What Will be the Next Batman Video Game?
Rocksteady has slithered their dark cowls back into the shadows since Batman: Arkham Knight’s release in 2015. After two years, should we expect them to make an appearance at this weekend’s E3 press conference?
It’s entirely possible. While their development cycles usually span 3 to 4 years, they have participated in early announcements before. Arkham Knight was announced 15 months before its release, so it’s not unlikely that we receive the typical CG cutscene announcing their latest game. But the question remains as to whether or not their next project is an Arkham game or not. In their press interviews, devs suggested that this will be their last Batman-centered game, though Rocksteady’s marketing has been less than honest about the details of their projects before (cough, Jason Todd, cough).
There’s also the popular theory that they will continue to work in the Arkamverse, just not with Bruce Wayne. They could remain in the Bat-family with Dick Grayson or Tim Drake taking on the lead role, or they can poke around and see what the other Justice League heroes are up to in this slimy world. I think the latter is more likely, as Rocksteady has been concerned with keeping their games fresh from their first sequel Arkham City. Taking Batman from the claustrophobic Arkham Asylum to the larger Gotham City was their biggest maneuver, and then the addition of the Batmobile tank battles into their “predator then combat” gameplay rotation. The tank battles themselves weren’t bad, but making them a third of the gameplay broke the “Batman-ness” of the world and left fans somewhat tired with it all. Continuing their work with Bruce Wayne-like characters like Robin would be a big obstacle in making something new in the Arkham games. Plus, they’ll be competing with WB Montreal, who seems to have had Batman handed over to them.
It’s more likely that Rocksteady will be doing something new. Fans have been hoping for a new hero, or a cast of heroes, for awhile. Picture Superman shooting across the skyline to punch a baddie the way Batman leaped across a room, or an Arkham game but with Green Arrow’s arsenal of wacky arrow-gadgets. There’s so many options it’s hard to imagine Rocksteady turning away from DC properties altogether.
But even if Rocksteady doesn’t appear until next year’s E3, I’d bank on WB Montreal appearing. Rumors of an Arkham: Insurgency game has been roaming the web, taking place two years after Arkham: Origins but two years before Arkham Asylum. I’ve also heard the tale of a Suicide Squad game and a Damian Wayne game. The more these rumors crop up the harder it is to put any faith in any of them. But it has been over four years since their last outing, and they can’t announce their game the same year as Rocksteady in 2018.
What do you think? Will either of them make an appearance? If so, what will they be bringing with them? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me at @chadmwilson