We’ve seen Batman Arkham Knight demoed for us on multiple occasions, but E3 2014 was the first time we finally got our hands on it. Considering it was just announced a few months ago and isn’t due out until 2015 now (rats!), this came as a bit of a shock. More surprising was that we were allowed to spend nearly an hour with the game with Rocksteady Art Director Jez Smith. Most of the demo was centered around giving the Batmobile a spin. Although there’s been some worry surrounding this new gameplay mechanic, we’re happy to announce that it only further enhances this great series.
While at first glance (and almost all footage released thus far), the Batmobile seems like an unstoppable tank, there’s actually a lot of finesse. Holding down a shoulder button switches it into combat mode, allowing it to move in four directions, including the ability to strafe right and left. While this makes close-quarters combat easier, it also allows the vehicle to be piloted through tight corridors, adding a strategic element to the driving. Additionally, its wench has now become an integral part of puzzle solving. We had to bring an offline elevator up to Batman and were able to so by controlling the Batmobile remotely and pulling it up. Switching between the two adds an interesting new layer of exploration that proves the Batmobile isn’t just about action.
Of course, there is plenty of that to go around too. We jumped it across multiple gaps and had to turn on its boosters to do so. Switching on those babies is an amazing feeling and turns it from a tank into a rocket.
The most amazing thing about the Batmobile is simply how versatile it is. It can be an accessory, puzzle-solving element, tank and rapid transportation at any point during the game. More still, swapping between these functions is intuitive, allowing you to go from navigating platforms to barreling through Gotham at the drop of a dime. Those who don’t like the pleasures of cruising around in it can opt to instead get around via gliding and grappling as in the previous titles, but we highly doubt anybody is going to want to forgo getting the wheel of this thing come next year.