Batman: Arkham Knight Release Date for PS4, Xbox One, PC; Preview

( [email protected] ) Jun 23, 2014 12:27 AM EDT

Fans are expecting 'Batman: Arkham Knight' to be the ultimate game in the Batman Arkham series - but does the new installment in the Arkham series live up to the hype?

Not much detail has emerged from the game's developers Rocksteady, apart from earlier teasers and the infamous 'Bat Tank' gameplay trailer at E3 2014.

What is known is that players will get the same open-world experience as the previous games, and will get to play on a much larger map that encompasses the entire Gotham City area. This new map is reportedly five times bigger than 'Arkham City's' map.

'Batman: Arkham Knight' is going to be the final game in the Arkham series.

New Batmobile Trailer, Gameplay, and Realism

Batman's iconic mount, the 'Batmobile', is getting a facelift as well. No longer a fast ride that appears only in cutscenes, the vehicle is now controllable by the player. At the push of a button, the vehicle transforms into a heavily-gunned but agile tank. In the E3 gameplay trailer, the Batmobile can turn tight corners to avoid gunfire, and has the firepower of a main-battle tank.

Still, Batman is not of the killing type and exclusively takes down his adversaries using a combination of martial arts and nonlethal weaponry. Also, Batman still uses the 'bat-winch' to scale tall buildings in a flash - allowing for awesome takedowns and quick getaways. As seen in the same gameplay demo, the series' excellent hand-to-hand combat dynamics remains relatively the same, which is a good thing.

Taking advantage of next-gen PS4/Xbox One gaming console, 'Batman: Arkham Knight' will feature tons of eye-candy that truly captures the realism that the new hardware is capable of rendering. When it rains, the water trickles down Batman's cape. When Batman walks, the streetlights create shadows that shift as he moves.

'Batman: Arkham Knight' Backstory

No epic game is complete without a well-developed plot, and Rocksteady luckily has not overlooked this aspect.

The game's story takes place a year after events in 'Batman: Arkham City', which saw the demise of Batman's greatest nemesis, Joker. With Joker dead, the power struggle amongst the remaining supervillains residing in 'Arkham City' prison district, which is in actuality a partitioned section of the much larger Gotham City.

It was implied in the more recent gameplay trailer that Arkham's power vacuum is going be filled by Scarecrow, who appears to have nefarious plans for Batman's beloved Gotham. Even so, Batman is not alone in his crusade to protect Gotham, and is assisted by Police Commissioner Gordan and computer-genius 'Oracle '. Both characters will communicate to him via a pop-up screen that projects from a device strapped to his right arm.

According to DC Comics mythology, the 'Oracle' is the secret identity of Barbara Gordon - original Batgirl, and daughter of Commissioner Gordon. She is paralyzed below the waist after Joker shoots her, though it does not appear the supervillain knows she is Batgirl. Confined to wheelchair, Barbara renews her crimefighting career as computer hacker and intelligence gatherer 'Oracle'. Along with Commissioner Gordon, she has been a recurring ally since the first installment of the game series, "Batman: Arkham Asylum".

'Batman: Arkham Knight' Release Date, and Where to Buy

'Batman: Arkham Knight' will have its premiere date set sometime in 2015, and will be available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The game was originally slated for release on October 14, 2014, but was later postponed. All three version of the game is available for pre-order online on Amazon and Best Buy.

Amazon says that the PS4 version as well as the PC version will be available at its store on December 31, 2015. Curiously though, the online bookstore says the Xbox One version will be ready by October 14, 2014. It is likely that Amazon made a mistake, and forgot to update the Xbox One launch date to the correct 2015 launch date.

Best Buy has created a special pre-order page for all three versions of 'Batman: Arkham Knight', which buyers may find convenient to navigate.

Buyers who pre-order the game will get with the exclusive Harley Quinn playable character package that includes her custom weapons and skills. Please note that the PS4 version of the game includes the Scarecrow Nightmare Missions.