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Batman: Arkham Knight - Everything You Need to Know

It's time to don the cape and cowl, or just pick up a controller, and bring justice to Gotham City once and for all. Batman: Arkham Knight is the grand finale in the beloved superhero action series, delivering a moody and twisted story, multiple playable characters, and the ability to finally hop in the Batmobile and bring down Gotham's goons on four wheels. Arkham Knight is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC; here's everything you need to know before you dive in.

What's the story so far?

Warning: Spoilers for Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City will follow!

Batman: Arkham Knight is the finale of the Arkham trilogy, and takes place a year after the events of 2011's Arkham City. The first two games centered on Batman's pursuit of the Joker, first, in the maddening walls of the Arkham Asylum facility, and later in the more sprawling Arkham City, an enclosed series of slums that houses the area's criminals.

MORE: Arkham Knight Review Roundup: Best Batman Ever?

Once the Joker met his demise at the end of Arkham City, Gotham finally got less chaotic for a little while. But this illusion of safety has given previously defeated baddies such as Two-Face, Penguin and Harley Quinn an opportunity to team up for one purpose: to kill Batman.

If that's not enough for Mr. Wayne to worry about, the Scarecrow eventually infects Gotham City with a new brand of his terrifying fear toxin that causes all of the city's civilians to evacuate. With Gotham emptied of everyone but villains — including the Arkham Knight, a masked, mysterious antagonist made just for this game — Batman and his allies face their toughest challenge yet.

What's new in Batman: Arkham Knight?

Arkham Knight adds new layers to the series' tried-and-true melee combat, most notably the ability to finally drive the iconic Batmobile. Batman's signature speeder isn't just a means of getting around in the game; you'll also be able to turn it into a tank and launch immobilizing rockets at bad guys, or leap out of it while driving, to seamlessly transition into hand-to-hand fighting. The Batmobile will be able to crush most environmental obstacles in its way, and there will be dedicated in-game racetracks that test your skill with the vehicle.

Even when you're not in Batman's whip, there's plenty of new stuff to do. Arkham Knight heralds the launch of a new Dual Play system, which lets you take control of Nightwing, Robin or Catwoman whenever they're fighting by your side. You can still keep your combo meter going when flipping between characters, and can even perform extra-flashy takedowns in which Batman and one of his sidekicks double-team an adversary.

Holy DLC, Batman! How much add-on content is there?

While the core Arkham Knight game promises a meaty experience for your $60, the amount of special editions and separate downloadable content is kind of overwhelming. There's a Harley Quinn story pack that was given to anyone who pre-ordered the game, as well as a Red Hood story pack that was exclusive to those who pre-ordered at GameStop. Various in-game upgrades, Batmobile skins and Batman costumes were available to those who pre-ordered the game from different retailers. But, given the series' history, it's safe to expect all of the aforementioned content to eventually go on sale for anyone who owns the game.

Don't worry, there's plenty else you can buy if spending $60 on a game isn't enough for you. The game's $99 Limited Edition has a SteelBook case with an art book, an Arkham Knight comic, a costume pack and a cool-looking Batman statue. The hilariously titled Serious Edition is currently listed on Amazon for $69, and includes an in-game skin based on Batman's first appearance, and a limited-edition Arkham Asylum hardcover graphic novel.

If even those extras aren't enough to satiate your Bat-lust, you can buy a Season Pass add-on that will give you access to upcoming content, for a whopping $40. For that price tag, you're promised a story expansion that lets you play as Batgirl, new Season of Infamy missions starring famous Batman villains, Gotham City Stories content that lets you control Batman's allies, and additional skins, Batmobiles and challenge maps. Phew.

Our advice? Pick up the base game and see how much you like it before paying for the equivalent of a whole other game for some extras.

Are there any known issues with the game?

Unfortunately, users with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards are reporting serious issues with the PC version of Arkham Knight. The game's 3,000-plus user reviews on Steam are mostly negative, and players are citing crashes, a frame rate that's locked at 30 fps and general performance issues as the reasons for their bad reviews. Developer Rocksteady promises that it's working on a fix, but we'd hold out on the PC version of Arkham Knight for now.

As of this writing, there are no known major issues for the Xbox One or PS4 versions of the game.

What are the system requirements for PC?

If you are willing to brave the wilds and play Arkham Knight on your computer, here's what you'll need (via Steam):

MINIMUM:

OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)

Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz

Memory: 6 GB RAM

Graphics: Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2 GB Memory Minimum) | AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3 GB Memory Minimum)

DirectX: Version 11

Network: Broadband Internet connection

Hard Drive: 45 GB available space

RECOMMENDED:

OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)

Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 - 3 GB Memory Recommended

DirectX: Version 11

Network: Broadband Internet connection

Hard Drive: 55 GB available space

Is Arkham Knight any good?

Early reviews of Arkham Knight are positively glowing, with critics citing the ultra-tight combat and faithful depiction of Gotham City as some of the game's highlights. For a thorough assessment on how fun it is to punch Batman's most notorious baddies in the face, stay tuned for our full review of Batman: Arkham Knight.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. When he's not writing about gaming and mobile, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter. Follow Mike at @MikeAndronico. Follow us @TomsGuide, onFacebook and onGoogle+.