Joey Sack ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Ever since Kevin Conroy, the veteran Batman voice actor who voiced the Dark Knight in the first two Batman: Arkham games as well as several other Batman-related projects, let slip that he was working on “the next Arkham,” fans have been waiting to see if and when this mysterious “next Arkham” would be revealed. Now Batman fans have their answer in the form of an action-packed trailer for Rocksteady’s latest game: Batman: Arkham Knight.
The trailer starts with panicked citizens fleeing the city under threat from a villain that has been absent from the series since Batman: Arkham Asylum: Dr. Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. The Scarecrow. He gives the people of Gotham one chance to leave the city, or he “will unleash [their] greatest fears.” Fans had previously speculated that the Scarecrow would be the main villain of the sequel to the Arkham franchise, given the presence of several hints and Easter eggs in Arkham City and the unexplained absence of Scarecrow himself in City, and this opening seems to back up that claim. The fact that people are shown leaving Gotham seems to suggest that the streets of the city will be mostly abandoned, save for the villains and super criminals that Batman will have to face, as well as some people who either refused to leave the city or were unable to.
The scene then cuts to the Batcave, and we hear a voiceover of the deceased Thomas Wayne reading his will, in which he leaves everything to his son Bruce, better known as Batman, and asks him to use the family fortune to improve Gotham City in all aspects, from its institutions to its citizens. While this is going on, we see criminals Harley Quinn, in an outfit similar to her outfit in Arkham Asylum, the Penguin, and Two-Face, teaming up to cause havoc in the mostly-abandoned streets of Gotham. Wayne walks over to his Batsuit as an updated, Nolan-esque Batmobile rises from a compartment in the Batcave’s floor. As Batman suits up, the voice-over from his father ironically asks him to not spend the family fortune on “fast cars, and outrageous clothes, and the pursuit of a destructive lifestyle.”
This Batsuit seems higher-tech than the one Batman wore in Arkham City, and a bit more armor-like, akin to the suit worn in Arkham Origins, almost like this Batsuit combines the best elements of each. The Batmobile is featured quite a bit throughout the trailer, which seems to imply that the player will be able to drive the Cape Crusader’s car through the streets of Gotham. If that’s the case, it will come as a welcome change for Arkham fans, after last year’s Batman: Arkham Origins featured a cool-looking Batwing that was only used for automatic fast-travel.
We see the Batmobile drive out of a hidden tunnel in the middle of a lake and drive off towards Gotham, where a firefight is going on between the Gotham Police and Two-Face and his thugs (the latter of which appear to be wearing gas masks, implying knowledge of an eventual use of the Scarecrow’s fear gas). Two-Face spots the Batmobile and shoots at it, only to have Batman jump out of the vehicle and start taking care of the thugs in classic Batman fashion; breaking bones, smashing car windows, and so forth. This gives Two-Face time to get into a car and drive off, leading to Batman jumping into the Batmobile in a dramatic fashion as it drives towards him.
Batman: Arkham Knight is expected to be released later this year for the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and the PC. Players who preorder their copies will have the option to play as Harley Quinn.