So Rocksteady sat down and said, “Every game starring Batman after Sunsoft’s NES game Batman has been crap and even that little slice of platforming goodness was really just Ninja Gaiden with a cape. Let us make a totally sweet game called Batman: Arkham Asylum that mixes chunky fighting, fresh exploration, and a savory blend of story spices to make a ripping stew of righteousness.” They did that. Then they made Batman: Arkham City for a second course, a massive playground that sees an entire borough of Batman’s hometown transformed into a rotting dystopia wherein he fights immortal assassins in a pit of Stygian goo and witnesses the death of his greatest enemy.
It’s kind of hard to top that.
So what’s a studio to do? Make a prequel, naturally. Before you start yawning and fretting about how Rocksteady’s finally going to succumb to Frank Miller worship and make a gritty, grimy Batman: Year One game, take heart! They will do no such thing. They will instead go in the complete opposite direction and revisit Batman’s zany, psychedelic past in a game starring his pals from the Justice League.
Variety reported on Wednesday that Rocksteady will follow both Traveller’s Tales and NetherRealm—behind the recent Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us respectively—in making a game that spotlights both Batman and his pals like Superman and Wonder Woman.
Unlike Injustice or the Arkham titles though, Rocksteady’s new game will be based on the 1950s era Batman and detail his very first meeting with the Joker. The 1950s, or Silver Age for those comic fluent folks, was the weirdest era of Batman comics. This is when the guy ran around with a floating midget with magic powers named Batmite and had a dog in a mask. Since Variety describes the game as “highly stylized,” we can safely assume that Rocksteady is embracing the spirit of the era.
This is the most exciting news to come out about the studio’s plans since Arkham City released. There were rumors that it would be making a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, but honestly that would have been too similar to the Arkham titles in tone and structure. A Silver Age Batman game with Justice League characters provides for such a dramatic shift in aesthetic and play style that the game can’t help but be wildly different than its predecessors.
Cheers to Rocksteady for not resting on its laurels and just pumping out the same game over and over.