If rumors are to be believed , Warner Bros. had a pretty big announcement to make during E3 this year. Namely, a new Batman title from their Montreal studio – the same one behind Batman: Arkham Origins.
Of course, E3 isn’t happening this year, but word has it that the announcement is still very much on the schedule.
Rocksteady, the studio who brought us Arkham titles Asylum through Knight, has already stated that their next project won’t be another title in the series – although it’s supposedly DC Comics related.
And that’s probably for the best.
While Arkham Asylum was the breath of fresh air the character needed when it came to video game adaptations, and Arkham City was a certified classic, Knight was… well, it wasn’t bad.
But it clearly showed that the studio was ready to move on from the character. It was a fitting end to the series, and honestly, it should be left at that.
Montreal’s Arkham Origins was a perfectly serviceable side game – it took the mechanics and world of the first games and packaged them into something that was both a lot of fun and a good appetizer until Knight came out. So who better to hand the Batman franchise over to, right?
In the immortal words of Lee Corso, “not so fast, my friend.”
While Origins was a perfectly fine game, it clearly wasn’t on the level of City – or even Asylum, for that matter.
That could be due to the smaller budget the studio had to work with compared to the Rocksteady titles, or an unfamiliarity with the mechanics compared to the studio that created them. Who knows? But my gut is telling me not to put too much faith in them at this point.
The bigger issue is, why another Batman game? Hold on, let me clarify that. Why another Batman: Arkham game?
Knight ended on an ambiguous, but ultimately satisfying, note. Any game Montreal releases would most likely be set before those events. Is Warner Bros. really going to invest a ton of money into an Arkham game from their secondary studio just to tell another Batman story?
The answer is, obviously, of course they are! People will buy it. I’ll buy it. You’ll buy it. Let’s not kid ourselves. But how long until they’re churning these games out yearly, diluting the quality of them?
I get it. Batman has 80 years of comic book history to mine for great video game scenarios. The rumored title we’re talking about will supposedly be based on the Court of Owls storyline. But that doesn’t mean they have to be turned into games!
Maybe let’s let the character rest a bit, see what Rocksteady has planned, and take it from there.