Train2Game News Batman Arkham Knight Cast Announced

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment confirmed the voice talent behind some of the most notable characters in Batman: Arkham Knight, the epic finale to the award winning Batman: Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios. 

Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) joins the cast as James Gordon, Ashley Greene (The Twilight Saga) as Barbara Gordon, John Noble (Sleepy Hollow, Fringe) as Scarecrow and Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, Hart of Dixie) as Nightwing.

Banks, Greene, Noble and Porter join an ensemble cast that includes fan-favourites Kevin Conroy, who returns as Batman; Tara Strong as Harley Quinn; Troy Baker as Two-Face and Nolan North as Penguin.

Batman: Arkham Knight is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license and will be available on June 23rd, 2015 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PC.

Batman: Arkham Knight brings the award-winning Batman: Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios to its epic conclusion. Developed exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PCs, Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile. The highly anticipated addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman: Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.

In this explosive finale, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city that he is sworn to protect, as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham City and destroy the Batman forever.

Train2Game News Gotham is mine

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have released the latest video from Batman: Arkham Knight. 

The Official Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer – “Gotham is Mine” features a closer look at some of the story’s most infamous super-villains. As Scarecrow unites the Rogues Gallery, including Two-Face, The Penguin, the Riddler, the Arkham Knight, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, they bring all-out war as they try to take down The Dark Knight, and claim Gotham City as their own.

Batman: Arkham Knight is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license and will be available on 2nd June, 2015 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PC.

Batman: Arkham Knight brings the award-winning Batman: Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios to its epic conclusion. Developed exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PCs, Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile. The highly anticipated addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman: Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City. In this explosive finale, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city that he is sworn to protect, as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham and destroy the Batman forever.

You can view the “Gotham is Mine” trailer on the WB Games YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/Ax2edKdZRxg

Train2Game News Batman Arkham Knight announced

Batman Arkham KnightAfter a leak by GAME yesterday, Batman: Arkham Knight has now been officially announced.

The game popped up on GAME sites for pre order yesterday before being swiftly taken down but the damage was done. Batman: Arkham Knight will be the finale of the Arkham series, set after the events of Batman: Arkham City and will be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise.

The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.

“Batman: Arkham Knight is the pinnacle game of our hugely successful franchise, and we are giving players the most expansive, impressive title in the series,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The Rocksteady Studios team is continuing to focus on the excellent gameplay for which they are known while delivering a thrilling new experience for gamers and Batman fans.”

“The team at Rocksteady Studios is putting a tremendous amount of work into delivering the final chapter of our Batman: Arkham trilogy so that fans can feel what it’s like to be the Batman,” said Sefton Hill, Game Director at Rocksteady Studios.  “We’re excited to be developing the game for next-gen platforms, which has allowed us to bring to life the design elements that we envisioned from the beginning such as the Batmobile and how it augments Batman’s abilities, to the fully detailed and realized Gotham City.”

You can enjoy the trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight below:

Train2Game News: Eurogamer Expo 2013

Eurogamer 2013The past weekend was one I look forward to every year. It was the annual Eurogamer Expo and this year was completely sold out.

I attended the event with a couple of friends of mine, one of whom had never attended a gaming event before so it was nice to see his eyes light up at the sight of the event. There is nothing quite like your first time!

The first game we ended up playing was the new Lego Marvel Super Heroes game from Warner Brothers Interactive. The game was similar to the other Lego games just involving all of your favourite Marvel heroes! The only other Lego game I had played was the Lego Batman game so I was quite shocked when the Lego characters started talking to me. Certainly a fun game to try if you can.

Second one of my friends and I discovered an XBLA game there that we were both interested in which was a game called Foul Play by Medatonic. The game was an entertaining side scrolling hack and slash which has no health bar. The game instead rewards big combos in a similar way to Guitar Hero. I would describe this as Guitar Hero meets Castle Crashers. Foul Play is out now and I will be buying it soon.

Next I decided to start tackling the main objectives I had set myself for the weekend and started with Batman: Arkham Origins. I am a big Batman fan and absolutely loved the other two Arkham games and was a bit worried when I found out that Rocksteady wasn’t going to be doing this game as I imagine most batfans were. My worries were put to rest on playing the game though. It plays exactly like Arkham City, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! My other worry was the voice actors for Batman and Joker. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are the characters I hear when reading them so when they weren’t in this game I worried. I have to say though they both have excellent voices and I could find no fault with the small window of the game that I tried. I will definitely be pre-ordering my copy soon.

I then got two birds with one stone as I tried Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on a PlayStation 4. The game was absolutely gorgeous and they have really polished up the ship sections from AC3. I enjoyed the quite open sea feel that I got from the game but couldn’t test much more than that in the time I was given.

The PS4 graphics were of course jaw droppingly stunning but what surprised me was how comfortable the joysticks were on the controller. They have just the right amount of indentation on the joysticks so your thumb slots in and is firmly in place for those more frantic moments.

The final game I tried out for the day was Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. I never played one of the  Killer Instinct games before so it was all new to me. I was paired up with a guy I didn’t know to play the game and it turned out we were incredibly evenly matched! We had two and a half games, the first he one with very little health left, the second I one with very little health left and the third one got cut short saw him well in the lead. The game was easy to get on with and just pick up and get to fighting!

Again the graphics of the Xbox One were beautiful with every little detail on display and much like the PS4 the XB1 has an incredibly comfortable joystick for your thumb to fit in to.

It was a great event as it always is but I wish I had more time to get to grips with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. I do certainly advise you to go next year though as in the three years I have been, I have never been disappointed.

You can view all the developer sessions from the weekend at http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/eurogamer-expo-2012-live-developer-sessions

Train2Game News: Batman: Arkham Origins details and screenshots

Batman Arkham OriginsIn the new issue of Games Master magazine speak to WB Montreal, the studio behind the Arkham prequel. They discuss the approach to crafting a different Dark Knight and offers some insight into features that didn’t make the cut.

Warner has confirmed the Batman: Arkham Origins release date as October 25 for consoles and PC. There is also a few new screens from the game which can be seen in the gallery at the bottom of this article.

According to a recent report, Arkham Origins will have a multiplayer mode, making it the first in the series to include it.

Here are the new details as reported in Games Master:

  • Batman: Arkham Origins is the story behind “how the unrefined, rough-around-the-edges, early career Batman” becomes Dark Knight
  • Batman and Captain Gordon meet for the first time during the events of Arkham Origins
  • Senior producer Ben Mattes says there are elements to the story that they will never discuss before the game has shipped
  • Batman in Arkham Origins has the moves and the abilities, but hasn’t faced the challenges that shape him into the Batman we know. Arkham City Batman is described as Batman 5.0, while Arkham Origins Batman is 0.9.
  • It’s “year two” of Batman’s career, roughly speaking
  • WB Montreal has been given everything Rocksteady had, from engine tweaks to concept art.
  • It plays exactly like Arkham City
  • At one point the HUD included a storm indicator. Since Origins takes place during a snowstorm, it provided warning of incoming wind blasts. However, it negatively impacted the freeflow combat as “enemies stand around waiting for you to punch them” and “you’re swinging wildly because you don’t know where they are.” The feature was cut.
  • Another cut feature is the enemy quad-rotor drone which would patrol rooms in search of Bats. The drone “broke the richness of the predator room, which is in giving the player the power to play the way they want.”
  • Detective mode has been overhauled, as has the gadget upgrade progression tree.
  • Goons will be able to “take advantage of the verticality” of New Gotham
  • Legends of the Dark Knight was the “single most inspirational piece of media”
  • “Making Batman scary again is important”
  • WB Montreal believes it has made “the coolest version of Deathstroke. He’s a wonderful counterpart to Batman”
  • Northern Gotham is the area that became Arkham City, it is a mix of low-rent residential and industrial buildings. Referred to as the Brooklyn of Gotham.
  • New Gotham is described as the ‘Soho’ or ‘East Village’ of the city. It is a brand new, upmarket area, borderline financial zone of the city. Focus is tall buildings, catwalks and walkways here.
  • The GCPD is corrupt, so Gotham’s swat teams are out to get Batman too
  • No mention of Joker yet.
  • A ‘Most Wanted’ mechanic offers a selection of mini-campaign side-stories centered around other major villains.

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Train2Game News: The Dark Knight Returns

Arkham CityYou may or may not know that your Train2Game blogger is a massive fan of the Dark Knight so hearing the news that there is going to be a third Arkham game made me very happy.

The next entry in the Batman: Arkham series will be released this year, Time Warner quietly revealed in a financial meeting last week. A transcript of the company’s Q4 2012 earnings call, quotes CFO John K. Martin as saying:

“We expect [digital home video revenue] to grow close to 20% in 2013. And we also have a strong games release this year, which will include the next release in the Batman Arkham franchise.”

Batman: Arkham City, the previous game in the franchise, was released in 2011 and was a huge success thanks, in part, to the story being written by the Batman animated series writer, Paul Dini. The game play was also incredible and as you were battling with the thugs of Gotham you did feel like Batman. The game was then retooled for Nintendo’s Wii U and re-published last November.

Last year it was rumoured that the next game in the series would take the form of a prequel, with developer, Rocksteady drawing inspiration from the Silver Age of comics. However, VG247 claims the UK studio is not developing the next game in the series.

In addition, in August of last year Paul Dini, announced he also will not be working with Warner Interactive on a Batman: Arkham 3 and Mark Hamill said that he would never voice The Joker again after Arkham City. A few months after the games release however, in an interview with film director Kevin Smith, Hamill said that he wouldn’t be opposed to playing the insane villain again if the part was right.

Train2Game News: New Batman: Arkham City video focuses on sound design

Train2Game students can get behind the scenes of Batman: Arkham City’s audio design in a new developer diary from Rocksteady Studios and Warner Brothers.

Making Batman Arkham City : Inside Rocksteady Studios. ‘Sound Effects’ comes ahead of Harley Quinn’s Revenge Pack being released at the end of this month.

The video features Game Director Sefton Hill, foley artist John Roesch and Audio Director Nick Arundel discussing  how sound was created for Batman: Arkham City. Discover things like how the sounds of Mister Freeze being punched in the face, or that of gunfire, were produced to sound as realistic as possible.

Watch the video below, right here on The Train2Game Blog.

There’s more about Batman: Arkham City here.

What are your thoughts on the work behind sound effects in Batman: Arkham City? How important is sound in game design?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Two UK studios nominated for Writers Guild of America awards

Train2Game blog Brink imageTrain2Game students may be pleased to learn that two UK developed video games are among this year’s nominees for the annual Writers Guild of America Awards. As the name suggests, the awards are usually dominated by American games, but not this year.

Splash Damage Lead Writer Ed Stern is nominated for his work on Brink. You can find out how he wrote Brink in last November’s huge interview, right here on The Train2Game Blog. You can also listen to Stern speaking about games writing as part of a BAFTA panel here.

London based Rocksteady Studios win a nomination for their work on writing Batman: Arkham City, while Canadian studio Ubisoft Montreal is nominated for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

Mortal Kombat and Uncharted 3 complete the list of nominees for the awards which take place in Los Angeles on 19th February. The full list of nominations is below.

  • Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Story by Alexandre Amancio, Jean Guesdon, Corey May, Darby McDevitt; Multiplayer Story by Stéphane Blais, Richard Farrese, Jeffrey Yohalem; Lead Script Writer Darby McDevitt; Script Writers Richard Farrese, Nicholas Grimwood, Corey May, Jeffrey Yohalem; Greek and Turkish Ambient Dialogue Writer Vincenzo Beretta; Ubisoft
  • Batman: Arkham City, Lead Narrative Designer Paul Crocker; Story Written by Paul Dini, Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Brink, Lead Writer Edward Stern; Bethesda Softworks
  • Mortal Kombat, Story by John Vogel, Brian Chard, Dominic Cianciolo, Alexander Barrentine, Jon Greenberg; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the WGA nominations? What does it say about British games writing?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or here on the Train2Game forum.


Train2Game news: UK Charts – Batman: Arkham City No.1 in good week for UK developers

Batman: Arkham City screen 01Train2Game students have good news in that it’s been a good week for UK game developers, with two British produced games debuting in the top 3 of this week’s charts.

Batman: Arkham City from North London based Rocksteady Studios comfortably takes No.1, giving Warner Bros. their biggest ever launch title. Arkham City sold almost double the number of its Square Enix published predecessor, Arkham Asylum.  The huge numbers make Batman: Arkham City the 4th biggest launch of the year.

Former chart topper, as reported by the Train2Game blog, FIFA 12 remains at No.2 while PC title  Football Manager 2012 from London studio Sports Interactive takes No.3 in its first week. Forza 4 drops to No.4 after taking pole position in its first week on sale. Just Dance 3 drops two to complete the top 5, with the majority of copies being sold for the Nintendo Wii.

The Sims 3: Pets is the only other new entry in the top 10 this week, reaching No.6 in its first week, one spot ahead of PES 2012 which slips two spots to No.7 in its second week on sale. RAGE from id Software drops four to No.8, while former long time No.1 Zumba Fitness drops to No.9.

Gears of War 3, another former chart topper, completes the top ten after dropping four places. F1 2012, Dark Souls and Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge all leave the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 22nd  October 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Batman: Arkham City (Warner)
2. FIFA 12 (EA)
3. Football Manager 2012 (Sega)
4. Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft)
5. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
6. The Sims 3: Pets (EA)
7. PES 2012 (Konami)
8. Rage (Bethesda)
9. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
10. Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)

The biggest release of the coming week is Battlefield 3, which Train2Game students will know recently held a successful open beta.

So Train2Game, what do you make of the good week for British developers? What are your thoughts on Arkham City? And will it be Battlefield 3 that takes No.1 next week?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Train2Game news: Behind the scenes of Batman: Arkham City

Train2Game may be aware that Batman: Arkham City is released later this month. If early reviews are to be believed, the follow up to the highly successful Arkham Asylum from British studio Rocksteady looks to even more impressive that it’s predecessor.

Of course, developing Arkham City was far from a simple process and Game Director Sefton Hill has discussed some of the challenges.

“Creating Arkham City has been a tremendous technical undertaking.” he told Eurogamer.

Hill described down developing the title required an immense effort from everyone at Rocksteady.

“Our engine teams, optimisation teams, art teams and design teams have had to do a phenomenal amount of work to get this game to run and optimise it and run at a solid 30 frames a second throughout, while creating such a richly detailed city. So it’s definitely not easy.” said the Batman: Arkham City Game Director.

He praised the technical team in particular for doing a great job, doing whatever the rest of the team needed.

“Huge credit to the technical team, who said, look, we’ll make it happen. You design the best game you can think of and we will work hard to make that happen.” said Hill.

“Those guys did a phenomenal job with that. All credit to them because there are a lot of technical achievements in there we’d never done before and taken on.” he added.

Train2Game students can get an insight into the game design process behind Batman: Arkham City here on the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the work behind Arkham City? Is a game that you’re looking forward to?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Eurogamer]