How do you follow up one of the greatest games of all time?
Batman: Arkham City was a revelation when it released- here was a Batman game that, even more than its predecessor, finally lived up to the promise of Batman as a character in a video game. The video game was met with insane critical acclaim, and has since gone on to be considered one of the greatest games of all time. A follow up to that that would be satisfactory is difficult- just ask Warner Montreal, who worked on the middlingly received Batman: Arkham Origins last year- but if all this new information that Rocksteady just shared about Arkham Knight with the Official Xbox Magazine (summarized on the official WB forums) lives up to the promise, then they might just have a shot.
It sounds like the game’s transition from CG to real time gameplay graphics is almost seamless and indiscernible- the actual graphics do a very good job of mimicking the CGI. Rocksteady have also worked on making Gotham feel a whole lot more vibrant and lively this time around, addressing a complaint that was commonly leveled at Arkham City; they have also made it easier to navigate the city, thanks to Batman’s new cape and gadgets.
Of course, the big new inclusion this time around is the Batmobile. The vehicle looks like a cross between the Tumbler and the classic Batmobile, and once you get inside it, there is no minimap to help navigation- a deliberate design choice, as Rocksteady wanted you to navigate within the city using your surroundings instead of an icon based minimap. They were quick to allay fears, however- waypoints and markers can still be set, for example, and tyre tracks appear on the roads periodically to highlight your way ahead.
All of this, and more- the combat has been freshened up, for example, and a new structure for the story so that the emphasis is not just on one villain- makes this game sound incredible. It will have been worth the wait when it ultimately releases, that is for sure.