Batman: Arkham Knight announced for 2014

BatmanAK3Well, here’s some news no one saw coming.

Warner Bros. has announced the next chapter in the Batman: Arkham series with Batman: Arkham Knight. Due out in 2014 for next-gen platforms (Xbox One, PS4, but not the Wii U; no surprise there), the game will also hit the PC later this year.

The trailer released by Warner Bros. doesn’t feature any gameplay, but delves deep into what is likely to be an internal battle within Bruce Wayne/Batman. It seems to rely pretty heavily on the themes of the Christopher Nolan films, though that’s certainly not a bad thing.

Smaller details in the trailer show off an updated Batsuit, amazing new character models rendered exclusively for the next-gen consoles, and a huge update to the Batmobile.

With developer Rocksteady being able to focus all its efforts on the next generation consoles, it is very clear why the game looks as good as it does, even if all we’ve seen is a trailer. Without the need to create lower quality textures and maps in addition to the higher resolution ones, more care can be put into game design and polish.

It seems that the Batmobile will also be playing a much larger role in the game this time around, and with the Arkham games becoming increasingly open world, that makes quite a bit of sense. Including the Batmobile just begs the question, though: what about the Batplane?

If we know anything, we know that this quote makes us just a bit giddy at the thought of a Batplane in the game: “We kind of feel like this is the natural end to the story,” said Rocksteady’s Sefton Hill. “We want to kind of go out in style.”

We’ll only know more about the game as we get closer to its release. You can bet Warner Bros. will be showing off the title at E3 2014, and given its history as a successful franchise and its first jump to next-gen, we wouldn’t be surprised if the game was featured at Microsoft’s or Sony’s press conferences.

Take a closer look at the updated Batsuit here: