This move typifies our “man and machine” strategy perhaps better than any other. We never wanted to create the Batmobile mechanics in isolation from the Batman gameplay. It is essential to us that the two dovetail together. Our goal was to make this something that felt like it was always part of the core experience; that the Arkhamverse was always designed with this in mind.
Combining the gliding and grappling was a key feature of Arkham City. The grapple boost in particular, once mastered, gave you the unique feeling of being Batman gliding above your city. The eject into glide takes this on to the next level, by launching Batman up into the air, but taking all of your forward momentum into the glide, allowing you to travel much further and faster than ever before.
If there’s a feature that is responsible for more lost development than any other, this is probably it! I’ve lost countless hours ejecting and gliding around the city.
It is critical that the Batmobile is never a burden on the player. This must be something that contributes positively to the experience in every way. This also needs to be a vehicle that you could call on at any time you are on the streets of Gotham. So we have a button assigned to do just that. With a single press of L1, wherever you are, your Batmobile will skid around the corner at high speed and Batman will jump straight in.
If you’re in the middle of a fight and getting outmaneuvered, call in your car for instant protection. If you’re gliding, or on top of a building, and want to transfer into the Batmobile, just look down at the road and press the Batmobile button and the car will be there waiting for you. It is never more than a button press away.
Combining the Batman and Batmobile gameplay in a seamless way was a key part of the design goal for the game, because this isn’t just a normal person jumping into any old car on the street. This is the Batman and this is his Batmobile. They have a unique relationship, and the gameplay systems have to be designed to emphasise this bond.
Finally, a quick word on the look of the vehicle. It can be easy to underestimate how much time it takes to create a new version of something as iconic as the Batmobile. This was a daunting part of taking on the Batmobile challenge — if it’s wrong, it just feels wrong, and everyone knows it.
While we loved the design of the Batmobile in Batman: Arkham Asylum (its Hot Wheels model has a special place in my Batman collection!), what became immediately apparent was that it wasn’t especially practical for getting around Gotham. The clearance of the wheels and suspension meant that this dragster design would struggle on uneven ground, and it was important to us that the city had dynamic terrain.
So with that design rejected, we actually started with ideas that were driven by a purely pragmatic approach. After a number of iterations, we felt that this never captured the spirit of Batman. While he is not someone who ever shows off for the sake of it, it is very important that you know when Batman is around. He doesn’t build a distinctive vehicle just because he likes to drive a flash car. He drives a unique vehicle for the same reason he wears his cape and cowl – it’s part of his persona of intimidation.
This led us to the design we have now, which I think is a great balance between a practical vehicle and one that is undeniably, uniquely a Batmobile. It doesn’t matter if you know nothing about the game, you know that when you see this car, it can only be Batman’s car. I think Dave Hego (Art Director) and his team did a great job in realizing this vision.
Anyway, there’s lots more to come. For now I hope that gives you a small taste of why we’re so excited to have added the Batmobile to the Arkhamverse, and how we feel this refreshes and expands the whole experience.
The Arkham Knight, a new villain created in conjunction with DC Comics.
In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City. Be The Batman.
Official website: https://www.batmanarkhamknight.com/