum in the mythology. After the events of this game Quincy Sharp is heard in an interview demanding the re-opening of Arkham because of the ineffectiveness of Blackgate Prison in dealing with the Joker and other super-villains. In addition, one of the Cyrus Pinkney journals talks about Pinkney designing the asylum for his good friend, Amadeus Arkham.
Ascended Extra: Black Mask plays a prominent role in this game, despite the miniscule cameos that he makes in the Rocksteady games.
Deathstroke had formerly made an appearance in Arkham City: Lockdown, but only as a single and very short boss fight. His appearance here gives him much more plot relevance. Including The Stinger where he's implied to take Amanda Waller's offer to join the Suicide Squad.
Mad Hatter's segment of the game is much longer and more elaborate than in Arkham City, and he's also one of the overseers for several non-story Predator Challenges.
Bane's appearance in Asylum was more Small Role, Big Impact, and his appearance in City was far less substantial. Here, he's one of the main villains who almost succeeds in truly defeating Batman physically and emotionally, and fights him thrice in one night.
An Asskicking Christmas: The game takes place on Christmas Eve. Partway through the game, midnight strikes, so it technically pushes into Christmas itself as well.
Beating eight different hired killers (plus other assorted bad guys and henchmen) over the course of one night, all without breaking your "one rule"... now that's class.
There's actually acheivements for defeating Deathstroke without missing a counter, and Lady Shiva without taking any damage.
As the Good Book Says: If you listen on the conversation between the mooks about the Falcones in Predator Mode in the Penguin's ship, one mook quotes Matthew 5:5 in saying, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth," and another mishears the word "meek" as "weak", but the former corrects him.
Of the new gear Batman acquires, perhaps the most awesome is the Remote Claw, which, given the right ammo, lets you perform a Remote Inverted Takedown. This strings the targeted mook up to the grapple point of your choice and leaves him hanging; an Inverted Takedown attack on an enemy from the other side of the room.
Two words: Shock Gloves.
Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman can do this with Captain James Gordon at one point in the Blackgate Prison level.
Bad Boss: It's almost impossible to find a good boss anywhere in this game. Bad boss examples include:
After taking over the Gotham City Royal Hotel, Joker puts a few of his own men inside various deathtraps as hostages for Batman to save. When he manages to escape and save them, Joker decides to just kill his chief architect for incompetence instead.
During his boss encounter, Deadshot will constantly threaten and harass his henchmen with his laser sight as they patrol the Bank of Gotham. Once defeated, his mooks will abandon the fight and flee faster than the hostage does.
Firefly's own men openly admit they can't trust a psychopath like him, and worry that they won't be able to get clear of the bombs before he just decides to destroy the bridge for fun. As one goon mentions to Branden, the only way they know he hasn't already is because the explosive caches are large enough to be heard across town.
"Loose Lips" is first beaten up by Batman, then choked until he passes out, then dropped off a roof by Batman, then captured by the GCPD, then interrogated by Batman again and threatened to drop him off a roof again, then knocked unconscious. It's just not his night.
Electrocutioner fares even worse. His fight with Batman results in him being knocked out in one hit. Though he manages to escape before Batman can incarcerate him, it's not long thereafter that Joker decides to murder him.
Harleen Quinzel's first meeting with Joker contradicts the story portrayed by her tapes in Batman: Arkham Asylum. (To be more precise, the meeting takes place at Blackgate rather than Arkham, and she, for the most part, lacks the more pronounced "Harley" voice which she had in those tapes - however, this version is actually more in line with the original scene.)
In the Batman Arkham Unhinged story arc "Eviction Notice", Black Mask says he first faced Batman during the event when his mask got burned into his face. However, this game takes place when his mask is still removable.
Carnival of Killers: The plot of the game is that the Black Mask has placed a bounty on Batman's head, which leads to eight assassins hunting Batman on Christmas Eve.
Character Development: Part of the story involves Batman realizing that he can't fight crime by himself, and understanding his need to have at least one ally.
In his blustering, Electrocutioner brags that he'll kill Batman, use his gauntlets as a defibrillator to resuscitate him, and then kill him again. Batman ends up using them as a defibrillator to revive Alfred after Bane's attack on the Batcave, and does the entire "stop and restart heart" routine to Take a Third Option at the end of the game.
It's mentioned that the experimental TN-1 can cause memory loss if used too much. Guess what helps keeps Bruce's secret safe after his second go-round with Bane
Climax Boss: Bane, a far cry from previous encounters in the series.
Clothing Damage: The Dark Knight simply can't make a cape last the night, apparently. By the end of the game, it's so full of bullet holes and tears that it's a wonder he can still glide.
His armor takes a beating too, showing various scratches, bullet holes, and a metallic finish underneath. This is doubtless by design, indicating its lower tech level compared to the later armors. That said though, this suit doesn't get holes torn in it like the previous games.
The Penguin doesn't have his monocle yet, given he hasn't been in the altercation that caused it.
Amusement Mile is still above water as the earthquake that sank it hasn't happened yet.
Batman's fight against Deathstroke in the trailer also has him performing a few moves that would be seen in the chronologically later games. Like using the Batclaw to pull an opponent towards him and strike. He also performs a long-range flying kick, a staple of the series' Freeflow Combat style.
Joker likes stuffing TVs over people's heads, the same way he did in Arkham Asylum, though this time none of them are him in disguise.
In Arkham City, Alfred requests that Batman should get a bigger utility belt, which he denies because he felt it slowed him down. In this game, there are more tools for the Dark Knight to use - meaning a bigger utility belt is a necessity.
Dick Grayson is Robin in the multiplayer mode, since this takes place years before. Posters advertising Haly's Circus & the Flying Graysons as coming soon can be found in various places in Gotham, and Tony Zucco's name can be found as a person of interest on one of the walls in the GCPD - Zucco being the man who kills the Graysons.
The Batmobile appears in the Batcave, still under construction.
Likewise a half finished Line Launcher appears on Bruce's workbench when he gets the Concussion Detonator.
Bane's physical appearance is more like a normal person's than the hulking brute in Asylum and City, due to him not being used as a Titan test subject yet, only using the standard Venom; Batman noted in Asylum that he was more powerful on Titan than he was prior. Though TN-1 appears to be somewhat of a prototype to the Titan formula, and changes Bane to the same approximate size and proportions to his appearances in the other games.
Killer Croc appears, smaller, less powerful and less bestial than in Asylum and City. Here, Batman's able to fight Croc on more equal terms, whereas in Asylum, he stood no chance against him in a straight-up fight.
Edward Nigma is introduced prior to adopting his Riddler persona, instead acting as a hacker using the handle "Enigma".
Batman's fight against Deathstroke has him countering Deathstroke's sword strikes with his gauntlets in the same way he did in his fight against Ra's Al Ghul in Arkham City.
Likewise, he also rescues the Mad Hatter's hostage using the reverse batarang in the same manner he would later use to save Talia from Ra's.
The story shows us the first meeting of Joker and Harley Quinn, whilst she was still a psychiatrist. During this session, we actually get to see how Joker perceives his origins, and they seem to be exactly how he described them to Hugo Strange (who dismissed his story as a lie) in Arkham City (a version of The Killing Joke).
TN-1, a permanent, super-enhanced Deadly Upgrade version of Venom that deteriorates memory in the process of Hulking Out, is the formula that is ultimately perfected into Titan, the Psycho Serum enhanced version of Venom created from Bane's blood in Asylum and continuing to affect the world in City. It's also the same serum that the Joker poisoned himself with, which took about a year to completely take over his bloodstream and thus ended up killing him at the end of City.
Scribbled on the wall in Calendar Man's cell in Blackgate are references to the holiday murders he'd remind Batman about whenever he visited Day in Arkham City. His absence in the main game is presumably due to him hunting down and killing Judge Harkness, the judge who slated him for execution even after Day had been declared insane (Or rather, was able to slate him for execution because he and Warden Joseph pressured Harleen Quinzel to change her evaluation to declare him sane, so that they could legally give him the death penalty).
In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, it's shown the GCPD's walkie-talkies come from military contractor / equipment manufacturer TYGER.
Dr. Penelope Young has an office in Lacey Towers.
Controlled Helplessness: Subverted. It initially appears that the fight with Copperhead will take place after Batman recovers from his poisoning, since it's so deadly, akin to the Titan poison segments in City. However, Batman does fight Copperhead before he can get his antidote, albeit with frequent pauses due to his deteriorating condition.
Copy And Paste Environments: Averted. Part of the map consists of the same area that Batman explored in Arkham City, but with major structural changes as the villains obviously have yet to make a home there.
Cosmetically-Advanced Prequel: Batman's suit is visually more advanced than in the previous games, and ditches the Underwear of Power (or, in the series' chronological order, he starts off without them and decides to wear them once he gets older). This was done to show that this is a younger, more aggressive, and less refined Batman. The suit is much more heavily armored and bulkier to let him deal with threats in a more direct manner. He's still stealthy, but isn't above the direct approach at all. The suit is also intended to represent that Batman is simply kit bashing his equipment together in these early years, and thus the more complex look is actually intended to represent a less technologically advanced Batsuit than the smoother, sleeker version seen in previous games.
Deathstroke as well, considering his appearance in Arkham City: Lockdown. His character model was essentially reused from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, meaning it looked identical to his classic comic appearances. Deathstroke's design here is given a true "Arkham-style" makeover, featuring him with sleek hard-edged armor.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The PS3 version reverses the trigger controls compared to Arkham City; so in the middle of a fight, meaning to quick-fire a Batarang, one can easily switch on Detective Vision by mistake.
Demoted to Extra: The Joker, who was the Big Bad in Arkham Asylum and part of the Big Bad Ensemble in Arkham City will be a lesser villain in this game so that Black Mask can have a major role. Trailers Always Lie. The Joker is actually the Big Bad while Black Mask has more of a minor role, though Black Mask still has a much bigger role than the previous titles.
Dirty Cop: A large number of them are coming after Batman, headed up by Branden, a crooked SWAT official who's managed to broker a deal with Sionis. In addition to ignoring their duties as police to earn the bounty on Batman's head, they abuse and beat innocent homeless men for their own amusement, extort money from street gangs, and gang up and harass lone unarmed criminals; they're so bad that thugs on the street mention joining because it's such a good racket.
Donut Mess with a Cop: When fighting a group of cops, a possible starting exclamation is "Put the donuts down!"
Doppelgänger Attack: Copperhead appears to be able to do this, though it's actually a hallucination caused by her poison.
Double Entendre: Black Mask's "And the night is young..." comment at the end of the first trailer can be taken one of two ways:
The obvious meaning, that it's still early in the night.
It could also reflect Batman, the "Dark Knight"'s status as a rookie vigilante.
The Joker's line, "This fruitcake is fantastic! *stabs knife into table* Anyone want a piece?" Considering he says this right after Electrocutioner questions him in a disrespectful manner and is then dealt with in typical Joker fashion, he could be asking the remaining assassins in the room if anyone else wants to question him. He may be referencing himself as an awesome insane man, hence the "fruitcake" is "fantastic", and then asking if anyone wants "a piece" of him by challenging him.
Or, being the Joker, he could just be commenting on the fruitcake seen on the table being delicious and genuinely offering some to the other villains.
The Dragon: During a side mission, the player hunts down Bane's lieutenant, Bird.
The Joker, who sets a record for sheer bravado for what he does to Black Mask.
Batman was more concerned about Bane being in Gotham than any other assassins, to the point he doesn't give Bane a summary of his abilities.
Easy Amnesia: The unperfected TN-1 compound affects the memory center of the brain, once again leaving Bane with no knowledge of Bruce's secret identity once he uses it.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: No matter how he fares while running the Togakure-ryu gauntlet at the monastery in the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi will always give Bruce chores afterwards. He's forced to clean the latrines in the Downer Ending, told to scrub the floors in the "okay" ending, and tasked with making everyone tea in the Golden Ending (although Kirigi states in the latter that he is, in fact, impressed with Bruce's skill, and he will be granted the instruction he seeks). Justified, as he's not Batman yet, just a would-be student applying for training under an understandably harsh master.
The all-female assassins of the League of Shadows make a return appearance from Arkham City. They act the same way they did in the last game.
There's a enemy type called the Martial Arts Experts who are capable of countering/dodging Batman's attacks (of which Batman can counter their counter), much like the the League of Shadow assassins in Arkham City, but they're better at it and they don't use weapons.
Also making a new appearance in the series are Venom Thugs, who are essentially miniboss versions of their leader, Bane.
Three elite soldiers of Joker and Bane's respective gangs are playable in the game's multiplayer mode.
Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Several of the idle mooks on the street will mention having girlfriends, at least one of them even considering going straight so that they can get married. Some other mooks may mention their moms, one saying his is expecting him to bring fish back for supper.
Evil Is Petty: Bane, after being forced to make a retreat during his fist encounter with Batman, launches an assault on the Batcave, and nearly kills Alfred. Then he forces him into a situation in which Batman must either kill him or the Joker, or die. After Batman stops then restarts his heart... he just snaps.
Expy: In a non-human version, almost all the "new" equipment in this game is just a slight retooling of gear from Batman: Arkham City. The Glue Grenade is functionally identical to the Freeze Grenade (and can be upgraded to mimic the Freeze Cluster as well), the Disruptor is City's Disruptor in a form similar to the R.E.C., and the electric gauntlets are Armored Edition's B.A.T. Mode with the ability to power generators like the R.E.C.
Additionally, the Remote Claw, the only truly new piece of equipment in the game, is derived from the grappling gun from Just Cause 2.
In previous games, the player opened traps and solved puzzles to collect Riddler Trophies. These have been replaced by Enigma Extortion Files, which can often be found by opening traps and solving puzzles.
Eye Scream: The Warden of Blackgate spends the entire game with a bandage over one eye. A cutscene reveals that shortly before the beginning of the game, Black Mask (Actually Joker) shoved a burning cigarette into that eye.
Only four of the assassins (Copperhead, Deathstroke, Deadshot, and the Electrocutioner) actually care about the bounty. Firefly just wants to burn things; Croc doesn't even care about the bounty, he just wants to kill Batman, which quickly escalates in to trying to eat Batman; and Bane states his desire to defeat Batman so he can finally be at peace. Only Shiva breaks the mold, being present simply to test whether Batman has what it takes to join her master, implied to be Ra's al Ghul.
In the hotel and Blackgate at the end, Joker monologues this is why he does things. He doesn't care about right and wrong; he just does stuff because he thinks it's funny. However, in Blackgate he says that by thwarting his actual scheme, Batman has shown him that there's so much more that he can do. The ending cements to Joker what a challenge Batman truly offers.
It's a prequel, so it's inevitable. Batman will develop a good working relationship with the GCPD, and any character who appears in the later games will survive.
In particular, two characters (Black Mask and Alfred) whose deaths are teased in this game. Only to be revealed that they aren't dead, who are characters who appear in the chronologically later titles.
In one of Black Mask's first appearances, he considers offing Calendar Man on Christmas Eve, which is just the kind of twisted yet hilarious scheme that Joker would do.
It extends to the previews as well. Batman and Joker's voiceactors did several interviews discussing the relationship between their characters, while Black Mask's voice actor was noticeably absent from preview material. A cynical viewer might have chalked up the emphasis on Joker as simple Wolverine Publicity, but now we know the real reason.
Another more subtle bit on The Joker impersonating Black Mask. The Devs claimed Black Mask's design was based on his incarnation in The Batman. The suit Joker wears while disguised as Black Mask is almost a dead-ringer for the suit he wore in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
When snooping on some of Black Mask's thugs, one will mention if his colleagues have noticed how he's acting odd lately. Namely, he's been cracking a lot more jokes than usual.
Free-Fall Fight: A short one when the Joker is blown from the Royal Hotel and Batman dives after him to Save the Villain, the two having a brief mid-air scuffle before they land.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the Crime Alley shooting side-mission, the Bat-Vision's virtual reconstruction of the crime will briefly show images of Thomas and Martha Wayne's corpses.
Futureshadowing: Par for the course for a prequel, many hints are dropped for events that take place in the chronologically later games:
During the credits, a roundtable discussion on The Jack Ryder Hour that discusses the night's events features Quincy Sharp stressing the importance of re-opening Arkham Asylum to deal with the super criminals, as Blackgate clearly isn't doing a capable job.
Shiva's side quest essentially revolves around her testing Batman for Ra's al Ghul's League of Shadows, chronologically before he has found out about Ra's at all. She even tells Batman that Gotham will burn in a way that is extremely similar to the way Azrael tells Batman in City.
One of Shiva's blackmail files is a recording of her approaching Sharp on Ra's al Ghul's behalf, starting his rise to power and, ultimately, the events of Arkham City.
TN-1 is a prototype version of Titan.
Sionis Steel Mill's reasons for being chosen as Joker's base in Arkham City is revealed.
When you get all the datapacks, you have access to the entirety of Enigma's base. Including a secret room that contains a Riddler Trophy (which nets you an achievement for Batman finding his first Riddler Trophy) and a prototype dome cage the Riddler uses to hide trophies in Arkham City. Showing Enigma's already begun developing the Riddler persona.
Game-Breaking Bug: While it doesn't interfere with the main story, the Comms tower in Burnley cannot be taken back because Batman is unable to climb into a crucial vent. Now thankfully averted with a patch.
Game Over Man: As per usual, if you screw up, a villain taunts you. This time, with a bit more swagger, since Batman's still kinda green here.
Gang of Hats: Just like in Arkham City, the mooks in the game have uniforms indicating the villains to which they're affiliated, or the location they're in, which also extends to the game's various Elite Mooks:
Unaligned criminals wear heavy jackets and other thuggish accessories.
Blackgate inmates wear the same orange jumpsuits they did in Arkham City.
Hostile GCPD officers mostly wear blue and black SWAT gear, though several non-SWAT officers can be encountered inside the GCPD headquarters.
Black Mask’s mobsters wear black suits together with skull-shaped masks, similar to the one of their boss. Some of them speak with distinct Italian accents.
Anarky’s men wear hoodies, red armbands and white masks. Some of them also have the Circle-A symbol on their uniforms. A few of Anarky's men are homeless men and use the same models as the Political Prisoners from Arkham City.
Mad Hatter's goons are regular thugs that wear rabbit masks, similar to their appearances in Arkham City.
Penguin's troops wear winter garb with the Penguin's symbol somewhere on their clothes, similar to their appearances in Arkham City; they also speak in British Accents, some of them with a Cockney dialect.
Enigma's Data Handlers appear the exact same way as they did in Arkham City; They appear glowing green to Batman but otherwise are unremarkable and indistinguishable from other thugs.
Joker's thugs wear black suits together with clown masks, much like how they looked in The Dark Knight. His elites in multiplayer take the appearance of clowns crossed with punk rockers, though they can be customized to the tastes of their players.
Bane's hired mercenaries wear black and gray tactical clothing, and speak with Hispanic accents. His elites in multiplayer dress the same way, though they're also customizable.
Batman, the trope illustrator, best showcases this when he beats Deadshot. Even after disarming him, he breaks his arms and right leg.
Further examples are seen when Batman interrogates Enigma's agents; using the Neck Lift, dangling them off buildings, and grinding his boot into their faces before stomping them unconscious are favorite tactics.
Gordon gives an example when he doesn't hesitate to non-fatally shoot down two of Joker's mooks and holds Batman himself at gunpoint.
Growing Muscles Sequence: In the finale, Bane injects himself with TN-1, causing him to morph into the hulking behemoth he is seen as in later games.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: As usual in Batman's predator sequences, enemies are sometimes terminally dim. You can yank a guard off a ledge while he's standing right next to another one and elicit no reaction whatsoever from the mook left standing. And in the GCPD Bullpen, you can perform an Inverted Takedown on all eight SWAT team cops from just one perch, by stringing one up, changing perches, cutting the rope with a batarang, then going back and waiting for the next target to walk under you.
Guns Akimbo: One of the special abilities in multiplayer that members of Joker's gang can perform.
Guttural Growler: In sharp contrast to Alberto's shrimpy, nasal voice, the Holiday Killer has an even deeper rasp than Black Mask himself.
Harder Than Hard: "I Am The Night" difficulty, unlocked after New Game+. As well as ramping up the difficulty, it also disables saves and only gives the player one death, turning the game into more of a Roguelike.
Have a Nice Death: As expected for a Batman title, there are various examples featuring the villains appropriate to their areas in the game or the gang who just defeated you. And if you die in the Sionis Steel Mill too early in the game, you get The Joker, effectively spoiling The Reveal of his role later on.
Heavily Armored Mook: Armored thugs make a return from Arkham City, but the game also introduces Armored Enforcers (see Elite Mooks above), large goons covered from head to toe in armor.
Anarky's missions are initiated by talking to lone members of his gang/social movement stationed outside. Though talking to them initiates the timer on one of Anarky's bombs, the lone thugs themselves won't fight Batman.
Heroic BSOD: After Alfred is nearly killed by Bane, Bruce nearly quits being Batman.
Hijacked by Ganon: Joker's first appearance shows that he is in charge of the assassins, having impersonated Black Mask the entire time.
History Repeats: The final crime scene Batman investigates is the murder of two newly engaged socialites that were friends with Bruce Wayne, in Crime Alley & mere feet from where Bruce's parents were shot. Whilst reconstructing the crime scene & playing the murders back, Thomas & Martha briefly flicker back into their chalk outlines.
Hoist by His Own Petard: As revealed in one of the Extortion Files, Judge Harkness was the one pushing to have Calendar Man executed on Christmas Eve, considering it "poetic justice", and went so far as to organize a party at his home to celebrate the occasion. When Calendar Man was sprung out of prison that night, however, he made a special point of visiting Harkness in disguise and leaving his corpse hanging off the roof by a string of Christmas lights.
Hoist Hero Over Head: As is expected, Bane does this. Atypically, instead of using it to breakthe Bat, he just throws him out a window. He does this again in the second fight, where he does his classic maneuver. However, this doesn't break Batman's back either.
Home Base: Players will be able to visit the Batcave for this purpose. There, they can switch costumes, get weapons upgrades, use the game's challenge mode and advance the story.
I Work Alone: Batman's assertion throughout the game, until his character development. He hates the concept of relying on others (even Alfred, somewhat), and generally expects people to either do as he says or get out of his way. He doesn't trust cops in general, and is increasingly stubborn about working with Gordon - even after his refusal to do so causes some serious problems. It's only after Gordon helps him out with Firefly and Bane invades the Batcave, nearly killing Alfred, that he realizes how much he would stand to lose by refusing to let other people in - after that point, he becomes a lot more cooperative with both of them.
Idiot Ball: Maybe it's more like "Naivety Ball", but Gordon's assertion that his side works within the law is frankly quite ludicrous. The GCPD's corruption runs so deep that he's literally one of the only members who isn't actively aiding the crime lords. This is in contrast to other portrayals of his early years, where he's well aware of how bad the GCPD is. (He may have been speaking about "his side" as in non-dirty cops, but it's not clear.)
Improbable Aiming Skills: Deadshot, naturally. The first trailer has him shooting and breaking Deathstroke's second custom katana in two pieces, from what we can only presume is more then a couple miles away. He also uses his skill to break a single link in a steel chain being used to haul a shipping container. In the game proper, he manages to bring down a corrupt cop and a helicopter with a single ricocheted sniper shot. Then in his mission it's shown through the laser sight he can ricochet his shot to hit any one of his mooks in the room.
Interface Screw: When there are jammers nearby, your Detective Vision goes haywire and Cryptographic Scanners don't work. In Mad Hatter's world, Detective Vision doesn't work at all.
Irony: The plaque over Cyrus Pinkney's crypt, likely donated by Arkham Asylum in return for his influence in its construction, reads "Sanity Fighting the Madness" - yet Amadeus Arkham, himself a delusional schizophrenic, was the one who gave Cyrus the sleeping potion that helped him fake his death and made him slightly unhinged in his obsession with revenge. In other words, madness fighting the sanity.
It's Personal: Since it reminds him of the death of his parents, Bruce takes the investigation of the double homicide crime scene at Crime Alley much more personally, and is shown to be more on the edge as he captures the perpetrator. Thomas & Martha even briefly flicker back into their chalk outlines, whilst reconstructing the crime scene & playing the murders back.
In the Epilogue mission, an escaped Blackgate prisoner threatens to go after Batman's family when he next gets out of prison. This ends badly.
Jerkass Has a Point: Enigma makes a point to Batman to justify why he plans on black mailing Gotham officials by saying that what he's doing is more peaceful in comparison to Batman just beating up everybody and destroying stuff. To his credit, he does mention that what he is doing is technically illegal, but so is being a vigilante.
Kick the Dog/Bad Boss/You Have Failed Me: In the trailer, Black Mask bashes the head of one of his own wounded thugs in when he asks for medical help. Except it's not actually Black Mask, but rather the Joker. Black Mask is implied to be nicer to his mooks.
Kill the Ones You Love: Black Mask had to Mercy Kill his girlfriend to keep her from dying from a hanging when Joker came in to his safe house. Averted that Joker forced Black Mask to kill her.
Kryptonite Is Everywhere: As the game goes on and Batman grows more powerful, the street mooks he faces acquire more shields/car doors/etc. as well as more guns and knives, and seem to tailor their tactics to defend against him- so the challenge of the encounters remains refreshingly consistent.
"Hurry! Batman's just had his way with one of you! Now that's a spicy meat-a-ball!"
Lost Forever: If you have completed the main story plot and have not completed the 'Worst Nightmare' challenges, you are way out of luck as there is no opportunity to complete some of them in epilogue play. This is because for some reason, the main predator rooms do not respawn mooks like Arkham City does, and even the two places that do respawnnote the GCPD rooftop, the deck of the Final Offer, and the outside of the Steel Mill don't count toward it after the completion of the storyline. Even worse is this seems to have been intentional, as one of the lead producers apparently tweeted that this is 'by design' in order to force players to load up a New Game+ for 100% Completion.
Love at First Sight: Dr. Harleen Quinzel thinks that Joker is talking about this during his rambling speech about how fate shapes everyone's lives so that they reach one specific moment in which they finally meet the one person they can truly relate to. He isn't, or if he is, he isn't talking about her.
Made of Iron: Batman may be wearing some high-tech body armor to protect him from an explosion, but even then, that didn't slow him down any, nor did it affect his hearing or his physical performance.
Batman takes multiple punches from Bane that, judging from Bane's strength, should have shattered his chest bones and ruptured his organs.
Magic Pants: A thoroughly egregious example when Bane injects himself with TN-1 - his entire outfit grows to a monstrous size along with him, including his boots, his gloves, and the Venom filtration system on his back.
Mook Horror Show: Street-level thugs often fall over backwards and scramble away when Batman suddenly appears amongst them. In predator sequences, their status goes from "calm" to "nervous" and, as they are picked off one by one, "terrified".
The Batsuit is very visually reminiscent of/inspired by the Batsuit in The Dark Knight Saga. Also, Bane's appearance closely resembles the design featured in the final film in that trilogy.
Batman uses his suit's scallops (the blades on his gauntlets) to break an enemy's sword, ala Batman Begins.
Batman's fighting style, as seen in the trailer, has a lot of elements from Keysi Fighting Method, which is what Batman and the League of Shadows use for their fighting style. These elements are also seen as well in the other games in the Arkham series.
Harvey Bullock makes an appearance, and - unlike his introduction in the comics - is actually one of the less corrupt guys on the force, having a positive working relationship with Gordon and being reluctant to dig up information on him.
The green toolbox in the reveal trailer has "Queen Industries", the name of the company run by Oliver Queen (who's the Green Arrow), written on it.
Batman breaking through the floor to incapacitate a thug is very similar to the Barrier-Busting Blow that was famously used in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, including his partner shooting a machine gun into the hole afterwards and being hit from behind.
Bane's profile states that he's worked with Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, his cronies from the Knightfall story arc. Bird himself is the main adversary of one of the game's side-missions.
In the reveal trailer, Batman once looks over a bullet marked "Amertek", a company related to the origin of Steel.
Among Shiva's known associates on file are David Cain (father of Cassandra Cain), Richard Dragon, and Nyssa Raatko, daughter of Ra's al Ghul.
Inside the Sionis steel mill, you can find a dossier on Cain, as well as ones for Cheshire and Black Spider, all stamped "Rejected", suggesting that Joker considered hiring them for the group of assassins.
A portion of Bruce's training is given some notice, and it appears to be very similar to that seen in Batman Begins.
Joker's whole role: He robs a mob bank wearing a mask, then escapes on a vehicle that has driven through the wall, but not before dramatically unmasking. Then he starts a campaign to kill Batman, until he witnesses Batman's unwillingness to take a life, which makes him obsessed with the Dark Knight. Joker is captured halfway through, but he escapes again. During the finale, he presents Batman with a Sadistic Choice intending to make him break his one rule. Yeah, that sounds very familiar.
Similar to the Queen Industries toolbox in the trailer, there is a Queen Industries shipping crate aboard Penguin's ship, as well as a Ferris shipping crate on one end of the Pioneer's Bridge.
During one of the sidequests when you're tracking down Blackgate escapees, one of them brags that the Joker made sure Blackgate won't hold them for long, so Batman says "Then maybe it's time for a better prison. One surrounded by water."
Alberto Falcone's profile mentions he's got psychological disorders. A callback to The Long Halloween where he's one of the serial killers... possibly. The reference is well placed as in the Comic, Alberto's string of murders are the events that eventually lead to the eventual rise of super criminals in Gotham.
Zatanna's magic act, Haly's Circus, and a exhibition of jungle cats by Thomas Blake (a.k.a. Catman) all have advertising posters in Jezebel Plaza.
Just down the street is Riley's Bar, owned and operated by the same Irish gangster later murdered by the Sabatino crime family (and whose daughter Peyton will one day become the Ventriloquist).
Bruce Wayne's "Vigilante" skin is pretty much identical to his training garb from Batman Begins.
Neck Lift: This seems to be the Batman's favorite way to interrogate a mook.
No Badass to His Valet: As intimidating as Batman is to the criminals of Gotham, Alfred raised him from a child and is less impressed. He even gives a pretty good What the Hell, Hero? at one point during the game:
Alfred: You're not some hardened vigilante! You're a young man with a trust fund and too much anger!
No Damage Run: There's an achievement in-game for defeating Shiva (who is generally considered the best martial artist in the DC universe) without taking any damage. There's another one for defeating Deathstroke while successfully countering all his moves, which is a lot harder than you'd think, as the counter icon doesn't accurately portray the correct time to hit counter when fighting him.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: There's one Beatdown sequence that outshines every single other in the franchise: the Joker takes one that lasts for about twenty seconds against a wall, a bout of being Punched Across the Room, and several other hits. It's amazing Batman didn't kill him by accident.
Not So Different: Many of the villains in this game pull this at some point or another with varying degrees of success, particularly Anarky and Enigma - who both consider their missions to be similar to Batman's and merely their methods being different (and given that in this game Batman is perfectly willing to beat up on people he suspects to be corrupt simply because they're in the way, sometimes they have a point). Shiva likewise claims she and him have similar goals, but that Batman is clinging to weakness by being unwilling to kill those who create the world's problems (a reflection of the ideology of her master, Ra's al Ghul). In his Motive Rant late in the game, Joker pulls this on Batman. He doesn't care.
Alfred even lampshades this in regards to Firefly, of all people. When going through the initial files, Bruce comments Lynns' obsession will be his downfall, to which he responds, "How unlike anyone I know."
Obligatory Swearing: Subverted, likely because of the controversy the previous games created; here, the term "bitch" is used quite sparingly, and only in reference to men.
Older and Wiser: Inverted. Batman is depicted as brash and inexperienced, in contrast to his hyper-compotent portrayal in the earlier games. For example, he tries to interrogate a thug, only to be too rough on him and accidentally knock him unconscious.
Only in It for the Money: Deathstroke & Deadshot. Upon Batman's return to Blackgate at the end of the game, Deathstroke even comments that if he'd known it was just going to be a waste of his time, he wouldn't have bothered taking the hit.
Deadshot proclaims "Not so fast, Deathstroke. He's my kill." in the trailer after shooting off the blade of Deathstroke's sword. He also shoots a police sniper, the bullet ricocheting to take out a police chopper, in the game proper.
Killing a creature such as Batman being his lifelong goal, Bane is furious when it appears like Joker will be the one to do it. It takes the threat of Joker blowing up the entire hotel on a whim to get him to back off.
The game focuses on how Batman established himself as Gotham's protector and first met several major characters in the Arkhamverse.
The Initiation DLC depicts Bruce Wayne training at a ninja monastery during his pre-Batman days.
Upon The Reveal, this also is shown to be an origin for The Joker, as, while he was still a villain, he goes From Nobody to Nightmare, from a virtual unknown to taking over Black Mask's operation, in this game. It also serves as a starting point for the full Joker-Batman feud.
Overly Narrow Superlative: A pre-Harley Quinn Dr Harleen Quinzel is the seniormost member of the Blackgate medical staff... who's working the night shift on Christmas Eve. Given that she's still just an intern going through her residency, that probably means that she's the only member of the Blackgate medical staff working the night shift on Christmas Eve.
Perma Stubble: Batman sports this in cutscenes throughout the game, adding to his badass quotient.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Nearly the only visible people in the city are mobsters, most of them just hanging around. A "crime in progress" usually consists of confrontation between gangs, or against the police.
Power Trio: Villain players in Multiplayer take control of a three-man team of henchmen. One of them can be swapped out for Joker or Bane (depending on the team) as the match progresses.
Press X to Not Die: In a very early boss fight, you must do this to avoid Killer Croc's jaws. There are also annoying minibosses throughout who will grab and hold you, forcing you to rapid-push a button to escape.
The game starts with Batman responding to one instigated by Black Mask breaking in to kill Commissioner Loeb. The game ends with Batman going back to Blackgate to quell a second, this time instigated by the Joker trying to escape.
One of the multiplayer maps uses this as the set-up since it takes place at Blackgate Penitentiary. The backstory involves Joker and Bane fighting to control who gets to recruit the prisoners breaking out of the prison.
Professional Killer: Eight of them, who serve as Batman's primary obstacles to stopping Black Mask. The group consists of Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bane, Copperhead, Firefly, Lady Shiva (known here as simply Shiva), Killer Croc, and Electrocutioner.
Public DomainSoundtrack Dissonance/Standard Snippet: Joker's more theatrical moments of cruelty are often underscored by classical music typical of cartoons - his "Sleigh Ride" in the Royal Hotel ballroom plays a warped organ version of Julius Fucik's "Entry of the Gladiators", he fussily selects the detonator for one of his bombs to Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", and his hallucinatory fight in the comedy club has an arranged section of the overture from Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie".
Promotional materials for the game mention "unconfirmed rumors" that Batman has personalized aircraft. When Batman discovers Bane's computer console and realizes Bane knows his Secret Identity, one of the monitors has a radar display. Bane figured it out by merely tracking the Batwing, and putting two and two together.
During the credits, Jack Ryder is having a live conversation with Quincy Sharp and various political experts over the game's events, debating over how effective the cops are, the state of the country if such criminals can actually exist, and the failure of Gotham's prison system. The only one to escape criticism is Batman.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Anarky goes down, he starts monologing to Batman. It also careens through about five other tropes along the way.
Retcon: Joker's first meeting with Harley is shown here, and it's remarkably different from their first meeting as it was recorded in the patient interview tapes in Arkham Asylum.
Very early in the game, you can enter Calendar Man's cell in Blackgate - just like it was in Asylum, it's filled with calendar cards and date notations... and in a chilling addition, there's now a list of potential targets...
When tracking down Bane late in the game, Batman finds a room in his base that has photographs of himself on the walls as Batman... and Bruce Wayne.
Near the end of the game, Joker uses bed mattress to make the corridors of Blackgate Prison look like one big padded cell.
Sadistic Choice: The penultimate boss fight has the Joker strap himself into an electric chair rigged up to a heart monitor, with the monitor stuck onto Bane. If Bane's heart-rate reaches a certain level, the chair activates, killing the Joker: if Batman wants to save the Joker, he has to kill Bane. Either way, Batman has to break his One Rule.Or Take a Third Option. All he has to do is stop Bane's heart, and those shock gloves of his could be neat defiblirators...
An Enigma Extortion File can be as easy to find as walking over and picking one up. It can also be much, much harder.
Responding to a Crime In Progress can result in anything from a fight with a few mooks, to an ambush by Ninjas, to an engagement with a full-scale SWAT team, with no real way to tell which it will be until you arrive on the scene.
Certain rankings on the Worst Nightmare track can only be completed by means of in-story predator challenges, something the game itself doesn't explain. Due to the fact that only certain maps are conducive to certain tasks (Rank 6 and the Gotham Merchants' Bank, for example), players may have to start all over again just to make up for any lost progress.
Schizo Tech: As the Cyrus Pinkney side-quest reveals, there were functioning automobiles in Gotham City as early as 1855. (This innovation might possibly be explained by the introduction of Ra's al-Ghul's new "Lazarus" technology.)
After Deadshot is taken down, his mooks will flee rather that go after you.
At the end, Croc is ordered to hold Batman off; but gets shot once and decides to simply leave.
Scripted Battle: After Croc's health is reduced to almost nothing, he doesn't take any more damage until the final propane tank is detonated, triggering the necessary cutscene.
During the second fight with Bane during the riots at Blackgate, Batman can only inflict a certain amount of damage before Bane picks him up, smashes him over his knee, and begins choking him underfoot. After the cutscene, he starts wailing on Bane once more with the Shock Gloves in an effort to temporarily stop his heart.
Sequel Escalation: The map available for exploration is roughly twice the size of Arkham City, not only reusing the site of Arkham City, sans conversion, but also a new "New Gotham" section.
Sequel Hook: Something of a bizarre case, considering its status, but there are some nonetheless. One example is the presence of Alberto Falcone; one extortion tape reveals he's been having 'sessions' with Hugo Strange, and another has him calling up Black Mask in what has to be his Holiday persona. A more minor case might be Cyrus Pinkney and what became of him after he faked his death.
A HUGE one after the end credits: Deathstroke gets visited at Black Gate... by Amanda Waller. Who approaches him to join the Suicide Squad.
"Why, thank you, sir. A few more remarks like that and I'll have earned my place in the Sarcastic Butlers' Hall of Fame."
Should Have Thought of That Before X: One of the escaped Blackgate prisoners begs Batman not to take him back because it's so horrible. Batman tells him that he should have thought of that before he became a mob hitman.
A case of a Shout-Out, Internal Homage and Word of God clarification on series canon all in one: when The Joker's being psychoanalyzed by Harley in Blackgate, he imagines in his head how he came to be who he is. It's his origin from The Killing Joke: being a failed stand-up comedian and taking the deal with the mob to help with the Ace Chemicals robbery, wearing the iconic Red Hood and getting the fateful chemical bath courtesy of Batman..
Shrouded in Myth: One of the new skins is "Worst Nightmare", which depicts how most criminals see Batman: a monstrous, bat-like figure. This even shows up in-game when Batman is seen from Joker's point of view after a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
Signs of Disrepair: As player leaves the icerink in the Hamilton Hotel, a neon sign that says "hello" can be seen, with its last letter flickering.
Spell My Name with an S: Batman is known interchangeably as "the Batman", "the Bat-Man", and "the Bat Man". A Justified Trope, as until this night, the fact that he even existed was in question.
Stating the Simple Solution: Upon finding out about the assassins in the beginning, Alfred suggests that, since only he and Bruce know Batman's secret identity, Bruce just stay home to avoid the assassins. Batman shoots this down, saying the assassins would endanger innocents to draw him out.
The Stinger: After the credits, Deathstroke is seen being found by Amanda Waller in prison, and given an alternative to prison: working for her.
Subtitles Are Superfluous: Unlike in the previous games, mook chatter will only show up in subtitles if it's connected to a mission.
Suicidal Overconfidence: The taunting that you'll hear from mooks in challenge mode comes across as this, especially if you're playing as Deathstroke. Batman may still be an up-and-coming vigilante at this point, but they should really know better than to insult the man who's widely regarded as the world's most deadly assassin.
Take a Third Option: During the game's final act, Joker and Bane offer Batman a Sadistic Choice: kill Bane, or allow Bane's heartbeat to charge up an electric chair that Joker is strapped to and fry the Joker. Either way, Batman will end up breaking his one rule. Batman finds a way around it by temporarily stopping Bane's heart and then reviving him.
Teen Genius: A fifteen year old Barbara Gordon hacks into Batman's comms to give him a tip off to Dirty Cop activity.
That One Case: The century old murder of city founding father Cyrus Pinkney was this for all of Gotham. He was poisoned by Penguin's ancestor Henry Cobblepot for opposing Cobblepot's plans to build a munitions factory in the city. Unfortunately for Cobblepot, he didn't stay dead. Henry Cobblepot died in an 'accident' a few months later.
Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: This game reveals that reason Harley follows Joker: When he had his first psych session with her, he continually talked about someone special he met that night. It was the night he met Batman, but she thought he meant her.
Thou Shall Not Kill: The one rule Batman abides by, and which he never permits himself to break. Once Joker realizes that Batman is not only determined to avoid killing, but will even go out of his way to save his enemies' lives, he cruelly exploits it by rigging up a scenario in which Batman must either abandon his principles and kill, be killed himself, or let the Joker die by refusing to act. See Sadistic Choice.
Bruce's sensei from the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi, frowns upon his devotion to "Western morality", and warns him that such mercy will impede his training.
Took a Level in Badass: Of a sort for the Joker. Promotional information shows him fighting Batman on somewhat even terms in hand-to-hand combat, much like the martial artist enemies, unlike his far less refined, very rarely used combat skills in other Arkham games. However, this being a prequel, it's more of a retroactive lowering in skill or acknowledgement of Batman's superior skills.
Tragic Keepsake: The Joker wears the same coat he wore as the Red Hood, when he actually fell into the chemicals.
Twisted Christmas: Christmas has historically never been a happy time for Batman, but THIS particular Christmas is downright brutal.
One thug on the street can actually be overheard proposing to his friends ways to exploit the holiday, including singing carols door-to-door as a means of casing out homes, or dressing up as Santa so that they can carry around a bag of loot without suspicion. Both are dismissed as far too cliché.
In a heroic version, Gordon taking control of the GCPD after the murder of Commissioner Gillian Loeb.
This also happened to Black Mask's mob before the game proper, courtesy of the Joker.
Unhand Them, Villain!: Seeing as Batman is new at the crime-fighting business, he's begged by Loose Lips to "let him down". So he drops him off a building, leading to him hitting a Christmas tree on the way down. This being Batman, however, he makes sure that said fall isn't fatal.
Video Game Caring Potential: The game encourages you to occasionally have small conversations with Alfred, just as a means of positive interaction. You gain experience from "Alfred's Wisdom" from some of the plot relevant discussions.
Villain Team-Up: The basis of the plot, but most notably Bane and Joker towards the end of the game.
Virtual Paper Doll: The Elites in multiplayer have extensively customisable appearances. (Batman and Robin can also choose from a number of costumes.)
What the Hell, Hero?: One cutscene about two thirds of the way through the game, Alfred attempts to stop Bruce from going back out again, yelling at him to stop putting himself through hell before he kills himself. Needless to say, Bruce doesn't listen. Gordon also spends most of the game railing against Batman.
Alfred:"You're not some hardened vigilante! You're a young man with a trust fund and too much anger."
Joker: You're saying that after I shot him, and blew up a building on him, the Bat - somehow survived?!!?
Yelled out loud by Deadshot.
You Are in Command Now: Commissioner Loeb is murdered early in the game, leaving Gordon as the de facto head of the police.
You Are Not Alone: This is Bruce's ultimate lesson right before the climax, that ignoring all potential allies and going at it alone is only leaving him with a job so monumental he is destined to fail. And that same attitude means when he actually recognizes Gordon could help him stop Firefly, Gordon isn't listening. Way too many mistakes were made before they started coordinating their efforts, by the end Gordon with Barbara's encouragement and communication frequency is working directly with Batman to help round up escaped Blackgate prisoners.
This happens to Commissioner Loeb, when Black Mask (or rather the Joker) decides that the nature of crime is changing, and that he doesn't need his help anymore when it also includes taking down his men.
When Joker took over Black Mask's operation, he killed almost a quarter of his men because they wouldn't take orders from him.