There was a time when the world of quality films and quality video games were separated by an impassible gulch – even when Hollywood began to hit its stride adapting comic book superheroes, the tie-in video games were disappointing, to say the least. That all changed when Christopher Nolan re-imagined DC Comics’ iconic hero in Batman Begins – and Rocksteady Studios unleashed Batman: Arkham Asylum on the game-loving public.
As the films found acclaim by taking a “serious” approach to the comic superhero, the video games earned acclaim by embracing even the most fantastic elements of the Batman universe. With Asylum and City pushing the envelope for open world gaming as a whole, Batman: Arkham Knight will bring Rocksteady’s trilogy to a close. And as the new trailer shows, Warner Bros. is pulling out all the stops to give the series the send-off it deserves.
What the live-action trailer shows more than anything is that the gameplay or technical specs of Arkham Knight are no longer needed to sell the experience, so long as Rocksteady has crafted it. The London-based game studio earned immortality by offering the first chance for any comic, TV or movie fan to finally know what it felt like to truly be the Batman. As such, it’s only fitting that the end of the trilogy should put that achievement back in the spotlight.
However, the trailer itself manages to tap into more than just Rocksteady’s corner of the Batman mythology. To be honest, the idea of Batman’s stand against crime inspiring average citizens to follow his lead (successfully) is rarely part of a Batman film’s story. The Dark Knight Rises united Gotham’s police in an all-or-nothing fight, but this Arkham Knight trailer alone shows there is still plenty to be explored while remaining faithful to the source material.
Thankfully, Bat-fans won’t need to rely on Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to scratch that itch, since the series has blurred the line between gameplay and cinematic storytelling from the start – and will call on some well-known talent to bring its characters to life.
Breaking Bad‘s Jonathan Banks will play Jim Gordon, while Ashley Greene (The Twilight Saga) plays his daughter, Barbara. The eerie Scarecrow will be voiced by John Noble (Sleepy Hollow, Fringe), and Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) as Nightwing. As always, fan-favorite Tara Strong will supply Harley Quinn’s high-pitched vocals (before Margot Robbie offers her own take in Suicide Squad).
In other words: Batman: Arkham Knight‘s new cast, new story, and brand new villain (the titular Arkham Knight) have it poised to be one Batman story not soon forgotten. Also, it’s a video game. So there’s that.
Batman: Arkham Knight is the final installment in the Batman “Arkham” video game series, which began with Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, and a prequel title, Batman: Arkham Origins. The series will bring its trademark style to the Batmobile for the first time ever, giving players the option to either grapple above the streets of Gotham or tear through them in the armored behemoth (but let’s be honest, they’ll go with the latter). The Scarecrow, who hasn’t been seen since Arkham Asylum, will ascend as the game’s primary villain, along with the mysterious new Arkham Knight character. Kevin Conroy will once again bring The Dark Knight to life as the voice of Batman.
Will you be trying your hand at the cape, cowl and new Batmobile when Arkham Knight releases next month? Or do you prefer your Batman on the big screen? Sound off in the comments.
Batman: Arkham Knight is slated for release on June 2, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.