He capes. Also, crusades.
BATMAN! Game Informer’s new issue reveals Batman: Arkham Asylum, a bat-chap game from Rocksteady Studios who you may know from (er) not much, but they’re fellow North London boys, so I’ll nod at them respectively. While games like Assasin’s Creed may have hinted how a more open-world Batman game would work, from the very scant information here, it doesn’t appear the way they’re going – Bioshock is namechecked, and the setting of Gotham’s favourite Bedlam implies an intense closed environment. Main interesting info is that its story is co-written by Paul Dini who you’ll know from being the main architect of Batman: The Animated Series. Which is good. Apparently. Formats aren’t mentioned, but I hear down the grapevine they’ll include the PC. Which is good news, as we’re a PC site and all.

The history of Batman and videogame’s a fun one – I suspect an article looking at some of the more oddball, and surpsingly rewarding, approaches could be entertaining. In the meantime though – what would you want to see in a Batman game? Bar tricks with pencils, obv.


  1. dust says:

    I would like a good Batman game.

  2. Brokenbroll says:

    Dini wrote some nice episodes of the series, but Bruce Timm was the real architect of the Batman:The Animated Series. Timm was co-creator with Eric Radomski, and everything, from the overall art style and tone to character design, that was all, or mostly, Bruce Timm.

  3. Requiem says:

    What would I like to see in a Batman game? Oh just off the top of my head I’d like to see.

    Crackdown engine.
    Wayne Manor & Batcave instead of Agency Tower.
    Batmobile, BatBoat, BatBike & BatWing instead of Agency supervehicles.
    Car chases and rooftop pursuits instead of races.
    Batarangs and other gadgets instead of guns plus ability to leave goons tied up rather than kill them.
    Rope swinging and grappling hooks instead of super leaping.
    Hunting for clues instead of orbs.
    Emphasis on puzzle solving rather than combat.
    No orbs!
    Having to figure out upcoming crimes rather than just face down each criminal in their lair.
    Batman’s rogue’s gallery instead of crime bosses.
    Co op with each friend playing Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl and Catwoman.
    Randomly generated crimes (and riddles/jokes) and routinely have the archvillans escape once caught, for never ending gameplay.
    Specialised Batsuits and the ability to change back to Bruce Wayne or wear disguises.

    Hmm I haven’t really been thinking about it since playing Crackdown, really.

  4. dartt says:

    I’d like a minigame where you have to sneak unnoticed in to Commisioner Gordon’s office and suddenly reveal your presence in supercool fashion just as discussion turns to their need to contact you.

    Then there’s the Bruce Wayne minigame where you have to debauch your way across Gotham’s night clubs, maintaining the playboy facade by getting stonking drunk, crashing sports cars and snogging models.

    Oh yeah, and some kind of fighting crime stuff.

  5. cullnean says:

    why name it after my 2nd fave comic book?

    dave mckean art style? i doubt it.

    and on topic bat-crutches after an encounter with bane! also two-face with a pack of tarot cards pissing himself

  6. Ian says:

    Batman in a free-roaming city would be good. Open-world stealth is far more interesting than follow-the-route-we’ve-designed-for-you stealth.

    If done right, obviously.

  7. Dreamhacker says:

    Arkham Asylum? As in the Lovecraftian Arkham? As in literary-masterpiece-being-molested-by-comics?

    Somebody tell me it’s not the same Arkham…

  8. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I have mixed feelings. Batman is one of my favourite comic books characters, but the conversion to videogames has been largely poor for the same reason most other comic book-based videogames are: they design the character around a gameplay model, rather than molding the gameplay around the character. I don’t recall ever seeing a Bats game where he used his detective skills – barring some odd and quirky adventure game in the past which I’m not quite sure what platform it was released on, but it was still pretty meh.

    The things I’d enjoy seeing in a Bats game would likely never be featured, so instead I’ll point out what comic books I’d use as a frame of reference if I was trying to create a fairly good Batman experience: The Dark Knight Returns, Arkham Asylum, The Killing Joke, Death in the Family, and The Long Halloween.

    Here’s why they are good reference material for a Batty game: they develop the character and provide new interpretations without forgetting what it’s all about. The Long Halloween, for instance, chronicles what the latest Batflick did – the war against organized crime, the duality between law and justice, sacrifices we make to reach our goals, the ends that may or may not justify the means. It focused on the lives of Bats, Harvey Dent and Godon in a meaningful way. And it was a stylish noir tale at heart to boot.

    No Bats game ever did that. But if the somewhat above average film can do it, why not a game?

    In part, that’s what’s missing from the games – something that takes into consideration the character’s rogue gallery, his past mistakes, the characters who have come to be on his side over the years, the long path between untrained neophyte to masked vigilante… Sure, we could jot down what we’d like to see in terms of gameplay. But given the character’s reputation and iconic status, shouldn’t it be a given we’d like to see a good use of stealth, close quarter combat, exciting combat against villains, or possibly some playable intimidation sequences or fear inducing antics? While you’re at it, throw in the token vehicule stage. I don’t mind.

    But while I could post large paragraphs depicting stealth or action systems, I’ll leave the design documents to others. What I want is that developers carefully construct a game that “feels” Batman, not just a trite action romp that, were it to replace Gotham’s knight with Superman, Wonder Woman, or Darkseid wearing a pink tutu, it would still be the same, devoid of character as it were.

    I want soul, damnit.

  9. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The Batman series has always had this little nod to Lovecraft’s stories with the Arkham asylum, but other from being a madhouse it’s got nothing to do with the Mythos universe. I think it’s a pretty cool reference.

    Also, there’s some nice Batman Mythos crossovers.

    And the idea that once or twice you have to sneak in on Gordon so you have an effectful entry is pure genius. It could even be the first sneaking tutorial.

  10. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    What I like about Arkham Asylum is how there’s this closed environment where Bats is quite clealry out of his league, trapped with all the demented freaks he put there in the first place, and how his sanity is placed in check by his experiences in there. I’m thinking primarily of the first graphic novel, the one with superb art by Dave McKean, where he’s turned loose inside the asylum and the inmates go after him. Although the story featuring Mr. Zsasz was fun as well.

  11. dartt says:

    Arkham has been part of the Batman universe since 1974. It’s appeared in a lot of other media too.

  12. Sucram says:

    Dave McKean’s art in Arkam Asylum is incredible, do like to think this will take some inspiration from that comic.

  13. Noc says:

    It occurs to me that there should be more Dave McKean in everything. Including videogames.

  14. Hypocee says:

    Rocksteady studios, eh? Ninja Turtles represent!

  15. BatFan says:

    I will cry tears of joy if this game turns out to be good

  16. MeestaNob! says:

    I’d love to see a game based purely on Batman: The Animated Series. That was easily the best Batman EVAH, well, up until the new movies.

    Everything else is fairly meh, I’d probably prefer a comic-based game, based on what ever the best series is. I’m not a comics person myself, but they are pretty imaginative backdrops that would make for an entertaining game.

  17. Willem says:

    Freedom Force mod, tbh.

  18. ape says:

    All I have to say is that Arkham Asylum was one of the best superhero graphic novels I ever read.

  19. Solario says:

    The funny thing about McKean and Arkham Asylum is that Neal Adams was the originally intended artist for it. I love McKean’s stuff, but I think it would have worked quite a bit better to be honest. The original is sort of confusing.

    And yeah, all the things suggested here sounds great. Also: Brooding mini game.

  20. ape says:

    Fair enough, but at the risk of seeming over apologetic, I have to say the confusion was part of the experience.

  21. Saflo says:

    As in literary-masterpiece-being-molested-by-comics?

    Let’s not get carried away.

  22. Ryan says:

    Ooh, I can’t wait for the Maxie Zeus bossfight where you have to dodge his flung poo!

    Big Grant Morrison fan here, but Arkham Asylum…not so much. I like McKean’s work with Neil Gaiman but he made a right mess of Arkham Asylum.

  23. Kitt Basch says:

    (nothing to do with games) Paul Dini’s current run on Detective Comics is absolutely superb. I’d also put money down that Zatanna will make a cameo appearance in the game.

    Dini writing this game = Instant win.

    Although, I’d question his knowledge of C .

    (actual game related bit) The idea of a whole game based on Arkham Asylum is great, but how would you fit the Bat-tank in there? You’ve got to have the token driving section somewhere, especially with the second coolest car/tank thing ever.

  24. GeorgeR says:

    I am excited, but honestly, I remember the last independent game they did (Rise of sin Tsu) and uhm.. yeah.. hopes aren’t going to get that high.