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Arkham Knight: Cross-gen games 'feel reined in,' says Rocksteady lead

Single character in new game has same polygon count as 'entire Arkham Asylum environment'

Batman: Arkham Knight developer Rocksteady has said the decision to target new-gen consoles exclusively for the title has allowed it to build "a genuine next-gen game."

Speaking in Game Informer magazine, one senior artist even claimed that some of the game's character models use the same number of polygons as "the whole environment" of Xbox 360 instalment Arkham Asylum.

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Arkham Knight was announced on Tuesday, with plans to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2014.

The game, which runs on an updated version of Rocksteady's modified Unreal Engine, is said to feature a map roughly five times bigger than that of previous game Arkham City.

Loading screens have been eradicated for switching between interiors and exteriors, and at any given time there are "three or four times as many" thugs active in Gotham City compared to the previous game.

Speaking to the publication, game director Sefton Hill said the decision not to release Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Arkham Knight has proved a major factor in achieving its ambitions for the title.

"It's not a challenge to move to next-gen. The real challenge is making sure you're getting the best out of the machines," he said.

"It's easy to get the game running, but it's about, 'what can we do that really pushes those machines?'

"Obviously, you see a lot of games that are cross-gen, and they feel a bit reined in because of that," he added. "Because we were able to make that decision quite early, we were able to be more ambitious with the design and make a real, genuine next-gen game."

Touching specifically on the visuals of the game, lead character artist Albert Feliu said that by opting to target just next-gen consoles, Rocksteady was able to aim for levels of detail comparable to pre-rendered cut-scenes.

According to the GI preview, visual fidelity stretches to raindrops running down Batman's suit and Apex cloth physics realistically simulating the affect of wind on his cape.

"At the beginning, we started making characters that were about three to four times the polygon count and texture sizes of Arkham city," Feliu told the magazine.

"As we kept going with every character we just pushed it more. It's the kind of thing that sounds insane. Like one character is as big as the polygon count of Arkham Asylum, the whole environment."

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