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In The Grump Tank: Arkham Knight

Hardly any time has passed since the previous Arkham Knight trailer but I wanted to share this one for reasons that will become obvious. It’s all about the car, that being the big new feature and all, and it has managed to eradicate any enthusiasm I had about getting behind the wheel. The Batmobile looks more like a military fetishist’s wargasmic dream (never forget), and in the new clip we see more of its weaponry as it fights an army of tanks. Presumably they’re unmanned tank drones of some kind because Brucey does not seem concerned about the crew. Or collateral damage. It’s more Battlezone than Batman.

The reason I wanted to share this is that it’s essentially a showreel of all the most ridiculous bits from the last trailer (apart from the world’s most hilarious passenger seat). Everything that I forced my eyes to skim over so I didn’t have to consider the possibility of ludicrous Batmobile boss battles against sci-fi tanks is right here, in close up and impossible to ignore. I was pretty much on board with the idea of a new Rocksteady Arkham game no matter what, having hugely enjoyed the previous two, but these trailers are introducing doubts. Unless this is a radical take on marketing, that’s not how a trailer is supposed to work!

Now, the Batmobile sections will be just one element in the usual Rocksteady stew of stealth, fisticuffs, gadgetry, gliding and detection, but the video above is a catalogue of things that I do not want to happen in a Batman game. Sure, I enjoy the close up of Batman’s eyes – is Blazkowicz behind the mask in these scenes of war – but then it’s all rockets and the rat-a-tat of machine guns. If the Arkham Knight is some sort of cyberninja with an army of cybertanks, he might not be the most compelling addition to the rogues gallery.

I’d hoped the inclusion of the Batmobile was a ‘have car, will travel’ kind of deal – larger spaces to explore and more options for movement around those spaces. That may still be the case but on this evidence, the vehicle is mostly going to generate lots of explosions.

The bit when the car does a little shimmy is good though.

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Adam Smith

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