The widely anticipated third installment in the Batman: Arkham gaming universe will hit the shelves this fall, according to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Batman: Arkham Origins is slated for an October 25 release for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.

The Arkham Origins installment is in fact a prequel in terms of storyline, being set several years before the events of the first two games in the critically acclaimed franchise: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Players will be introduced to a young, inexperienced Batman who has to go against many of the series’ iconic villains, but also meet and forge relationships with popular characters for the first time.

Batman: Arkham Universe Expands with New Release This Fall

Plot details are scarce so far: on Christmas Eve, eight assassins gather in Gotham City to kill the Bat. Game Informer magazine, which dedicates its next issue to the Arkham Origins game, revealed that the main antagonist is Black Mask, who organizes a city-wide manhunt for the caped crusader. Images released by the magazine also show that Origins will feature DC Comics’ fan favorite antihero/villain Deathstroke, for the first time in an Arkham game.

Unlike the two previous Arkham games, this third installment is not developed by Rocksteady Studios, being created in-house at Warner Bros. Games Montreal instead. However, Origins will stay true to the franchise’s established aesthetic as it will be built around the same customized Unreal engine that Rocksteady used for the Asylum and City episodes. The development team is also making sure fans of the franchise will enjoy the same gameplay techniques they have come to love from the prequels, while getting to handle some surprise Bat gadgets and fighting skills as well.

Warner Bros. will release Arkham Origins together with a handheld title, Arkham Origins Blackgate, for 3DS and PS Vita. Set after the events of Origins, this video game is developed by Armature Studios and is described as an exploration action game in the style of popular series Metroid.

In conclusion, expect an immersive adventure that will appeal both to regular gamers and to hardcore fans of the Dark Knight and the Arkham franchise, giving them the opportunity to meet a younger Batman in an expanded Gotham City setting and a fresh, unique storyline.

[Image via Collider]