Warner Bros. has announced a slight delay in the upcoming game Batman: Arkham Knight, which is now set to launch on June 23 instead of June 2, as previously announced. That’s a bummer, but to make up for it the company released a nearly eight-minute gameplay video that gives fans a look at what to expect once it launches.
The footage was reportedly taken from the game running on a PlayStation 4. You can watch it here, then read our nine key takeaways that might be useful to fans of the series and newcomers alike.
1. Batman is fast and extremely mobile
When Batman is grappling around the city toward the beginning of the video, he seems to have very few physical limitations. He can use a grappling hook to scale tall buildings almost instantly. He can deploy his cape as a glider to soar through the air, dive-bombing, turning on a dime, and even gaining altitude in a way that doesn’t exactly obey the laws of physics.
2. Gotham is huge
It’s a good thing Batman is so fast and mobile, because Gotham City is a sprawling open world in this game. Going from place to place in a game this size can be a drag, but navigating the city by air looks both zippy and enjoyable here. And as large as the city is, it’s surprisingly detailed. Just look at all of the people, shops, garbage, neon signs, and everything else you’d expect to find in a modern-day Gotham. From the looks of it, Arkham Knight puts the hefty processing power of current-generation consoles to good use.
3. You can drive the Batmobile
If soaring through the night sky seems like it will take too long to get you to your destination, you can hop in the Batmobile for a relaxing Sunday drive.
Just kidding, the driving mechanics look positively intense in this game. There’s a terrific sense of speed as Batman weaves through the city, and he uses all kinds of gadgets while he drives, including hooks to turn tight corners at blazing speeds, and missiles to take down enemies. You can even eject yourself from the car while hurtling along, shooting the caped crusader into the air. It looks like a lot of fun.
It also appears that you don’t have to worry about where you park. If you need the car later, you can call it to you and it’ll find you, screeching to a halt as you leap behind the wheel. It beats scheduling an Uber.
4. You can perch using a double grappling hook
At one point in the video, as Batman glides to his target, he decides to rest for a moment to survey the situation. But instead of finding a gargoyle or rooftop to hang out on, he deploys a double grappling hook tool that creates a perch in midair, where he can eavesdrop on the thugs before diving in.
5. Combat is as silky smooth as ever
One of the great joys of playing a Batman Arkham game is the balletic melee combat. You can drop-kick your way into a crowd of thugs and take turns bashing them into oblivion. As long as you keep an eye out for incoming attacks and press the counter button at the right time, you can knock them all unconscious without taking a scratch.
6. You can use enemies’ weapons against them
In the fight scene, Batman wrenches a baseball bat from an enemy’s grip and proceeds to use it to crack some skulls. If that means melee weapons will get a bigger focus in the game, that’s good news.
7. Batman doesn’t kill, but he doesn’t play nice either
It’s been a rule since the beginning that Batman doesn’t intentionally kill anyone. He always takes them alive so they can stew in Arkham Asylum (until they inevitably escape). But that doesn’t mean he lets criminals off easy. In the video, he chases down an enemy to interrogate him on Scarecrow’s whereabouts. The perp briefly puts up resistance, but capitulates once Batman threatens to crush every bone in his body. Once Batman has the information, he breaks his wrist anyway. It’s unnecessary, but the guy had it coming.
This scene also illustrates that this will probably be a darker game than its predecessors. Arkham Knight is the first title in the series to receive an “M for Mature” rating instead of “T for Teen.”
8. Oracle and Detective Mode
As in previous installments, you can still go into Detective Mode to look for clues. Detective Mode is helpful because it drains the screen of color and highlights things that might be useful to explore. In the video, Batman uses Detective Mode to analyze a toxin’s chemical makeup. He then sends the information to Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, who goes by the name of Oracle and helps Batman from afar by giving him timely information. She basically acts as his mission control. In a nice touch, Batman’s suit is so high-tech that he talks to her over a holo screen that displays above his gauntlet.
9. Bigger and badder
Overall, the new footage looks like it contains just about everything fans of the series could want in a next-gen installment: better graphics, a bigger world, the Batmobile, and extra hard-hitting combat.
Barring any further delays, look for Batman: Arkham Knight on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on June 23, 2015.