We look at how the New Rocksteady DC Game could be even better than Arkham Knight…
Even in a year overflowing with great games, Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight has stood out as one of the best of the year. Yes, the Batmobile sections can get a little monotonous, and the big twist about the Arkham Knight’s identity was something most Batman fans could see coming from a mile away, but the game still packed some of the best combat, graphics, and voice acting we’ve yet seen on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Let’s not talk about that PC version though.
Arkham Knight is supposedly Rocksteady’s last Batman game, but it’s definitely not the last game from a developer that’s received so much critical acclaim in recent years. There are hints throughout Arkham Knight that Rocksteady might be tackling another DC character soon, and along with recent confirmation that Warner Bros. Montreal, which handled Arkham: Origins, is hiring for two more DC games, it’s possible that we could be seeing adaptations based on some of these characters very soon.
The Arrow TV series took a character who had long been something of a joke in comics and turned him into one of best serious heroes on television. Arrow could also star in a great game similar to Arkham Knight. Imagine the basic combat and stealth of the Batman games mixed with scurrying up buildings to target enemies with your bow. There’s not really anything else out there quite like that. The only reason this game may not would happen would be that Warner Bros. and DC want to focus more on their movie properties.
3. Suicide Squad
Rocksteady experimented with letting gamers play as villains in DLC throughout the Arkham games. Various challenge maps put players in control of the Joker, Scarecrow, and Catwoman, but the developer never really went all-out with what it’s like to the be bad guy. If Rocksteady were to make a game based on the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, it could fully explore what it means to be the villain, with more brutal combat and gunplay. Batman’s “no kill” rule can really get in the way of a good time. Plus, it would be really satisfying to take on the Dark Knight in a final boss fight after playing as him through the four previous games.
Rocksteady really likes to mess with players a bit by dropping hints about what’s coming up next in its games. The first Batman game in its series, Arkham Asylum, featured a secret room with blueprints for Arkham City, the setting of the second game. And Arkham City straight up shows you the final scene in the game midway through. Those are somewhat subtle hints though. On the other hand, Arkham Knight practically hits you over the head with a kryptonite hammer the whole game while repeatedly yelling, “HEY, WE’RE TOTALLY MAKING A SUPERMAN GAME NEXT!” The city is littered with billboards about Metropolis. As you stalk thugs from the shadows, they’ll make subtle references to Superman. Lex Luthor even leaves a message on Bruce Wayne’s answering machine.
As iconic as Superman is, he’s never starred in an even halfway decent game. Those who suffered through the infamously bad Nintendo 64 game still suffer from flashbacks. Batman’s gaming reputation was almost as bad before Arkham Asylum, so if any developer can make Superman relevant, it would be Rocksteady. Of course, it almost seems too obvious that Rocksteady wants everyone to think they’re working on a Superman game. Maybe it’s to take the focus off what they really have in the pipeline…
1. Justice League
So Warner Bros. has a small, independent DC comic book movie coming out next year that you might have heard about. I think it’s called Pointy Ear Guy vs. Ultra Boy or something.
Besides those two, the movie is set to feature Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. It’s no secret that Warner Bros. wants Batman vs. Superman to launch a full DC Cinematic Universe and a two-part Justice League movie. But with the first Justice League movie still more than three years away, what would be a better way to keep these characters at the forefront of nerd culture than a big-budget video game? DC is badly trailing Marvel in terms of quality movies at this point, but Marvel has yet to capitalize on its success with a great movie-based video game. There was an Avengers game in development at one point, but it was cancelled before release.
It’s not even that Rocksteady needs to make a tie in game with Justice League or any of the other picks on this list. (And the phrase “tie in game” still makes most gamers shudder.) Rocksteady got a lot of mileage out of making Batman games coming out the same time Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was. The two had nothing to do with each other, but it sparked lots of debate about who had the better version of Batman, and in that debate everybody won. Giving Rocksteady the freedom to do their own take on the Justice League could lead to another revolutionary game.