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Rumor: Next Batman Game to be Prequel

/ Jul 22nd, 2012 No Comments

Batman: Arkham City screenshot

Harley Quinn’s Revenge, the final piece of downloadable content for Batman: Arkham City, released about two months ago and fans are beginning to wonder what’s next for the team at Rocksteady. If a report by Variety proves true, the next game from the development studio will have Batman again facing his arch-nemesis, the Joker, in a prequel to the first title.

According to Variety, the latest game will take place during Batman’s “Silver Age.” The next installment of the franchise will be a highly stylized game set in the 1950’s, when Batman had his first encounter with the Joker. Also during that time frame, Batman teamed with Superman and other DC superheroes to form the Justice League. The report by Variety suggested that members of the Justice League will appear in the game but no context or capacity was given.

At this point, this is still an unconfirmed rumor and all readers are advised to take the news with a grain of salt. Before this, the last rumor involving Rocksteady to gain momentum had the studio attached to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles project. Despite that rampant speculation, the rumor turned out to be false. However, this information seems much more substantive given the source and information.

As usually is the case, the rumor only leads to more unanswered questions. How will members of the Justice League be integrated into the game? Will cooperative play be included this time? How will the change of environment affect the gameplay? Will Mark Hamill be returning to voice the Joker? Will Adam West be providing the voice of Batman?

Batman: Arkham City screenshot

It will be interesting to see a fresh take on the Batman franchise from Rocksteady. Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City were both highly regarded by gamers and critics. Batman: Arkham Asylum released in 2009 and won several Game of the Year awards. Batman: Arkham City sold 2 million copies in first week sales when it released in 2011.

Much of the success of the first two Batman titles can be contributed to the dark and gritty feel experienced in the game. A Silver Age theme would feature a much different, more colorful Batman. If it is similar to the 1960’s television show, expect it to include wacky missions and campy lines.

Rocksteady’s Batman games have been a solely single player experience. The addition of the Justice League could hint at a new multiplayer aspect. However, the other DC superheroes could simply be supporting characters Batman meets during the campaign. Either way, Rocksteady faces a difficult task of putting characters with super-human abilities in a human world. Superman is especially problematic to bring to the virtual world, as evidenced by the epic failure Superman 64.

Reinventing the franchise after having such widespread success is a bold and dangerous move by Rocksteady. However, it would also prove that the company is respecting the complete tradition of Batman rather than just the Dark Knight aspect. Time will tell if the risky move can work.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
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