As Batman: Arkham Knight, the next entry in the popular video game franchise about Batman beating the criminally insane into submission in asylums of increasingly improbable sizes and complexity, draws nearer, we're starting to get to the point where we're getting a steady stream of information about the game. Today, with the release of a new set of screenshots, we got some of the most interesting news of all.

According to the latest screens, after appearances as a voice in a headset in the past three games, Barbara Gordon will finally be appearing as Oracle. That's big news for fans fans, but to be honest, that stuff about the Batmobile shooting you out of the roof like James Bond's ejector seat will probably have a bigger impact on gameplay.

After being shot and paralyzed by the Joker in The Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon returned to action as a computer-savvy guide for superheroes as Oracle, a role that she played from 1989 to DC's "New 52" reboot in 2011, a tenure that was exactly as long as her original run as Batgirl. In the late '90s, as a member of the Justice League and the guide for the Birds of Prey (a team co-founded with Black Canary), she was an extremely important fixture of the DC universe, and it's interesting to see that the video games have kept her role as Oracle active, even as the comics have returned her to being Batgirl.

 

 

We've known for a while now that Arkham Knight was going to feature a Batmobile that you could actually drive around the city, but the new shots confirm that there'll be an ejector seat-type mechanic that will launch Batman into the air directly from driving, blending in with the gliding and grappling mechanics that were introduced back in Arkham City. That seems like it's going to be really cool -- the one thing I really like about the movement in those games (and in others, like Spider-Man: Web of Shadows) is how they provide innvovative and fun ways to get across the map really quickly. I may not have cared for the story, but I could spend an hour just zipping around the city, and for the first time, the addition of the Batmobile seems like it's going to enhance that rather than detract from it.

Other screenshots included a look at the villains and combat, and you'll all be happy to know that the Penguin still has the bottom of a coke bottle embedded in his face as a super-x-treme version of his traditional monocle. Also, Batman punches out some dudes from the South, which I'm going to guess is personal payback for my review of Arkham Origins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Via ArcadeSushi]