I don’t know when we’ll see another Batman game once Arkham Knight wraps up. But I also doubt that Warner Bros. Interactive will retire such a franchise once Rocksteady departs. Because there’s still plenty to mine out of the Batman mythos, and I’d bet my left Bat-testicle that we’ll see a new game unveiled within the next couple of years. And maybe, one of them can borrow story elements from some legendary Batman tales.
Knightfall/ Knight Quest/Knights End
Say what you want about DC’s massive Batman event, but if you can remember it, then the years-long storyline certainly did its job. It’s a fairly simple plot: Bane arrives in Gotham, busts every inmate out of Arkham Asylum and runs Batman ragged until he’s ripe enough to have his spine re-adjusted, in much the same way that a chiropracter quacks you out of cash in order to sublimate the problems out of your vertebrae.
From there, it only got worse of course. Bruce Wayne was wheelchair-bound, and a replacement Batman was needed. And clearly Wayne must have been on a ton of meds, because hiring an unstable vigilante who had been subliminally programmed to kick ass by a nutso religious organisation that didn’t believe in mercy, may not have been a great idea.
From there, the story saw Wayne depart Gotham for shenanigans across the pond that involved rescuing his doctor who happened to be the perfect instrument for psychic assassinations (the 1990s were weird), before coming back to retrain his healed body so that he could reclaim his identity from stand-in Batman Jean-Paul Valley, who had gone off the deep end.
But hell, imagine this storyline done properly, over several games. One minute you’re playing as the original Batman, the next you’re standing in the armour of a new Batman who ends up throwing an entire train at Bane as he establishes his dominance, before you have to decide which Batman is best for Gotham City. This needs to be made, like right freakin’ now.
The Court of Owls
Here’s the thing about Batman: He genuinely believes that Gotham is his to protect and guard. But he’s not the only legend of Gotham, because the Court of Owls predates the Batman by centuries. An enigmatic society of movers and shakers, the Court of Owls has guided Gotham and ruled it in shadows since it was formed. And they weren’t too happy to have to realise that a new vigilante on the block was making life difficult for them, as they unleashed their ferocious assassins on the Batman.
And that’d make for an interesting game. Imagine a Gotham City where any corner could hide a Talon fighter, an opponent who was seriously deadly and could put up a fight. Now imagine having to deal with dozens of them at a time, before unleashing everything in the bat-cave arsenal in order to stop the Court of Owls once and for all.
I’d play that.
No Man’s Land
The Batman Arkham games have always been about character. But the most overlooked character in the games, has been Gotham City itself. A gothic and monumental beast, shaping the design and flow of a part of that city is what helped make Arkham City such a worthy sequel. But what if Gotham changed overnight? That’s the premise of the No Man’s Land story-arc, which saw the city hit with a massive earthquake.
Ruined, broken and beyond repair, the US government decided to merely classify the area as inhabitable and leave any survivors to fend for themselves. And over a year inside that DMZ, the Batman and his allies had to start from scratch, scrounging for supplies and working without a massive amount of resources in order to fight crime.
So imagine that. Imagine having all the skill, but a limit on gadgets, while dealing with several factions within the Gotham DMZ. Survival games are still all the rage these days. Adding some Batman flavour to a ravaged Gotham would make for a killer combo.
The Return of Bruce Wayne
Final Crisis has plenty of critics, and I don’t blame them. But as confusing and messy as that event was, I still loved it. It’s a series that saw the Batman die. Sort of. Hit with the Omega Sanction beams of dark god Darkseid, Batman was catapulted through various eras, from the dawn of modern man in the stone age through to the wild west and the seedy post-World War 2 era of dives and mysteries in the noirish 1950s. The catch here though, was that Batman would die in each era, be reborn and gather more Omega Energy until he turned into a reality-destroying human bomb.
It’s essentially Batman: Quantum Leap. That, and I’d really like an excuse to play as Pirate Batman.
The Dark Knight Returns
I think just about everybody is familiar with this series. It’s an older Batman, fresh out of retirement and ready to take back Gotham City from a new generation of gangs and monsters. Of course, there’s only one thing standing in his way at the end of this massive saga, and that happens to be a government-sanctioned Superman.
But I’d like to play a game where Batman operates more as a human tank of justice and destruction, than a nimble acrobat. An older Batman, with heavier fists and a heavier heart in a Gotham City that has left him behind. Plus, Batman V Superman tie-in! Press A to ask Superman if he bleeds!
Yeah, I know. There’s already an Injustice video game, that saw Mortal Kombat developers NetherRealm pit DC’s mightiest against one another. But out of that game, was born one of the finest comic books of the decade. The Injustice comics filled in the gaps between the destruction of Metropolis and Superman’s descent into tyrannical madness. It’s a five-year saga, that has only just wrapped up chronicling the third year of Superman’s takeover.
And every step of the way, Batman has been there to oppose him. It’s been a massive losing battle however, as every tactic and trick in the Bat-arsenal has been exhausted and then some. But it’s a tale that is worth telling, and the kind of prequel that a fantastic game and an even better comic book series deserves to have done right.
Vampire Batman. ‘Nuff said.
Last Updated: April 22, 2015