Batman: Arkham Knight is the grand finale to Rocksteady's Arkham trilogy, the biggest, baddest, boldest and most complex realization of the series' potential.

It concludes the story Rocksteady began with Batman: Arkham Asylum, building on everything gamers loved from the first two titles, while adding in next-generation technology and all new gameplay elements.

It goes without saying that the game is going to look stunning. However, what else should you expect?

Here's everything you need to know.

The Two Marquee Features

The New Enemy

The big baddie of the first two games in the trilogy was the Joker, but since he died in Arkham City, Scarecrow appears to be stepping up in the conclusion (cool side note: this time out, Scarecrow is voiced by the brilliant John Noble). However, the wildcard on the playing field is Scarecrow's business partner, a character called the Arkham Knight — which Rocksteady swears is a brand-new baddie invented for this game.

Of course, nobody really believes that. Just who's behind AK's Batman-inspired mask is the game's central mystery, with fan theories ranging from Jason Todd to Hush to Thomas Wayne to a clone of Bruce Wayne. All we know for sure is that he's a brutal, efficient, militaristic soldier type with skills that match Batman's, and he has his own private army. Aside from the Joker, he is the series' first villain deadly enough and smart enough to conceivably take Batman down.

He wears Arkham Asylum's "A" logo on his chest, which Rocksteady says is meant to put Batman at a psychological disadvantage, given the toll past Arkham-related events have taken on him.

DC's Batman: Arkham Knight comic book reveals that the character was somehow able to watch Batman's every move in the first two games, and he likewise has an unusually detailed knowledge of the Dark Knight.

In the game, he operates out of ACE Chemicals, hinting at a possible connection to the Joker.

The Car

After two games (Arkham Origins was not made by Rocksteady), the developers have finally been able to give players control of the quintessential component of Batman's arsenal: the Batmobile. Given that this is a next-gen only game, that means that they've pushed the tech to its limits, crafting a sleek, gorgeous vehicle worthy of Batman's dangerous efficiency.

The Batmobile has turned up a few times in past Arkham games, but it was just a prop. Arkham Knight's Batmobile is a state-of-the-art hybrid vehicle that you, the player, control. It starts with a street mode that's capable of navigating the streets of Gotham with ease and tremendous speed. But when needed, it transforms into a heavily armed battle mode that's kind of like a tank that can strafe and maneuver like a person.

Rocksteady worked hard to incorporate the Batmobile into gameplay the same way that Batman's other gadgets function as an extension of the Dark Knight himself. So the Batmobile can be summoned or sent away as needed (don't worry, it's impenetrable by enemies), and it can blast through walls or launch Batman high into the air for a nice, long glide.

The Batmobile is so powerful a tool in the Dark Knight's arsenal and it fundamentally alters everything about the game. Zack Snyder loved the design so much, he seems to have based Batman v. Superman's Batmobile on it.

What It's About

Back in Arkham City, a vigilante named Azrael relayed an ancient prophesy to Batman that spoke of "dark days" to come. The prophecy stated that a warrior would rise and save Gotham but would fall from the effort and from the same fires that will soon burn Gotham. Azrael was certain that the man in question was Batman.

Batman: Arkham Knight is set one year after the Joker's death in Arkham City, depicting the dark days of which the prophecy spoke. It's orchestrated by Scarecrow uniting all of Gotham's remaining super villains — Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Firefly and Harley Quinn — to take the Dark Knight down once and for all. For his part, Batman is still in mega-broody mode, trying to adjust to a world without the Joker in it — and truth be told, feeling sort of guilty for sharing a twisted bond with the evil sociopath. Meanwhile, Gotham has been enjoying an era of tranquility and safety.

On Halloween, Scarecrow and his new partner, Arkham Knight, unleash a plan a full year in the making: they threaten Gotham with a deadly new strain of fear toxin inside of bombs they've placed throughout the city. Commissioner Gordon orders a mandatory evacuation of all civilians, which leaves the city an empty, Batmobile-friendly playground. Batman must find a way to locate and dismantle the bombs and bring Scarecrow and his allies to justice.

Across the countless side missions, we also expect Rocksteady to wrap up dangling plot threads from Arkham City, such as Hush's surgical altering of his face to look like Bruce Wayne.

What You'll Do

All of the best gadgets and abilities from previous games are incorporated into Arkham Knight, with refinements and enhanced functions. Everything you love about the series — the grapnel gun, batarangs, detective vision, Riddler's puzzles, Oracle's assistance, etc ... It's all back. You even get to see Oracle this time, thanks to a new holographic display screen that hovers over Batman's arm when he contacts her. Gliding through the city will take you much further than before, and at greater speeds, and for the first time, you'll be able to use other gadgets while in mid-air. You can also create a perch point instantly, anywhere, using the zipline gun.

Batman is still just as dangerous and brutal a melee fighter as ever, but he's got some sweet new tricks up his sleeve. That fancy new metallic Batsuit enables him to do things he was never capable of before, like multiple takedowns and new kinds of kill streak chains. You can chain takedowns better than ever before thanks to loosened restrictions on what's required to maintain a streak.

The Arkham games have never been just about the fighting (well, Arkham Origins was, but as we noted before, Rocksteady didn't make that one). Detective work still makes up a significant portion of the game, and there will be the usual rewards for exploration. A new minigame lets Batman hack into various Gotham systems that use your controller's rumble function as a major element.

Where You'll Go

The Gotham City depicted in Batman: Arkham Knight, which is fully playable, is a brand new environment five times the size of Arkham City (you won't revisit many locations from Arkham City or Origins). This sector of Gotham is divided into three islands, each with numerous districts.

Districts have distinct appearances this time, so the city won't all look the same. The emphasis is on detail, so expect dense eye candy and loads of stuff to do. In one interview, a Rocksteady developer noted that there are more polygons on a single character in Arkham Knight than the number of polygons that made up the entire Arkham Asylum environment in the first game.

Expect much wider streets to accommodate the Batmobile, as well as taller buildings to glide around and above. Also, thanks to the new-generation consoles, you'll see huge numbers of criminals on the ground at the same time instead of merely a handful. Another benefit of the new technology is that when you enter one of Gotham's buildings, it happens seamlessly. No more loading screens!

Gotham boasts all of the structures you'd expect to find, like the police headquarters, shipping yards, businesses, apartments, churches, banks and so on. Oracle has moved her operation to the massive Clock Tower in the heart of the city, which is also Batman's HQ in the game thanks to an adjacent Batcave.

Traversing the islands won't be as simple as picking up the controller and driving or gliding around, however — not at first. The Arkham Knight has placed checkpoints throughout the city intended to prevent Batman from slipping through his grasp. Is that a hint of tower defense we're sensing in the takedown missions you'll undertake to destroy the checkpoints and gain access to more of the city?

A Harley Quinn-centric DLC pack will send you to Nightwing's hometown of Blüdhaven for an attack on the local police station.

Anything Else?

There's so much more that we don't have room to get to it all here. But here a few more tidbits.

• Aside from Batman, both Harley Quinn and Red Hood, aka Jason Todd, will be playable characters via pre-order bonuses.

Custom skins will be available for Batman, and the Batmobile gets in on the act, too.

• Arkham Knight is the first game in the series to be Rated M for mature.

• There's no multiplayer.

• There are huge passenger blimps flying above Gotham at all times. Blimps!

Batman: Arkham Knight arrives for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on June 23, 2015.

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