The big reveal of the final episode of in Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham series, Batman Arkham Knight, has really got people talking this week, with the big topic on everyone’s mind being the introduction of the Batmobile as a drivable vehicle. To what extent the Batmobile will feature in the game is still largely unknown (despite a few leaked details in April’s issue of Game Informer magazine,) but a large section of the first trailer for Arkham Knight suggests that they’ll be much more to it than just driving from ‘A’ to ‘B’ at breakneck speeds.
With a game world that will be five times larger than it was in Arkham City, the possibilities for driving the Batmobile around the streets in a variety of cool ways, while utilising a range of gadgets, are endless. Here’s some of the features we’d like to see.
1. Pursuit deterrents
The Batmobile wouldn’t be complete without a range of gadgets, and what better way to shake off pursuers than by dispensing an oil slick or emitting smoke to confuse them just like it did in the first big screen Warner Bros. adaptation of Batman in 1989. Of course, this latest realisation of the Batmobile could be far more advanced; how about emitting an invisible shield that stops enemies dead in their tracks, crushing them like concertinas, or spewing out explosive caltrops (see Batman Begins) to trigger some impressive cinematic blowouts. Judging by the trailer, it looks like the Batmobile will be able to travel across water, so how about some Shark repellent a la the ’66 Batman film.
2. Hard-hitting weapons
The Batmobile has always been a weapon in its own right and thus must have a bunch of cool mounted artillery capable of destroying anyone who stands in its way. We’re talking about mounted cannons and machine guns protruding from the hood and side-doors, a flame-thrower that sends enemies dashing for cover, and a battering ram that can smash through enemies, walls and doors. It would be handy to have guided missiles that can hunt down an enemy or even bat-shaped projectiles that can take out tyres. How about a weapon detection system that gives us a warning when the Batmobile is about to be destroyed so we can press that ejector seat button before we get blown to smithereens?
3. Freedom to drive where we want
Let the Batmobile be able to fly, speed across water and cling onto the ceiling of tunnels to bypass traffic. Let it be our primary way of whizzing through the streets of Gotham and the surrounding areas like a thunderbolt with no boundaries. Give us an ejector seat so we can make a quick getaway, fling ourselves high in the air and then glide across the city. Let us be able to use the grappling hook to navigate corners sharply to shake off pursuers and latch onto building rooftops so we can scale them at speed. How about allowing the Batmobile to change form - which would open up a whole host of new opportunities, perhaps into a Batcycle to navigate alleyways, a Batplane or a Batsub? And how about a voice-activation feature that allows us to trigger its gadgets via the Kinect or PS4 camera microphone. "Batmobile self-destruct!"
4. Satellite navigation and auto-pilot
As well as an in-game map, the Batmobile should feature a satellite navigation system that allows us to traverse the city with ease without breaking the flow of the thrill-ride. An auto-pilot feature would be amazing, too. Players could select a place on the map they want to travel to, switch on auto-pilot, sit back and let the Batmobile take them on a jet-powered journey through the streets, complete with cinematic sequences as it whizzes in and out of traffic and over ramps. How about a remote-guidance system and a self-destruct button that allows you to take out groups of enemies by surprise while watching from above?
5. Other cool stuff
There’s plenty of inspiration to take from the various guises and features of the Batmobile over the years. It would benefit from a Bat-detector that alerts us when we’re near to a crime or an area of interest, a built-in crime lab for assessing evidence, or the likes of a police band cut-in switch so we can eavesdrop on conversations that will help lead us to crime areas. How about a stealth mode that automatically switches off the car’s lights and purring of the engine so you can sneak around the city?
We’re sure it’s wishful thinking to have all these features for Rocksteady's realisation of the Batmobile in Arkham Knight, but with the power of current-gen consoles behind them the opportunity to create the best drivable vehicle ever in a game is theirs for the taking.
What features would you like to see in Arkham Knight's Batmobile?