Batman: Arkham City Prequel Set For Silver Age

By Jim Rossignol on July 11th, 2012 at 6:00 pm.


Variety are reporting that the next Batman game will be a prequel to Arkham City set in the 1950s “Silver Era” of DC Comics. They report that a “New, highly stylized title is being developed as a prequel that revolves around Batman’s first meeting with the Joker. It’s based on the Silver Age of DC’s comicbooks from the 1950s when the Caped Crusader teamed with other heroes like Superman and founded the Justice League of America.” I can’t imagine it will be quite like the Silver Era comics, as it seems unlikely that they’ll want to discard contemporary grit for hapless 1950s camp. It could, however, see the game visited with a new visual style, even if the tone remains much the same. It’ll be interesting to see. Man, I need to go back to Gotham, now.

Thanks, Polygon.

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69 Comments »

  1. Auz says:

    Sorry… that’s probably my fault. I’ve been watching the old Batman TV series and suggested on Twitter it might be fun to have the old costumes and sound-effects in Arkham City. My bad.

  2. molluskgonebad says:

    This makes me want to go back and play through the Freedom Force games.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Uppp..just posted basically this myself. Shoulda seen it coming!

  3. TheEndlessGrey says:

    In other news, holy crap The Avengers made a lot of money. Let’s tie in The Justice League with our already popular line of Batman titles.

    • frightlever says:

      Not a fan of cartoons, huh? The Justice League Unlimited cartoon was one of the best Western superhero shows. Bad-tempered Batman and all.

      DC has less control over their characters than Marvel, who are owned by Disney and basically have their own movie studio. DC has sold their rights and putting together a Justice League movie would be problematic – not least because Green Lantern rightfully bombed but mainly because of the different rights-holders and because Batman looks like the awkward handyman standing in the background of the family photo when compared to the rest of the League, who are god-like, and yet he’s the only successful movie franchise in recent years.

      Roll on The Boys movie.

      • Marinetastic says:

        Uh… DC didn’t sell anything, their parent company merged with Warner in the late 60′s.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          True. But while Marvel has full creative control over their movies, DC does not, it’s all handled by Warner.

          • liquidsoap89 says:

            And Warner IS in fact making a Justice League movie.

          • Urthman says:

            This is really kind of backwards. Marvel has sold off movie writes to most of their major characters – they can’t make movies about Spider-Man or the X-Men or Daredevil or the Fantastic Four or the Silver Surfer or Namor or Ghost Rider, so you’ll never see any of these characters mixed up with their Avengers franchise.

            But Warner owns all of the DC characters, so there’s no limits at all to who they could feature in a JLA movie.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Or they got inspired by Lego Batman?

  4. Yargh says:

    on the contrary, it nees to be as camp as possible and full of Biffs and Pows (see Freedom Force). Respect the damned source material!

    • Keymonk says:

      I hope so. I hope so so much. We could use some more camp games.

  5. woodsey says:

    ARKHAM CITY SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

    So instead of doing that really annoying thing in comic books where they make up inter-dimensional universes and whatnot to ignore the fact that they’ve killed characters off, the Arkham games are now just going to do a prequel to avoid it in the first place? Why don’t they just make a game with another damn villain that progresses on from after Arkham City? They hinted at about 5 billion threads for a sequel to follow on from.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      Can’t really be a prequel if it’s set in the 50s, can it? Gotta be an unrelated alternate universe type situation. Otherwise Bruce Wayne would be like 90 years old in the Arkham games.

      • woodsey says:

        I thought it was just set in the ‘Silver Era’, that doesn’t mean it has to be in the 50s. Batman: The Brave and the Bold does the same thing.

        • BatmanBaggins says:

          Ah, I read it a bit wrong and thought it said it was set in the 50s, not that it was being inspired by the 50s comics

    • Kestrel says:

      You’re assuming that character was killed off. Which, of course, he wasn’t. In a game about simple plot twists involving body doubles, it’s a pretty fair assumption the ending involved a plot twist involving a body double.

      • woodsey says:

        Unless their writer is a complete idiot – and I don’t think he is – that’s clearly not going to be the case.

      • timmyvos says:

        Mark Hamill has specifically stated that he’s too old for voice acting and since the Joker really isn’t the same without him, I really doubt he’s gonna come back.

    • DigitalParadox says:

      Arkham City had about a thousand sequels hooks strewn about it. I can only imagine that the actual sequel to that is still getting made in addition to this, lest they make all the Hush fans cry.

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    That sounds wonderful. After arkham city where they explored so much it was hard to follow up on, this might be the right way to go.

    It might also be an opportunity to go for some sort of sensible DRM. that was a joke.

  7. Llewyn says:

    Prequels, sequels, alternative universes, every other superhero under the sun, bring them all on. I don’t care where they go with the franchise so long as they continue with it. Aside from the many other qualities of AA and AC I just find the simple mechanics of playing these games satisfying in a way that so few others can match.

  8. MacTheGeek says:

    If Rocksteady continues its infatuation with SecuROM, I won’t buy this one either.

    • D3xter says:

      Don’t forget Limited Activations, GFWL and DLC…
      There was this pic making the rounds back in the day: http://www.abload.de/img/dzplmgukur.jpg

      The entire Steam forum is also full with GFWL, DLC and Activation issues xD
      http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1280

      • Mollusc Infestation says:

        That pic was pretty much my experience with Arkham Asylum. Except the last bit happened 3 or 4 times in a row, since apparently there was no single cumulative update. Then i fell afoul of the gratuitously encrypted save files and lost access to my saves after doing a clean windows install. I’ve not been able to stomach the idea of buying Arkham City, even though i really fancy it.

        • liquidsoap89 says:

          I’m still not sure why, but I HATED AC. I played AA when it came out and loved it, didn’t play anything else until I finished it (and got all the Riddler trophies). But after about 2-3 hours with AC I just had to stop. I really have no idea why, it’s just more of the same.

          • ArthurBarnhouse says:

            You should try to get to the Catwoman bits. Those are interesting and different, especially climbing. And her combat style is a lot more fast-paced.

      • slerbal says:

        @D3xter: Holy batcow! I was considering picking Arkham City up but thanks to your helpful link I read the steam posts about getting the game to run with the DLC and realised that I would probably stab my computer first. As others have said GFWL GTFO!

        The madness: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2318327

    • Arglebargle says:

      After a couple of major screw ups, I generally write off a company. Rocksteady is written off for me.
      They are perilously close to ‘wouldn’t play them for free’ status.

    • HothMonster says:

      I’m pretty sure Warner Brothers is responsible for those horrible horrible decisions. But I’m right there with you AC gave me too many headaches.

      • Brass_cankles says:

        Possibly true. However, Rocksteady weren’t exactly helpful regarding support when saves started disappearing etc., and they pretty much ignored the community completely for quite some time. Rocksteady might make good games, but their practices in regard to DRM, patch development and community support and feedback are all rather consumer hostile.

    • Kadayi says:

      Grow up

  9. airtekh says:

    As long as Rocksteady are in charge of development, I don’t care what era it’s set in.

    Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have been two of my favourite games of the last few years.

  10. Marinetastic says:

    I’ll get it, but I was hoping they’d do a new IP instead of straight in to a third Batman game.

  11. Bobsy says:

    Not entirely convinced of the validity of all this. Are we sure Variety haven’t got their wires crossed and just assumed that a new Batman game would just be part of the Arkham series? It sounds very out of character for a series that has always been hinting at what it’s going to do in its next chapter.

    I imagine this will be clarifed as a different dev making a different sort of game.

  12. Bharg says:

    This could be fantastic. However I am not sure if It could become as succesful as their other games.

  13. Namey says:

    Ah christ, not Joker again.

    • Keymonk says:

      Joker is the worst Batman villain. There are so many other, more interesting, three-dimensional villains out there. Instead, we’re stuck with dull old joker.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “the worst Batman villain”

        Congratulations on displaying not only your utter ignorance (ever heard of Orca? Or Film Freak?) but also your complete lack of taste. Perhaps overused was the word you were looking for?

        OT: If they are going to camp it up to the max, I sincerely hope to hear many references to the Joker’s boner throughout the game.

        http://www.redshirt.co.uk/media/batmans-greatest-boner/

        • frightlever says:

          I am eagerly awaiting the return of the Joker in the comics.

          Over-exposed, perhaps, but I agree with you – a brilliant villain.

          You may as well say oh yawn not Superman/Batman/Spider-man again… when there are dozens of top-rank superheroes to call on. Where’s Robot Archie’s movie?

    • gwathdring says:

      I love what Mark Hamill does with him in BTAS and AA/AC, but I agree that the inherent potential of the villain and the ways it’s used most often in the comics are both lacking.

  14. TheFlyingWooly says:

    Why doesn’t Batman dance anymore?

  15. RegisteredUser says:

    One could just play “Freedom Force” :P

  16. Totally heterosexual says:

    what

    WHAT

    • Scandalon says:

      WANT

      F.T.F.Y. (As long as they make it campy and w/ bright colors. If shark repellent is confirmed it’s a pre-order for me. And I don’t preorder.

  17. frightlever says:

    I’d rather see “Gadget: Metro City” than this.

    Not that all Silver Age stuff was camp, but most of the superhero stuff was abiding by the comics code at that time and lacks edge.

  18. The First Door says:

    Please, please, please get Adam West to do the voice. After all, nobody messes with Adam We.

  19. TsunamiWombat says:

    Yeah, no way this is true. Give me a confirmation from Rocksteady or GTFO

  20. Henson says:

    Could this be the return of Bat-Baby?

  21. Jason Moyer says:

    As much as I like the B:TAMS vs Tim Burton thing they’ve had going in the first two games, I’d love a new one in the style of the TV show/Brave and the Bold.

    • farlander says:

      Oh, hell yes. I’d love a Bat-game done in the Brave and the Bold style. And I want that Bat-transformobile in it.

  22. Aerothorn says:

    I was just thinking today how much I wanted the sequel to be a Batman Beyond game – not only would you get a (relatively) fresh setting and not have to keep reusing the same villains, but the nature of the batsuit and tools would provide fresh gameplay (jetboots!). Not that I ever thought that would happen. Sigh.

  23. InternetBatman says:

    I’m not really that interested in Silver Age comics, most of them are a little too hokey for my tastes. Unless they’re the Silver Surfer. But that’d be a weird video game, although fun if it was about exploring space.

  24. Servizio says:

    Bit of a spoiler for Arkham City: I thought they were setting up for the sequel to be Scarecrow focused, with him unleashing his fear gas into Gotham city. And I was kinda excited for that, because of how awesome the Scarecrow/Demon’s Chalice bits of the first two games were, and it’d mean they get a chance to refine their whole open world/city mechanics. Something a little less like a playground that the Riddler inexplicably managed to over decorate. Oh well.

  25. Razgovory says:

    I’m betting it’s a prank.

  26. smoke.tetsu says:

    Wouldn’t this be a prequel to either arkham games since it takes place decades before either of them?

  27. Luke says:

    So, sort of like this then?

  28. destroy.all.monsters says:

    Here’s to hoping we see: Kathy Kane – Batwoman, and her sidekick Bat-Girl (the blonde one), Bat Mite, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the Mad Hatter.

    Absolutely must have Space Batman and Aztec Batman. You cannot have authentic 50s Batman without them!

  29. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    No more Arkham City, please. I’m finished with these Batman games until there’s a real open-world Batman: Gotham City game.