Batman: Arkham Knight developer Guy Perkins has discussed the eagerly anticipated upcoming game, talking about the ever-expansive world and how the aim is to make this new game the “ultimate Batman simulator.”
BEWARE: SPOILERS FOR ARKHAM CITY FOLLOW.
This was revealed by Rocksteady marketing manager Guy Perkins in a very interesting interview with IGN during last week’s EGX convention. Perkins discussed the decision to evolve from the more confined and linear gameplay we saw in previous Arkham Asylum games, and why this expanded exponentially as the game series progressed.
Here's what Perkins told IGN:
“I think we’ve always taken pride in the stories we tell. 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.
“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.
“The narrative is still very defined, though, there’s definite acts that you clearly understand as you go through Arkham Knight. We’ve been conscious to create a rich story that’s interesting for newcomers and for fans alike. You can go off and do your side quests when you like, but it’s still a linear story in the sense that it has a beginning, middle and end.”
Given the dramatic events that happened at the end of Arkham City and the Joker's death, it’s safe to say that Batman’s world has changed. The flip side, of course, is that now that the Clown Prince of Crime is gone, all his enemies are finding it easier to carry out their dastardly plans without having to worry about the wildly chaotic element the Joker was. Perkins also explained that, while the chance to create a brand-new, big bad villain was pretty exciting, it also meant that an old fan favorite could return.
Guy Perkins explained:
“The death of the Joker at the end of Arkham City has created a different world for the criminals of Arkham Knight. 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.
“Joker going was a challenge, but we left Scarecrow out of Arkham City for a reason so he’s back in as the big bad and it’s great for us to bring him back. He has so many iconic moments in the first game, to have him back as the Big Bad is really cool. He’s a great mirror for Batman, as they both use fear as a weapon of choice. There’s a dichotomy there. Then working with DC to bring the Arkham Knight to life has been amazing. We were super excited and it’s been a huge honour for us to do something this big.”
Batman: Arkham Knight has been a long time coming for Rocksteady, with Perkins admitting that development on the conclusion to the epic game trilogy had begun even before Arkham City was finished. A fourth game, Batman: Arkham Origins, which was released in 2013, was never part of the original vision developed by director Sefton Hill and his team. With the end now fast approaching, there’s a lot of mixed emotion since the Arkham games have been part of their lives for almost a decade.
“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. If people go away feeling like it was awesome, we’ve done a good job.”
Batman: Arkham Knight is set to be released worldwide on June 2, 2015, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.