The session opened with the same information we've heard in previous demos. It's Christmastime in Gotham City and the Black Mask has put out a $50 million hit on a brand-new vigilante known as Batman. Batman's been terrorizing the mob for nearly two years now, showing the Falcones and Maronis of Gotham that they're not untouchable. Eight assassins have decided to take up Black Mask's offer and they'll each be taking a shot at Batman over Christmas Eve.
Batman's been doing particularly well at it so far, but things will definitely change when the assassins come to town. Beating up mob bosses is one thing, but taking on the likes of Bane or Anarky or Deathstroke will require Batman to up his game substantially. The panel also revealed that a villain would put Batman through another psychedelic sequence like we saw from Scarecrow and the Mad Hatter in the previous two games.
Another fun surprise was the first ever announcement of a new assassin, Copperhead. Based loosely on the comic character of the same name, this Copperhead is a female master of martial arts who uses poison and outrageous fighting and acrobatic ability to take on our hero. In the exclusive Comic Con trailer (see above), Copperhead escapes from her handcuffs during an interrogation and then proceeds to battle Batman using her poison claws. The character is so varied that WB had to use three different performers for the motion capture, including a martial artist and a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.
Players who finish Arkham Origins but still want more will be served by Blackgate, the new handheld title that continues the story of the console game. Featuring new characters and Metroidvania-style gameplay, Blackgate will move players beyond the events of Arkham Origins.
As the panel drew to a close, the team also revealed several of the new skins for the game. In addition to the classic Adam West-era and Knightfall skins, both of which are exclusive to the PlayStation 3, the game will also include what's being called the Worst Nightmare skin, which depicts Batman as the terrifying mythic figure he'd hoped to create in the minds of criminals, a superstitious and cowardly lot. If you remember the way Batman looked to the gas victims in the first Nolan film, you'll have a sense of just how creepy this skin will be.
While gamers were a bit nervous about the transition from Rocksteady to Warner Bros. Montreal, it seems that the game is in excellent hands.