What Can We Expect From a Silver Age Batman: Arkham Game?
We know the next Batman: Arkham is coming. Time Warner has said that Rocksteady's next Batman game is on track hit stores in 2013. Unfortunately, we've also heard that we won't be getting any more information about it for at least two months.
Since we’re not due anymore information for some time now, we’ve seemingly been left to rely on rumors for the next Batman Arkham game. For better or worse, those murmuring have indicated that ditch the series gritty look, for an aesthetic inspired by DC's "Silver Age" of comics. Variety reports that the new game may be a prequel, including Batman's first encounters with some of DC's character icons, including Aquaman, Superman, and the Joker. The "wholesome" silver age version of the caped crusader be a major change for the series: In fact, it's almost the exact opposite of everything that made the first two Arkham games. If that's the case, though, what could we even expect from a Silver Age-themed Batman title?
To date, Batman games have generally capitalized on the well-known history of the character. As one of the most recognizable figures in comics, let alone fiction, his origin is well known. Using a new approach to the character could allow developer Rocksteady a little more creative freedom. Without Arkham as a backdrop, it's possible that gamers may finally be cut loose, and get to explore Gotham as a whole, instead of being limited to the grounds of Arkham Asylum, or its upgraded big brother, Arkham City.
On the subject of “grit,” it's possible that a concession could be reached, which is to say, still silver age, but still good n' gritty. It’s important to realize that while the Silver Age may seem like a more wholesome time in the vigilante's history, it was during this time period that things actually took a turn in the comics, and started to get a bit dark. Joker became increasingly violent, Dick Grayson left his role as Robin to become Nightwing, and Ra's Al Ghul entered the mythology.
If they wanted to develop a story based direct on a comic arc, using Frank Miller's Batman: Year One as a narrative basis could keep the series gritty style in check. There's potential to explore Bruce's first foray into crime fighting, and maybe even allow the developer to give their own unique twist on it. At the very least, it could make for a great tutorial.
Going back to his crime fighting cohorts, this opens up the game for more as far as different missions, DLC, and replayability for days, or even said superheroes in their own spin-off titles. After suffering the same fate as the Dark Knight until Rocksteady proved that a good Batman game is indeed possible, God knows that both Superman and Aquaman are deserving of a decent game after both of their abysmal outings on the N64. With enough success, it could even segue into the first proper Justice League game.
The options are essentially limitless if done right, but that’s up to the developer. Warner Bros won’t have Rocksteady at the helm this time around, so whoever steps in will have some big shoes to fill. Hopefully we’ll see what Warner Bros has planned around April or May.