Batman: Arkham Knight Design Revealed

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Mar 27, 2014 10:42 AM EDT
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Rocksteady's been busy showing off Batman: Arkham Knight's various aspects behind closed doors. There's still a lot left to learn about the game, but one thing the studio is ready to reveal is the titular villain, and they did just that at this year's GDC.

The picture above isn't nearly as detailed as it should be, so here's a great big glossy version of the design, letting you take in all the details.

Of course, the question that must be asked is just who's under the mask? Popular theories peg the identity as one of two people: the vigilante known as Azrael (which version is a manner of speculation), or former Robin Jason Todd.

Concerning the Azrael theory - this knight costume is reminescent of the technologically advanced batsuit that Jean Paul Valley donned during his time under the cowl, but in the Arkham-verse, we've yet to encounter Mr. Valley. At least, not directly. Who we have encountered is an Azrael wearing the costume resembling the one worn when Azrael was assumed by former cop Michael Lane. This Azrael was last seen in Arkham City, telling the caped crusader they would meet again.

Personally, I find this theory hard to swallow, because it would mean that Azrael has now seemingly declared a war on Batman completely out of the blue, only a year after the two had fought side by side.

This gives a bit more credit to the theory that Jason Todd is in the suit. Killed by the Joker whilst Robin, Todd was eventually brought back to life. Upon learning the clown was still active, he began a personal crusade against Batman as the Red Hood, and later wear the cape and cowl, albeit unofficially, while Bruce was M.I.A. The Todd version of Batman was considerably more violent and lethal, taking to using any and all means of ordinance against enemies, including firearms.

The look of the Arkham Knight, most notably the various robotic enhancements, also rings familiar of the villain Prometheus. Of course, it's also possible there's no one in the suit at all, and maybe it's being manipulated by someone else. The Knight is a wholly original character created by Rocksteady, so there's no rules as to who or what will come with this new addition to Batman's lengthy Rogues Gallery.

NowGamer spoke with Arkham Knight producer Dax Ginn, who described what little he could on the new character and its design, which is a reflection of Batman, and his numerous foes.

"From an intellectual perspective, it’s Riddler, that’s who he engages with intellectually. When you talk about fate and destiny and that aspect of his personality, the tragedy of his childhood, Two-Face is a mirror to him in that respect. So, each of the supervillains connects with Batman in a very specific way and he is a collection of all of those things, but we never really had a villain who can engage with Batman of a physical, powerful, combat level."

"Combat is such a significant part of the game for us, so we wanted a villain that could really challenge him very physically, so the Arkham Knight was conceived with that gameplay idea in mind. The first thing we did with him was to develop what’s his role in the story, how does he genuinely challenge Batman in a way that he’s never been challenged before, and then we pitched all of that to DC comics and then collaborated with them on the look of him and to design his aesthetic so that it’s representative of the function and purpose that he fulfills in the game."

Batman: Arkham Knight is scheduled to drop this October for PlayStation 4, PC, and the Xboc One. 

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