A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

For 30 minutes last week, a man by the name of Dax Ginn, told a room full of reporters how awesome this fall’s Batman game is going to be. The PC/PS4/Xbox One game sure does look good already, even if the frame-rate still chugs here and there at this stage of development.

But today, we present something other than our thoughts on Batman: Arkham Knight. Today, you too can experience what it’s like to have Dax Ginn tell you about a new Batman game.

The following is a transcript of nearly all of Ginn’s presentation. To set the scene: the demo for the game occurred in a meeting room in the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco. Public relations people for the game’s publisher, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, greeted reporters on their way in and, as is the norm, had them (me included) sign an embargo to hold coverage until 3AM ET on March 27. About a dozen reporters were in the demo I went to. We sat in rows in front of a big TV that was hooked to a PC running the game.

Gaz Deaves, a social media guy for development studio Rocksteady Games, sat next to the TV and would control the live demo using an Xbox controller. Ginn, the head of brand marketing for the studio, stood on the other side of the TV for the entirety of the demo, except for the moment when he left his feet in excitement.

A couple of minutes into the demo, it was clear that Ginn was giving an unusually enthusiastic presentation that I knew I needed to share with you in some way, so I started recording audio on my phone. I also took notes about what I saw on my computer. Those notes have since been lost thanks to a laptop harddrive failure, but my phone recording remained intact and I can remember a great deal of what I saw.

I’ll mostly let Dax, Gaz and the game’s characters take you through this experience, but I’ll interject some descriptions of what was going on where it seems fitting. A few of the lines of dialogue from the game were tough to make out, but I’ve done my best to get them right.

And now, get ready for what was either a demo of the game or a thrill park ride. If you happened to already read the Game Informer cover story of Arkham Knight, well, so did I and you’ll see, as I did, that I got just about the exact same demo as GI did. Consider yourself spoiled. On with the show…

A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

[We’re a couple of minutes into the demo and I flip my recorder on. We’ve already been shown the extremely impressive, highly-detailed updated-for-next-gen Gotham City that plays out as the open-world for our adventures in Arkham Knight. The level of detail in the darkened city is extraordinary, not just horizontally, but vertically as Batman dives down past ornately-drawn skyscrapers. Gaz is at the controls. Dax is already pumped up.]

Dax: Gaz, take us there! We’re going to drop down, straight into the streets. Batman’s grapple and glide mechanisms that we’ve developed for Arkham City have been evolved for Arkham Knight, but it’s really about the vertical gameplay we’ve been able to deliver on next-gen systems…

[Gaz is gliding Batman across the city, over rooftops.]

Dax: … So you guys know from previous games from Rocksteady that detail is incredibly important to us. But with the power of next-gen we’ve been able to deliver on an epic scale as well. So being able to glide across the city sky like this, pick out objectives, where we want to go. You can see a ton of detail down at street level, carving through Chinatown here, the neon reflections, the puddles and the rain, this sense of being in a very alive, very full city, something that was really important to us.

[As Gaz glides, he’s able to pull off a 180 turn.]

Dax: Brand-new move, the full grapple reversal. You can see Gaz kicking off and doing a 180-degree spin. As we carve through here we can see the Gotham clock tower dead ahead of us. We’re going to use this to kick off and grapple and get some insane altitude. We’re going to come back to this location later on, because it’s a critical legendary location for Batman fans, because that’s where Oracle’s hideout is and a kind of mini-Batcave is located.

[We’re heading to a rooftop meeting with Commissioner Gordon, Batman’s longtime friend in the Gotham City Police Department.]

Dax: …So you guys know the connection between narrative components of games and gameplay components of games generally involve some sort of scene, some sort of transition, a fade-in, fade-out. We have completely eliminated that. Look at the way that Batman transitions into this conversation with Gordon.

[True to Dax’s comment, there’s no loading as we go from gameplay to non-interactive story scene, all in the same graphics engine. Gordon is talking to his daughter on a phone or radio]

Gordon: I’m just glad you made it out ok. Sorry, I’ve got to go. Stay safe, Barbara.

A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

Dax: Sweet or what? I know. I know what you’re thinking.

Batman: [voiced by Arkham series veteran Kevin Conroy] How’s the evacuation going?

Gordon: [a little hard to hear this one… consider it a paraphrase] The last bus got out of the city limits a couple of hours ago. I’m just glad my little girl got out when she did. Now the real work begins.

Batman: Any lead on Scarecrow?

Gordon: We were tracking an unknown military vehicle speeding through Chinatown. It’s the only lead we’ve had all night, but they gave us the slip. With the evacuation, I just don’t have the manpower left in the city.

Batman: If you find it, tell your men not to engage. I’ll deal with it.

Gordon: Do you really think Scarecrow is crazy enough to detonate a chemical weapon in Gotham?

Batman: I won’t let that happen, Jim. In case you need to reach me… it’s going to be a long night.

Police radio: All units.. we’ve got a [unintelligible] in sector 342. Missing patrol car. Unit 247. Suspected officer down.

Gordon: Hey, Batman… every damn time.

[Batman has already swooped away.]

Batman: Oracle, I need the location of unit 247.

Oracle: Already working on it. How’s my dad doing?

Batman: He’s holding up.

Oracle: Somehow he always does. OK, I’m sending through the squad car’s location. Be careful. It’s not looking good out there.

Dax: Alright. Three big takeaways from that exchange: number one, the GCPD were tracking a mysterious military vehicle that they have lost track of. It’s off their radar. Number two, Barbara Gordon and Commissioner Gordon, father and daughter are both still in the city, but she is lying to her father about the state of her safety, telling her father that she’s out of the city, when actually she’s not. She’s stayed behind to work with Batman. Number three, there is a GCPD police officer who is down and in trouble. That’s our objective. We can see it 272 meters directly ahead of us. Gaz, that’s where we’re heading. Show us some dive moves.

[Gaz starts diving Batman down the streets of Gotham. He’s swooping up and down.]

Dax: I love that. I love that so much!

Thug somewhere below: Tonight’s the night we stick it to the bat.

[More gliding from Dax]

Dax: Sweet. We’ve got a grapple coming up no doubt. Oh, come on, man! You’re spoiling us.

[More diving — lots of big air as Batman swoops across the city]

Dax: We’re going to drop it down, turn right. Oh, lush. Lush! Watch the chopper dude. Watch that chopper!

[More gliding]

Dax: So gliding is obviously an immense part of Batman’s navigation in Arkham City. In Arkham Knight, we’ve introduced a brand new concept: gadgets while gliding. GWG, we call it. So, at any time, you can deploy the line launcher to give us a perch.

[Gaz does just that, shooting a wire between two buildings and then sitting on it to survey the scene.]

Dax: We can see now looking back down the streets these thugs are beating up this cop and as Gaz dives in he’s also going to use another gadgets-while-gliding move: Batarangs as he enters the fight SLAMMING that dude in the face with a flying kick, I love it!

[Gaz is roughing these guys up, seemingly the exact same way these guys were roughed up for Game Informer. Here comes the bat moment…]

We’ve expanded the freefight combat system. Brand new moves. brand new techniques for Batman to use. He’s disarming this guy. He’s taking that baseball bat and he’s using it against his mates. Weapon-steal is a brand-new feature of freeplay combat. He can use that as long as he wants or until it smashes on the face of some poor dude. Sweet moves! That guy is going to try to take Batman down. Gaz took him out with a bat and a throw counter and — YES! This is a sweet combination of moves, man. A sweet combo.

[Using combos that basically layers some new ideas atop Rocksteady’s exquisite Arkham Asylum brawling system, Gaz has cleared out the gang of thugs.]

Cop: I could use some help here.

Dax: You’re feeling good. You’re looking good.

Gaz: I feel like Batman.

[As Batman reaches out to help the cop, a truck rumbles into the picture.]

Dax: Whoa. Whoa. You know that mysterious military vehicle we were talking about? This is it. You’ve found it! INCOMING, GAZ, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???

[Gaz reaches for a mug in real life]

Dax: You’re going to calmly sip your coffee.

Cop: The city’s overrun. You don’t stand a chance.

Batman: Stay here. I’ll send someone to pick you up.

Cop: What are you doing?

Batman: Evening the odds.

Dax: So thinking back to Arkham Asylum, as a new studio, a young studio, we really wanted to make an experience that made players feel like the world’s greatest detective. So, for us, Arkham Asylum was very much about the forensics and crime scene investigation of tracking down Joker in Arkham Asylum. In Arkham City, we blew the roof off — actually pause this up Gaz, this is important, I need to focus — stepping up to deliver an experience that really made players feel like the caped crusader. World’s greatest detective in Arkham Asylum. Caped crusader in Batman: Arkham City. For Batman: Arkham Knight, we wanted to deliver the ultimate and complete Batman experience. And, for us, there was only one thing missing. We’ve filled that hole and we’ve completed that with the addition of … the Batmobile. Batman: Arkham Knight is all about the Batmobile, designed uniquely and exclusively for this game. This is it, ladies and gentleman, Batman: Arkham Knight‘s Batmobile.

[Batman’s car screams in]


[The reporters in attendance chuckle. Dax is pretty much done with standard game-demo enthusiasm. He’s leveled up.]

A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

[Batman is getting into this car and radioing for some intel. He’s going to be driving in hot pursuit.]

Batman: Oracle, I need you to track that military vehicle.

Oracle: A squad car has picked up the pursuit. I’m relaying its location now.

Dax: So we have designed this in collaboration with DC Comics. An incredible honour. What an amazing opportunity to design your own Batmobile, something that the studio has been incredibly focused on, giving it a lot of energy, and you’re going to see a lot of incredible features from this vehicle as it augments Batman’s abilities in every possible way. Number one, we’ve got to light some tires, hit the afterburner and we are off.

Batman: Oracle, come in.

Gordon: [unintelligible] 56, this is Commissioner Gordon. I’m calling off the pursuit. It’s too dangerous.

Cop in squad car 56: He just fired an RPG at us. Who the hell are these guys?

Gordon: 56, pull back now, that’s an order! Let Batman deal with this.

Dax: As you’d expect, the Batmobile comes fully equipped with gadgetry as well. Gaz is going to use immobilizer rockets, a non-lethal vehicle takedown to take this vehicle down and interrogate the driver. Opening shot. Nice! Good damage.

[Gaz is tearing down Gotham’s streets. This is like nothing in the previous Arkham games. It’s more like what you’d see in a game like Sega’s Full Auto series, one armed car racing after and shooting at another. It’s not an on-rails sequence. Gaz appears to have full vehicular control.]

Dax: Sweet moves, Gaz.

[Gaz fires one more shot and the bad-guy vehicle crashes.]

Dax: A lush final hit.

Batman: I need to interrogate the driver and find out what he knows.

Dax: Alright, with a non-lethal takedown, Batman can now interrogate the driver and find out what’s going on. That guy is 33 meters away, he’s in pain. He’s probably got some broken limbs. Gaz, don’t hurry too much.

[Thug groans and gasps in pain as Batman gets out of the Batmobile and approaches.]

Dax: We call this the long slow walk of justice.

Batman: Where’s Scarecrow?

Thug: Go to hell!

[Batman roughs up the thug. Thug screams in pain.]

Batman: Where is he??

Thug: I’ve got nothing to say to you, Batman!

Batman: Talk! Or I’ll crush every bone in your body.

[Thug groans from the pain]

Thug: All I know is that he’s producing the toxin somewhere in Gotham. I’ve got no idea where.

Batman: If you’re lying, I’ll break the other one.

Thug: The other what?

[Batman snaps the guy’s wrist. Thug screams in pain.]

Dax: You can see how brutal Batman is getting in this third game. It is serious.

[Batman radios back to Oracle.]

Batman: Oracle, check the chemical analysis I’ve just uploaded.

Oracle: Sure. Is this what I think it is?

Batman: It’s a new strain of fear toxin. I need to know if there’s anything there that can help us find Scarecrow.

Oracle: OK. I’ll prepare a full chemical breakdown on the Bat-computer. Come to the clock tower when you’re ready and you can see the results for yourself.

[Gaz has Batman get in the Batmobile and starts driving.]

Dax: Now you guys know that an Arkham game is not just about awesome narrative. It’s about options and alternatives. So [claps hands and points to an average-sized reporter watching the presentation] big man, I’m going to give you an option right now: you can either go and rendezvous with Oracle and get involved in that fear toxin analysis or we can go and check out what Riddler’s doing and see what Riddler’s up to in Gotham city. The option is yours.

[reporter picks]

Dax: He’s saying Riddler! Gaz, can you deliver Riddler?

Gaz: Riddler coming up!

Dax: [claps] Riddler it is!

[Gaz drives off. The idea here is that Arkham Knight is open-world, so we can naturally play side missions intermittently with main story missions.]

Dax: Before we can find out where Riddler is, we need to find a Riddler informant. Lucky for you guys, Gaz has played this before and he knows where one is at. We’re on our way there. We’re going to use the Batmobile as a bit of a wrecking ball. We’re going to check out some of its new features.

[As Gaz drives, he doesn’t exactly try to stay on the road. The Batmobile is well-armoured, it seems and can smash through the facades of buildings and throw lots of ground-level obstacles. Virtual concrete goes flying as Gaz takes way-too-tight turns. He might as well be driving the world’s fastest bulldozer. It’s a good thing Gotham’s been evacuated of its civilians and that Batman can get away with this. Batman can’t run over any bad guys, but there are plenty of them out and about. They scatter as Batman races through.]

Thug: It’s Batman!

Dax: I love doing that. Gaz, who is going to pay for all that damage?

[More crazy driving.]

Dax: Alright. We wanted a seamless integration of Batman’s abilities and the Batmobile’s functionality. I know what you guys are thinking. You’re asking yourself: Does this thing come with ejector seats? It DOES, god-dangit! At any point, you can eject straight up out of the Batmobile and use the momentum and inertia of the Batmobile to then catapult high into the sky.

[Gaz does this and ejects Batman out of the car.]

Dax: But you’re thinking: where’s the Batmobile now? Easy! You want to get back into it. A single button press and IT will come and find you. Check this out. Oh, come on, that is hot! Gaz, that is HOT!

[The car skids in. It’s just like a horse in Red Dead Redemption!]

Dax: Alright, let’s go find ourselves our Riddler informant. We’re going to eject again. Yes…

[Gaz is near a building. The bad guys he wants to beat up are inside.]

Thug: What do you call a guy who takes down the Bat?

Dax: Alright, there’s a bunch of guys in there. We can go straight in or we can go in through the skylight. I’m not going to even ask what you guys think. I think it’s skylight time. Gaz, can you give us some altitude?

[Gaz grapples up.]

Dax: Nice.

[Gaz gets Batman onto the roof. He’s looking down through a skylight to the crowd of bad guys below]

Riddler Thug: If you want to catch the Dark Knight, you need to be smart. Riddler’s smarter than all you guys put together.

Dax: There’s our guys.

Thug: If he’s so smart, how come the bat’s still out there?

Riddler Thug: He’s got a plan. You’ll see. Seriously boys, Riddler’s the only guy in this town…

[Gaz has Batman smash down through the skylight and begin to attack the thugs. One is highlighted in green.]

Dax: See the Riddler informant here. He’s the last guy we’re going to take down. We’ve got to make sure we leave him as the last man standing.

[Gaz has Batman punch a guy.]

Dax: Nice. Aw, Batarang takedown, Gaz! What are you going to let that guy do? See that guy over there?

[Gaz is tearing it up. Dax is sounding like he’s never seen such a performance before.]

Dax: That was awesome!

Thug: We’ll kill you freak!

Dax: Sweet counter. That was awesome. I love it. Brand new move, the environmental takedown. You’re going to electrocute that guy’s brain! Straight into the interrogation. Seamless.

Batman: You work for Riddler, and you’re going to tell me where I can find him.

Riddler Thug: What, Riddler? I haven’t seen him in months.

Batman: Go on, keep lying, I dare you!

Riddler Thug: Oh, wait a minute. I saw him yesterday. He’s holed up near the railways. That’s all I know. You’ve got to believe me!

Batman: I do.

Dax: So now we know Riddler’s location. Gaz, how are you going to get out of here?

Gaz: Through the window.

[Gaz grapples out…]

Dax: Nice. Nice moves.

[…and lands. He calls in the Batmobile and drives away.]

Dax: I love that so much! So now we’re going to follow the route to take us to Riddler’s location or we can make our own way there. Either way, Gaz, just do what you’re going to do.

[Gaz goes back to driving like a madman, cutting through alleys, ramming through barriers.]

Dax: You’re going to take a few shortcuts, show us some of the sights of Gotham City?

Gaz: I’m going the scenic route. I’m going off-road!

Dax: Alright!

[More crazy driving.]

Dax: So, in Arkham City, Riddler was really challenging Batman with the Riddler rooms. In Arkham Knight, he’s gone to the next level.

Riddler: [heard over a radio of some sort] Why, hello there…

Dax: … with underground Riddler caves that push the Batmobile to the limit.

Riddler: You’ve arrived early for this, the next generation of my riddles. Too early, in fact. You think I just put these things together overnight? Why, the testing alone can take… no, no, never mind. I’m afraid the full particulars of my plan will have to remain unannounced for the time being. But I see no harm in rewarding the harmless little glimmer of initiative that you’ve shown with a sneak peek — a preview, if you will — of the kind of conundrum I have in store.

[Gaz drives the Batmobile into a building, into an elevator and down into a Riddler cave.]

Riddler: Well, detective, it begins. You are staring with stupefied incomprehension at a mechanism I have calibrated to respond to an extremely precise radar pulse. In a moment, I will give you the decrypted code, Dark Knight. Oh, but first, I think we should run through the ground rules.

Dax: Gaz does not have time to spare, though. He’s hacked in and he’s stolen the key to that radar pulse. So Batman now has control of the function of the traps that Riddler has designed.

[Down the cave road ahead, red and white doors open and close, one in front of the other.]

Dax: You see those doors opening and closing? That’s Gaz on the L3 button.

Riddler: You must complete three circuits of this gauntlet, finishing each one before the time limit expires. Come now….

Dax: You ready for this Gaz?

[Gaz takes a deep breath.]

Dax: You ready to give these people a show? Hit it, bro! So Gaz is not only driving at immense speed and with precision, but he’s also controlling the traps Riddler is throwing in front of him. He’s opening that door. He’s bringing that ramp across. He’s that across as well. These things get more and more complex with each circuit. So watch….

[As Gaz races through what is basically a treacherous timed race, he’s having to hit that L3 button to remove hazards, swivel in a missing piece of road and so on. Early on, he gets to a point in the cave where there’s no road to drive on nor any road piece to switch into position. He’s seemingly about to drive off the edge into blackness.]

Dax: Gaz, what are you going to do? What are you going to do?

Gaz: I’m going to drive on the wall!

Dax: You’re going to drive on the wall! You’re crazy! You’re crazy!


Dax: Nice! Hit the afterburner. I love it! Bring it in just in time. You are playing with fire, sir. Nice!

[This continues, as the demo reaches its crescendo of theatrics, Dax doing his best to be pumped up about a scene he’s surely seen many times before. This is the newest thing in Arkham Knight (that we’ve seen, at least) and he wants to be sure that we get how thrilling it is.]

Dax: Gaz, the floor, the floor! Noooo!!! My god! My god! It’s INSANE! Oh! Up on the all again! And there’s traps on the wall this time! Oh! Ha ha ha! It’s all going to be fine. Sweet. Sweet! Third and final lap. Once more!

[Doors and traps galore. Somewhere around here, Dax jumps into the air with excitement.]

Dax: It’s insanity. Going left. Gaz, the floor, the floor, what are you going to do! You’re driving on the ceiling! ARE YOU CRAZY? [starts clapping] Oh, that was beautiful. That was hot! Final wall run! Double trap situation! Yeah! Yeah! Bring it home. Bring it home, Gaz. Focus! Woooo! Ladies and gents, give it up for Gaz Deaves. [Some of the reporters clap.]

Dax: That was intense. Are you alright?

Gaz: I could do with a coffee break.

Dax: You know what goes well with coffee…

Gaz: How about some doughnuts?

[Gaz starts spinning the Batmobile out. Doughnuts. It’s a cute, dorky moment.]

Dax: Doughnuts! We get free doughnuts!

Gaz: YEAHHH!!!!

Dax: Alright. Let’s get back to business.

[Gaz drives off, and Dax calms down.]

Dax: So, where were we? We went off the path for Oracle to take on Riddler. We’re now going back to the clock tower to rendezvous with Oracle..

Riddler: [still chattering over the radio, as he’d been during most of the driving challenge]… You’d still be hopelessly ramming into the elevator door if I hadn’t let you enter. But, thanks to your unrelenting desire to showboat, I now have several hundred terabytes worth of performance data relating to that rocket-powered hearse you’re driving. Naturally I will be using this data to calibrate and fine-tune further challenges and trials. The game isn’t afoot yet, detective, but it soon will be. There’s a lot more to come.

[More driving.]

Dax: Alright, Gaz, take us to the clock tower any way you want. Through that gas station, that’s fine, you just keep going.

Gaz: Up these stairs?

Dax: Up these stairs. That’s fine. Go for it.

Gaz: That was fun. What’s next?

Dax: Good, good stair-work. Tree! Tree!

[Gaz rams through a tree. Trees in this game are destructible.]

Dax: Alright. Using the ejector seat again, we’re going to pull around and get some insane height. There’s the clocktower ahead of us. So you guys will know that Oracle plays this role as sort of technical support to Batman. Her headquarters are behind the clock face of the Gotham clock tower. She and Batman know the secret location and how to access it. We’re going to use our gadget to unlock the entrance to it, and we’re going to see Oracle for the first time. In previous games, she’s only been a voice in Batman’s ear. This time you’ll meet her physically in-game. Another seamless transition from exterior to interior. As you’ll see, this is Barbara Gordon’s apartment. But in detective mode we can see the bust of Shakespeare giving us an indicator that there’s a trigger there to transform this apartment into the mini-Batcave that is Oracle’s HQ.

[Music swells… computers beep and whir… Batman pores over the data… Oracle comes in. She’s in a wheelchair, true to the pre-New-52 comic book version of the character]

Oracle: Do I come in the Batcave and start messing with all of your stuff?

Batman: You’ve managed to reduce the compound to its core elements.

Oracle: But there’s nothing in there that we can trace.

Batman: What if we’ve been looking at this the wrong way? Instead of searching for the toxin, what if we focused on the manufacturing process?

Oracle: [unintelligible] The reaction emits a unique radiation spike.

Batman: Run a scan of the city for this energy signature. It will show where Scarecrow is breeding his fear toxin.

Oracle: It will take a few hours to bring the satellites into position.

Batman: We don’t have enough time. I’ll repurpose the antenna at the Falcone shipping yard.

Oracle: Bruce, I spoke to dad. I hate lying to him. He’d kill me if he knew I was still in the city. He still blames himself for this. [She’s presumably talking about the incident that put her in a wheelchair.]

Batman: We’ll stop Scarecrow.

[Batman leaves, Gaz grapples and glides.]

Dax: So we have our final objective. We’ve got to get to the Falcone shipping yards, and that’s where we’re going to be able to find out where Scarecrow is operating from. But, first, to catch up with Jim Gordon…

Batman: [radioing in] Jim, we’ve got a way to find out where Crane’s working from.

Gordon: Thank god. What can I do?

Batman: Get your men ready. Soon as we’ve got a location I’ll let you know.

Dax: So you’ve seen we can navigate the game world using grapple and glide. We can navigate using the Batmobile. Again, here’s an option, how do you want to get to the Falcone shipping yards? Glide? Batmobile? Or a bit of 50/50?

Reporter: 50/50.

Dax: 50/50? Gaz, do you have some 50/50?

Gaz: I’ve got some 50/50 right here!

Dax: 50/50, here we go!

[Gaz starts swooping through the skies]

Dax: Sweet, opening up with a lush glide. 380 meters there. At some point, Gaz, you’re going to have to call in the Batmobile.

[Gaz calls the Batmobile.]

Dax: It’s that simple. Single button press. And here she comes.

[Batmobile drives in below. Gaz lands and hops in.]

Dax: Dude, come on, that was nice.

[Gaz drives past thugs…]

Dax: Are you going to hit the jump? Hit the jump! Dude, you are insane. You don’t care what you do!

[Driving aggressively; thugs flee. Gaz screeches the car to a halt and ejects. Batman is airborne. Gaz turns the camera to frame Batman in front of the moon.]

Dax: Sweet. Oh, this is beautiful. Up against the full moon. Just you. Some time to think. Alright, here’s our objective, Falcone shipping yards. We’re going to see here there’s some heavily armed thugs. We’re going to show a new way to take down heavily armed villains and enemies.

[Gaz is gliding down and lands perfectly on a railing outside the building he’s going to land. ]

Dax: Nice perch, bro. That was really sweet. Ok, so there are three heavily armed thugs…

[Gaz is having Batman look through walls with his detective vision to survey the scene. They have got a prisoner.]

Batman: … three soldiers, all armed. If I alert them they will kill the hostage.

Dax: So in previous Batman games, you’ve had to isolate these heavily-armed thugs to take them down one by one. We’ve got a brand new move, the remote-break-entry [sic?] to take guys down over long distances and another brand new move called the fear takedown, which allows us to string together three takedowns of armed thugs. What we’re going to see here is a seamless takedown of armed thugs. Gaz, are you ready for this? Show us how it works! You take down number one. Boom! Number two, what’cha got? Whammy! Number three! Kalashinokv! Nice.

[Essentially what we’ve just seen in Rocksteady’s riff on the chain-killing system seen in recent Assassin’s Creed games. Once it’s triggered you appear to be capable of moving from one enemy to the next to take each down quickly.]

Hostage: Help me!

Dax: Now rescue that hostage.

Hostage: Batman, it’s really you! Man. They said you were quick, but I never saw anyone take down three armed guys like that. Unbelievable.

Batman: You’re safe now. I’ll send someone to pick you up.

Hostage: Thank you. Tell me you’re going to find Scarecrow. That son of a bitch needs to be stopped.

Dax: So we’re going to hack into the antenna and take control of that to allow us to triangulate Scarecrow’s manufacturing location.

Batman: Oracle, I’ve attached the uplink to the microwave tower.

Oracle: Perfect. I’ve made an anonymous call to GCPD. They’re going to send someone to pick up the hostage.

Batman: Good.

Oracle: OK. The tower is now online.

Batman: Time to find Scarecrow.

Dax: So this is good news, right? We’re in control of this situation. We’ve got Scarecrow on the run. Before we leave you, there’s three things I want you guys to take away from this. Number one, the Batmobile. We poured all of our heart and soul into this and put the Batmobile in the epicentre of Arkham Knight. But what’s the Batmobile without the entirety of Gotham City to drive through and destroy the way that Gaz has done? But number three, that power fantasy of being Batman in this, the epic conclusion that we have created to the Rocksteady Arkham trilogy. All of those considerations have been the things we’ve been driving towards ever since Arkham Asylum. The promise of being the Batman is always what we’ve been all about. The power fantasy of being the Dark Knight. In his city. Being in complete control. So, having said that, Batman should be able to walk out of that door and walk into the streets of the city that he protects without a worry in the world. Gaz, take us out there.

[Gaz has Batman walk out. Immediately, Batman is shot and knocked down]

A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

Dax: Whoa! Whoa! What’s going on?

[More shots fired. The mystery man for whom the game is named swoops in and attacks Batman.]

Arkham Knight: This ends. Tonight.

A Very Excited Man Tells Us All About Batman: Arkham Knight

[The Knight aims a gun at Batman. The screen goes black. We hear the gun go off.]

Dax: There are only two things I can say about the character you just saw. Number one: his name is the Arkham Knight. Number two: he is a completely original character that we have designed at Rocksteady in collaboration with DC Comics. That’s it.

And there you have it. Demo’s over. Excited? If no, well, the game looks good, so you probably should be unless you’re exhausted of the Arkham formula. If yes, well, cool, but you probably don’t seem as excited as Dax Ginn!

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