Robin Confirmed In Batman: Arkham City

It takes years of drama school to learn to make that shape with your mouth

The three most exciting words in the English language today are “Batman: Arkham City”. It’s a fact. So you should be very interested to know that US game retailer Best Buy yesterday published a listing for Batman: Arkham City touting Robin as an exclusive, downloadable playable character for two challenge maps if you pre-order from them. See the listing for yourself and read my hasty conclusions after the jump.

Here is my conclusion: Maaan this pre-order stuff is getting out of hand.

That said, creating an all new playable character just so that some pre-order customers can play a couple of challenge maps with him doesn’t sound quite right to me. Sure, Batman: Arkham Asylum offered the Joker as a playable character to PS3 owners, but that was with a whopping eight all-new challenge maps. That was a big deal. This sounds like smaller potatoes.

To my mind, the real blow here is that if Robin really is a downloadable, exclusive character then the Boy Wonder won’t feature in the game proper. Boo! I’m going to cheer myself up by watching this tape of Burt Ward auditioning to be in the original series of Batman. He’s gonna do a couple of throws, and a couple of falls.


  1. Ephaelon says:

    Holy exclusive content, Batman!

  2. sicsemperjohn says:

    Clearly the optimistic approach is to assume Robin’s challenge maps are prequel levels and the full game features Nightwing instead!

    OR maybe it’s Jason Todd and the challenge maps end like Portal 2 multiplayer maps!

  3. Antsy says:

    I really dislike this shop exclusive content that is so common these days. If anything it puts me off buying new games until long after their release in order to get the inevitable GOTY editions.

  4. jon_hill987 says:

    “Here is my conclusion: Maaan this pre-order stuff is getting out of hand.”
    It has taken you this long to notice? It has been irritating me since AVP last year. Maybe I’m not tolerant enough…

    Actualy, isn’t this kind of crap bordering on Anti-trust?

  5. Ba5 says:

    Why aren’t there any games based on 1960’s Batman? Surely DC can take a joke?

    • Bhazor says:

      Second that.

      The best part of Batman Arkham Asylum was all the little references to the Batman universe with obscure villains making cameos. Would love if they included the Bats less… dramatic moments in the new game. A banner advertising shark repellent for example, or a dance hall where everyone is doing the Batoosie.

    • tossrStu says:

      Bomb disposal minigame?

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

  6. Unaco says:

    Is this really definite, solid confirmation that Robin will be in Arkham City? I know that Best Buy are listing it on the page, but I’ve seen some of these pre-order exclusive entries talking shite before. Just take the BF3 Physical Warfare pack… on GAME’s page it claims that the weapons/unlocks from the “Back to Karkand” Expansion can be used in the main BF3 game (and not just in the expansion). Quoting…

    “Also features iconic Battlefield 2 behicles, Battlefield 2 weapons to bring back to the base game, new unlocks and persistence…”

    And yet, I haven’t seen that feature mentioned or discussed anywhere else. So is it a definite, or some careful marketing mis-speaking?

    • Tomm says:

      Clearly says “two challenge maps”, don’t expect it to be the main game.

    • Unaco says:

      Where did I mention it being in the main game? Or Challenge maps? All I’m saying is do we take the blurb/description of a 3rd party’s pre-order exclusive content, on that 3rd party’s page, as solid, concrete, definite fact?

  7. Serenegoose says:

    Buy our exclusive pre-order content! Because if you don’t, we won’t be relevant any more!

    Is anybody else reminded of the ‘just don’t look’ song from The Simpsons? (when it was still funny, I feel obliged to say, lest I be mocked for being tragically unhip.)

    • Vandelay says:

      I still love The Simpsons, and don’t care what anyone thinks. Which makes me cool, right?

    • The Dark One says:

      Wait, Vandelay, maybe if you’re truly cool, you don’t need to be told you’re cool.

  8. thegooseking says:

    I immediately wanted to ignore that listing, as I do with anything on the internet that’s ALL IN CAPS.

  9. Ian says:

    Holy rusted metal, Batman.

  10. Notelpats says:

    Robin sucks balls anyway.

    • Scatterbrainpaul says:

      I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that Burt Ward was a porn star after he played Robin. Something like that. I would google it but i’m at work

      Shit, sorry. This was actually meant to be a new post. But I guess it fits quite well under here as well

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Has anyone seen the men’s relaxation video that parodies Adam West’s 60’s Batman? Starring Lexi Belle and Dale Dabone?

      Good stuff.

    • metalangel says:

      Lexi Belle? Sold! I love her gawky grin!

  11. Pike says:

    Putting Robin in an awesome Batman game? Sounds like a pre-order disincentive to me.

  12. Inigo says:

    Wait, which Robin?

  13. Drake Sigar says:

    “The attack happened at sea. C… c for catwoman!”

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      If none of the challenge maps are actually like this I will be extremely disappointed.

  14. Mr_Initials says:

    This is in game footage right?

  15. wodin says:

    Hate Robin….so for me that would put me off buying the game from that source…he has no place in the Batman universe…non whatsoever…

    And yes he was a porn star…

  16. General Frags says:

    One thing I don’t understand with all this pre-order dlc crap is why don’t they put it up for sale a week after release, Rockstar found out the hard way last year with Read Dead Redemption with the ridiculous pre-order stuff there that meant they had to re-release in the goty edition and online, at least with LA Noire they did the sensible thing and put them up for sale after release they even did a wonderful “Rockstar Pass” which meant all owners would get all the dlc (and upcoming ones) for a cheaper than separate price. I just hope the industry learns from this in this year, we don’t want a repeat of the transformers dlc where it went on ebay for $50 for skins!
    Alternatively you could release the content for free after a month or so like Valve did with Left 4 Dead 2.

  17. Cooper says:

    Surely this is all part of the wider pre-order bonus drive to diminish the importance of metacritic (and, therefore games journalism). Both pre-order only bonuses and embargoes-until-release-day serve to diminish the impact of journalism.

    And it’s screwing over consumers not only by limiting access to fun-stuff, depending on where they live & where and they purchase, but also by penalising those who wait for word-of-mouth or reviews from people and places whose views they respect.

    Whether it’s a tiny after-thought such as silly hats or textures, or full-on game modes and special fancy stuff, the mere premise is aginast the best interests of both the critics and consumers, and should be hated more than it is.

    Currently, I can ONLY get to see Tong in the new Deus Ex if I refuse to wait to hear what the hivemind thinks about the game after release. That’s one of a multitude of examples.

    This isn’t just about ‘enticing’ content. the RAGE pre-order gives you the double barreled shotgun. This is an id game! They make the shootiest, hurtiest, heaviest, bestiest shotguns evar… And they’re hiding TWO TIMES THE SHOOTY in a pre-order?

  18. Teddy Leach says:

    Na na na na, na na na na, na na na na, na na na na, Batman!

  19. Judasgoat says:

    If you haven’t been keeping up with the comics, the current Robin (Damien Wayne) is fantastic and hilarious. Bastard child of Talia al Ghul and Bruce Wayne.

    And I don’t mean that in an ironic way.

    link to

    • Jake says:

      Yeah Damien is brilliant.

      I can understand all the Robin hate, but I am pretty sure it all originates from a misconception that Robin is still basically the same as the 1960s Robin or just a running joke, and that most people would change their minds if they actually read the recent comics. Robin is an integral part of the Batman mythos, and Damien especially kicks a lot of arse.

    • Masked Dave says:

      Completely agree. The Robin hate really annoys me as the character is brilliant. You don’t even need to read the comics to see that, just check out the Batman Animated Series or the new Young Justice cartoon. He kicks ass in that.

      Robin is almost as badass as Batman but is actually having fun with it rather than being all angsty and serious all the time.

      Personally I hope this means the character model is already in the game as an NPC or something.

  20. Kerbobotat says:

    Im surpised no one picked up on Quintins double entendre sexual innuendo “Robin confirmed in Batman”

  21. Davie says:

    I’d disagree, and say the three most exciting words in the English language right now are “Sk: Yr Im”, but nonetheless, this has me excited.

    However, pre-order bonuses are the new Day 1 DLC, methinks. Now, instead of making you pay extra immediately or get screwed if you have a used copy, you’re forced to put your trust into a game whose actual quality you don’t know about yet, if you want all the content. Granted, this will probably be an excellent game, but it’s easy to say that before an actual review, and extra content does no good if it’s a disappointing game.

    • shoptroll says:

      Aren’t pre-order bonuses technically Day 1 DLC to begin with?

      What bothers me the most is that this stuff used to be fairly easy to get around. Anyone remember the Black & White retailer exclusive pre-order bonuses? Within a week of release you could get all 4 installers just by poking around FilePlanet. I miss those days now that everything is hog-tied to digital distribution. The downsides of progress I guess :(

      I have a love hate relationship with this stuff anyways. Dragon Age II’s pre-order baiting/incentives/bribes reached point where I no longer cared since I was required to pre-order by an arbitrary date and the whole scheme reeked of a developer trying to pull a fast one. Oddly, had no trouble with pre-ordering Darkspore (for shame!) probably due to good will based on the multiple open betas and Maxis is still a developer I care about for some reason.

      I’m finding it harder to be non-cynical about these things. As the pre-orders add more and more content to the bonuses, it’s feeling more like bribery instead of “thanks for supporting us, here’s this little trinket for the faithful”. I’m at the point where I feel more like I’d rather see the developer hand out a preview build or exclusive beta access instead of limiting content to a select few. Especially when said content is gated behind retail exclusive backroom deals.

      Either that or some guarantee that the content will be available for all as a later DLC package.

  22. DiamondDog says:

    “To my mind, the real blow here is that if Robin really is a downloadable, exclusive character then the Boy Wonder won’t feature in the game proper.”

    No. If they’re keeping Robin out of the main game then that is good news. I don’t want him tacked on to the main story or gameplay in some pointless way. Like some random Robin level. We already have Catwoman in there as a playable character, I wouldn’t want the game to be split three ways between Batman, Robin and Catwoman. Either that or have him as some horribly stupid AI sidekick following you around.

    I just want to be Batman.

  23. Moth Bones says:

    What’s all this Robin-dissing? How many other superheroes can you think of who had Frank Zappa AND Sun Ra make records about them?

    link to
    link to

  24. Rong says:

    As glad I am for them to have him included in the game, this particular content being retailer exclusive is making me pull my hair out.

  25. Calabi says:

    Its like there saying they have no faith in the game. We dont think this game is going to sell very well after its released so lets shovel some shit out that people may want, that should force them to buy it.

    This isnt really a new thing, this is a tactic lots of dodgy companys have been using for years. Make something seem time sensitive and they will very likely buy it.

  26. JackShandy says:

    “The three most exciting words in the English language today are “Batman: Arkham City”.”

    Incorrect. Those would be “Deus”, “Ex”, and “Three”.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      No, those are the words more closely linked to dread and crushing disappointment. I will never forgive PC Gamer for giving Invisible War 90% even though it was a fake Deus Ex game just like Human Revolution is going to be. Everything I have seen and read indicates that the team developing does not understand Deus Ex even after acknowledging that they “didn’t at first” I still believe they don’t. That it is being designed and marketed for the consoles is obvious, it doesn’t matter if the PC version is being developed alongside the ‘real version’ for the consoles; that is the case with almost every port of recent years.

      Only Batman and Bioshock have managed it without being terrible and they still had some casualties (Bioshock’s atrociously low physics refresh rate). A UI adapted for the PC will not change that the level design, length of the missions and overall game will have been done around console game design philosophies, determined by their narrow system resource budgets and gamepads.

      Rant over.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Beef, you haven’t played Human Revolution, have you? Because I have, and you’re wrong.

    • JackShandy says:

      I have been playing Human Revolution for three days almost non-stop. I just discovered a fifth way to deal with the first boss.

      CheefofBeef, please get a new opinion. Yours appears to be broken.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      Guess what? People who played Invisible War before release raved over that too, suckering a lot of people into buying it. It came out and they were wrong. That isn’t to say it was a bad game; but it wasn’t Deus Ex.

      So I really have no idea if you are right or wrong, I accept that. But you showing how sure you are that I am wrong tells me nothing. My opinion is based on what I have seen of the game and the spectacularly disappointing comments made by the developers, as I made clear.

    • JackShandy says:

      Fair enough, Schrödinger, I know it’s impossible to tell what’s going on from the outside. All I can say is that I’ve been inside the box, and from my point of view the cat is very much alive.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      Which *again* is what was said about Invisible War.

      If a development team which by their own admission were ‘confused by the idea of a game where a player might not see a significant part of it’, something for which actually playing the original Deus Ex or even any RPG on the PC would have prepared them for, can manage to make it an actual Deus Ex game: that would be a miracle on par with Michael Bay directing a sequel to Rain Man and winning five Oscars.

    • wodin says:

      Played the Beta of Deus Ex HR…not keen at all….hasn’t wowed me in anyway and is a game I shall not be buying…the first boss (the big meat head) is a nightmare…with hardly any ammo to take him out….however it may turn out OK between now and release…but I doubt it…also the grapics wheren’t upto much at all…(though I don’t have a DX11 card)…

    • KenTWOu says:

      Deus Ex Human Revolution is definitely better PC game than Batman:AA and BioShock. And it’s much better than Invisible War. It has only one major flaw – boss fight from the stealth player point of view.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      Careful, Batman and Bioshock are favourites of mine (ruined physics framerate not withstanding). Maybe Human Revolution will be a better game than they…

      ..but will it be Deus Ex? The words of the developer tell me not. As do ‘boss battles’. I don’t suppose we have the option of ‘kill-words’ or some other way round them either as Deus Ex did for what it had as the closest thing to bosses.

  27. The Pink Ninja says:

    But the important thing is will Steph and Cass be in this game?

  28. Lachlan says:

    @Ba5 – if that’s a serious question, I imagine it’s because the current film franchise is doing the Dark Knight version and making money hand over fist with it.
    If you want the 60s BatCamp, try the quite awesome Freedom Force.

    Edit: Dammit, Reply Fail strikes again!

  29. oceanclub says:

    Not ordering this suits me as I fricking hate Robin.


  30. Urthman says:

    Anyone wondering yesterday how to define “indie”? An indie game studio is one that never has pressure to pull this kind of crap.