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Published on May 28th, 2015 | by IceCube

GLiTCH Plays: Batman Arkham Knight

Hi guys,

My name is GLiTCH and welcome to another early game preview! Today I got to play Batman: Arkham Knight at the Warner Bros office.

Sitting beside me on the gaming lounge was the worlds most excitable Marketing Producer, Dax Ginn from Rocksteady studios. I’ve met him at E3 before and he’s always great value to have around.

My game started as the Dark Knight himself standing atop the highest tower of Gotham. My first impression was the scale of the city. It looked noticeably larger than the previous games, and all of it looked exciting and tempting to visit.

BAK_Sshot146Arkham Knight’s map is twenty-five times bigger than Arkham Asylum.

Leaping from the tower I was refamiliarized with the gliding controls, nose diving for speed and power, before pulling back on the stick to spread my wings and glide. The wings were black and rain-soaked, flapping at the tails looking realistic like a wet umbrella in the wind and rain.

I landed poorly, next to a group of thugs to get used to combat. Somehow, the already-sweet melee mechanics this series uses are even better here, with crunching sound effects that sound awesome on impact. In this introductory combat session, it felt generally identical to the previous games, with single-button strikes, timed counters, stuns and variations I was yet to see – a winning formula from the previous games that had no need to change.

Still standing, it was time to try the Batmobile! You call it any time you’re not indoors by tapping the L1 button, and when it arrives, Batman will leap into the driver’s seat as it makes a gnarly handbrake turn. You can even call for it while gliding in the sky, and watch it approach your direction from below as you land into it!

BAK_Sshot159The Riddler’s time trial challenge (mentioned below) at full speed.

Driving the Batmobile in the open-world streets isn’t exactly Forza, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s a fun ride with some gadget gimmicks that you’d expect. It has a rocket exhaust (aka turbo boost), can drive on rounded walls and ceilings, fire a cable – and coolest of all – morph into a tank on 360-degree axis wheels that armour’s-up and fires powerful rounds.

The streets were loaded with interesting sights, fairly desolate, but with enough goons and activity to keep it perfectly lively. In the plot, the main antagonist is Scarecrow, who makes a bomb threat that frightens away the civilians. I ran over goons, smashed through lamp posts (and most other obstacles), and even took out some pesky sedans driven by mobsters.

Today’s experience allowed some exploring, but I had five challenges (or side quests) to complete.

Dax explained the gist of each one, but I had to try the one with the question marks first, and I’m not talking about the Riddler.

It was a crime scene. I found a tortured body strung up to a bridge and used the Bat Scanner to find clues, which magnified intensity to identify anomalies on the bone, muscle and flesh. The clues I scanned this way placed me one step closer to identifying the culprit.

For the next challenge, I put the tank to the test! There’s a time bomb in middle of Arkham, and attmepting to disarm it triggered an army of tanks to enclose on my position. Transforming the Batmobile into a mobile tank with the tap of a button, I had to avoid their line of sight while firing back accurately. Gotta admit, I did well with this one!

BAK_Sshot109Tank battles! Yes, tank battles!

Next up, there was a structure burning downtown, and I had to put out the flames. But just when I thought it was safe, flying mega villain, Firefly, makes a getaway from the scene of the crime. The idea was to chase after him in the batmobile, but instead, I drove up a ramp to nowhere and dropped into a ditch. You win this time, Firefly…

The Riddler’s challenge was surprisingly different. Luring me to the sewers of Gotham, he put me to a time-trial challenge in the Batmobile, using an electrical signal to alter the course to avoid his traps and barricades. I didn’t get it right the first go. Or the second for that matter. Let’s just say I eventually crossed the finish line, but crashing heaps and doing loops around the walls and ceilings was loads of fun.

For the final challenge I faced a large collection of The Penguin’s goons in a warehouse. After crashing through the glass ceiling, I received some surprise co-op help from fellow ally, Nightwing. I could switch between characters like a tag-team wrestling fight, and it was an awesome change of pace. Dax told me there are other co-op missions featuring other playable allies throughout the course of the game.

BAK_Sshot160Playable allies will help you out at certain parts of the game. Hello, Nightwing.

With that, my time was up, but I’m really happy to have Rocksteady back on board for a final attempt at a Batman game. The review will be out closer to the date, but after playing this I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be the best Batman game to date.

For more on Batman: Arkham Knight, stay tuned to Gamebug.com.au!

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