What We Want From The Next Batman Arkham Game
Batman Day happened over the past weekend; Batman Day is a day that celebrates one of the most popular superheroes in the world. A common thing that happened in many major cities is that the Bat-Signal, the iconic calling call of Batman, is flashed onto a building.
WB Games Montréal, the developers for Batman: Arkham Origins, send out a tweet on Batman Day on their official Twitter. This was the first tweet they ever posted in four years. On the tweet, the company shared footage of the Bat-Signal at Montreal. However, the image of the Bat-Signal briefly changes into a series of other images and logos. Fans were able to point out that one of the images is a demon head, which may be a hint towards the League of Assassins.
While no new Batman game was confirmed, the footage seems to strongly imply that WB Games Montréal is working on a new kind of Batman game. Speculation points towards Sony’s State of Play being the first time that this new Batman game could potentially be announced.
Arkham Origins is part of the Batman: Arkham video games. The first two entries of the series, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, are often hailed as some of the best superheroes video games ever. Arkham Origins serves as a prequel, and Arkham Knight served as the end of the original trilogy. However, both of those games received decidedly more mix reviews.
With a new game possibly on the horizon, we have a list of things that we think WB Games Montréal can do to make the next Batman: Arkham the best one yet.
What We Want From The Next Batman Arkham Game
Less Focus On Batmobile, And Add-In More Vehicles
If there was one major gameplay criticism towards Arkham Knight, it is the fact that most of the gameplay centered on the Batmobile. Being able to drive the Batmobile was the brand new mechanic that Arkham Knight game introduced, and it was initially met with a lot of fan anticipation. That’s until gamers finally got to play the game, and realized that most of the game required you to be in the Batmobile.
Majority of the side-missions and puzzles requires you to use the Batmobile, and most of the story focus missions also demand you use the vehicle to complete them. The controls for Batmobile were fine; they were pretty good, but it gets tedious after a while. We understand that Rocksteady Studios, the developers of the original trilogy of games, wanted to differentiate Arkham Knight with the previous two games. They focused too much on the Batmobile.
As we mentioned, the Batmobile controls well. It isn’t a bad idea to keep the vehicle in a new Batman game; it is just that focus of the game shouldn’t just be about the Batmobile. Let us use other bat-vehicles, like the Batplane.
Don’t Repeat The Arkham Knight Mystery
When Arkham Knight was first announced, Rocksteady put a lot of effort with the mystery of who is the Arkham Knight. Rocksteady claimed that the Arkham Knight was a brand new character that had a grudge against Batman. The Knight’s story was eerily similar to that of Jason Todd from the comics. Jason Todd was Batman’s second Robin, who was brutally murdered by the Joker. He was then resurrected and became an anti-hero called the Red Hood.
The developers Rocksteady denied that the Arkham Knight was going to be Jason Todd in the lead up to the game’s release. In the end, it turns that the Knight was Jason Todd after all, with his story in the game being almost exactly like it was in the comics. The only difference was that instead of becoming the Red Hood, he ends up being the Arkham Knight, and works for Scarecrow.
Arkham Knight’s role in the game is overall superficial; he is just an overhyped henchman with no real significant role in the game. He only exists so that the third game in the Arkham trilogy can still be called Arkham something. If Rocksteady weren’t so keen on keeping the mystery of the Arkham Knight, and not straight-up lie about it, it wouldn’t have been so bad. However, because they did lie, because they did hype him up so much, the whole Arkham Knight character ended up being a lame-duck rather than the cool new character that they were trying to do.
Side note, the comics very recently had their version of the Arkham Knight, which turned out to be Astrid Arkham. She is descendant of Amadeus Arkham, the founder of the Arkham Asylum. Her Arkham Knight moniker makes way more sense than Jason Todd’s reason in the game, which honestly made no sense (why did he call himself in the Arkham Knight in the game?).
Add The Court Of Owls
The Courts of Owls are a recent edition to Batman’s rogue's gallery. They are a secret organization that operates in Gotham and have existed longer than Batman has been around. They work in the shadows, pulling Gotham’s strings since almost the beginning. They are known for their creepy owl masks and their Talons, special enforcers who execute anyone for the Court.
Not only are they cool addition to the Batman mythos, one of the creators for the Court of Owls suggests they are coming to Montréal’s new Batman game. When Montréal initially sends out their tweet showing the Bat-Signal, Scott Snyder, the writer for the original Court of Owls storyline, re-tweeted and mentions the Court. The tweet has since been deleted, but add in the potential Leagues of Assassin reference in the Bat-Signal, it appears that the most significant criminal organizations of Gotham may have a significant role in this upcoming game.
It’s time that the Batman games start adding new blood, and the Court of Owls are some of the best new characters in the last decade. They are an enemy that goes beyond Batman, and they feel eternal. Facing against them is almost as if you are fighting against all of Gotham. There’s a lot of potential for a game with the Court of Owls.
Finally, Move On From The Joker
The Batman and Joker conflicted was the primary focal point in the original Arkham trilogy. The characters’ relationship reached the tipping point at the end of Arkham City, where Joker finally succumbs to the Titan formula and dies in front of Batman. The hero than carries Joker’s body out of Arkham City delivers it to the police and walks away.
It’s a beautifully constructed scene and would have been an adequate way to end the Batman and Joker conflict. Though the Joker would appear in Arkham Origins, the game was a prequel, so it made sense. With Joker still dead in the current timeline, it was time for another villain to step up and become the main villain for the third installment of the Arkham trilogy.
Scarecrow was the natural choice to be the main antagonist for Arkham Knight. His fear-based levels in Arkham Asylum were one of the best parts of the game, and his noticeable absence in Arkham City only build-up to his potential return in the third game. Add in a few very creepy Easter Eggs that foreshadow Scarecrow’s return; it only made sense for him to take over where the Joker left off.
With that said though, Rocksteady couldn’t resist bringing back the Joker for the final part of their trilogy. Appearing throughout Arkham Knight as an illusion to Batman, the Joker’s presence pretty much overshadows the other major villains of the game. Scarecrow, despite arguably being the main villain of the game, comes off more like a second fiddle. Rather than the last conflict of the game focus on Batman facing against Scarecrow, it instead focuses on Batman overcoming the Joker again.
While it may have been strange to not have the Joker at all in Arkham Knight, his presence shouldn’t take away the focus on the main villains. The Joker shouldn’t have stolen the game away from Scarecrow at the end, and the whole inner conflict between Batman and Joker wasn’t as effective as it was in Arkham Asylum and City.
The Joker is Batman’s number one nemesis, so he will always be a big part in the Batman mythos. Arkham City ended their whole conflict in such a beautiful way that they should have just left it at that. If this new Batman game is true, then we hope they can finally move on from the Joker and focus on Batman’s other enemies.