Recently the Marketing Manager over at Rocksteady Studios, Dax Ginn, sat down with Croatian videogaming magazine Reboot and talked at some length about the new instalment in the Arkham series of games - Batman: Arkham Knight, which heralds not only the return of the British developer to the franchise, but also promises to be the biggest and best game of the franchise. Read the translated interview below (courtesy of Arkhamverse)...
Reboot: Can you tell us how important Scarecrow is as one of main villains in Arkham Knight and tell us more about the script?
Dax Ginn: We always wanted to create our own trilogy of Arkham games which will lead you from claustrophobic halls of Arkham Asylum to openness which this new vision of Gotham gives us. We left Scarecrow out intentionally from key events of Batman Arkham City which let us to completely focus on Batman’s relationship with Joker which culminated with Jokers death. Batman Arkham Knight is a story about different post-Joker Gotham City and Scarecrow is in centre of it. He is one of supervillains of Batman’s universe and in this script he uses opportunity and takes abandoned place of power between criminals and he puts Gotham in danger when he gets new chemical weapon. This dark and chaotic version of Scarecrow unites other villains in Arkham Knight whit only one goal: to destroy Batman.
Reboot: Speaking of that, what’s up with other villains and how do they fit into story?
Dax Ginn: We revealed that Two Face, Penguin, Harley Quinn are important to the story and we are excited to announce that we worked with DC Comics to create completely new character, who hasn’t been in Batman Universe- his name is Arkham Knight. We’ll talk about him in upcoming months and about power between villains in new Gotham City.
Reboot: From the start, this game has been developed for next gen consoles, which technology is exactly behind it?
Dax Ginn: Next gen platforms gave us freedom to built this awesome vision of Gotham City with unseen level of details and to bring rich atmosphere that Rocksteady’s games are known for. Bringing Batmobile as key element of gameplay was most important in design and technological decisions. For right implementation of this legendary vehicle we had to wait for next gen platforms which will give us raw technical power and in combination with our own technological resources will make wild driving around Gotham City come to life. In Arkham Knight we developed completely new lighting and rendering system, time condition effects and destruction effects and other technologies which together make incredibly convincing virtual world in our ultimate Batman experience.
Another new recently released in-game image of Batman and his new look Burton-meets-Nolan Batmobile!
Reboot: Finally Batmobile! Will there be any restrictions in freedom of driving trough city’s streets?
Dax Ginn: Decision to include Batmobile in Arkham Knight was central focus of design. That is Rocksteady’s vision of legendary vehicle, we want to make players feel like Batman and completely deliver experience of that fantasy: experience of driving Batmobile must give you feel of power of destruction. Also we wanted to achieve that uniqe feel of connection between man and machine. We won’t talk about restrictions for now.
Reboot: Comparing it with previous games how big is the city and can we explore it right from the start?
Dax Ginn: Size of Gotham City in Batman Arkham Knight is 5x bigger that Arkham City and 20x bigger than Arkham Asylum. Our focus was always quality of gameplay experience and details and atmosphere of virtual world. Players will have access to Batmobile from introductory chapter. Game is designed to encourage you to leave safeness of Batmobile every now and then and to move around it’s world gliding like a bat high above city’s streets, knowing that you can by just pressing a button call your vehicle at anytime and anyplace.
Reboot: Are there any new gadgets and are there any upgrades for the old ones?
Dax Ginn: Various technological gadgets are key of gameplay experience in Arkham Knight and we continued to develop Batman’s arsenal with new gadgets and upgrades for old ones. Biggest upgrade has Batman’s suit, Batsuit Mk8. It upgrades Batman’s abilities in new ways like interaction with Batmobile. You can eject yourself from Batmobile in high speed, you’re literally being catapulted in sky and you directly go into gliding mode. The way that Batman communicates with Oracle is also upgraded and in Arkham Knight he will use holographic communicator. It enable players to see person who is Batman talking to by holographic project it from his gauntlet.
Reboot: Will this be truly be your last game in Arkham series? Why stop now?
Dax Ginn: Our vision was always to create trilogy of Arkham games. Batman Arkham Knight is epic conclusion of a story that began by bringing handcuffed Joker at Arkham Asylum’s doors. With his death and return of Scarecrow we created epic finals which will decide about fate of Gotham City. Adding Batmobile was final part in completing Batman experience which is being built for last 8 years. Arkham Asylum gave you chance to be world’s greatest detective, Arkham City delivered a promise about experience of playing as masked crusader and Arkham Knight is ultimate, complete Batman experience for all of us in Rocksteady and we think that time has come to bring the story to it’s epic climax.