When there’s smoke you can usually be sure there is fire, and the smoke signals billowing out of Batman: Arkham City developer Rocksteady Games suggesting that the studio was working on yet another adventure for the caped crusader have turned out to be all too true. What’s more, the premise was even on the money. Going all the way back to July 2012, word was Rocksteady was making a game called Batman: Arkham Origins that delved into the hero’s past, and that game was officially announced on Tuesday morning. The details about the game are markedly different than what was expected, including the style and studio behind it.
Warner Bros. Interactive announced not one but two games on Tuesday. Batman: Arkham Origins will be out on Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PCs on Oct. 25. Like other late generation entries on those consoles such as Tomb Raider and God of War: Ascension, this game is a prequel to Rocksteady’s first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game tracks Batman in Gotham City during his early career when he first gets into the crime fighting business. One villain definitely in the game is the assassin Deathstroke, as confirmed by Game Informer’s cover story on the title.
Game Informer’s story also confirms that Arkham Origins will be the first game in the series not directed by Sefton Hill. In fact, it isn’t the work of Rocksteady Games at all. Creative director Eric Holmes, formerly of Radical Entertainment, is making it at studio Warner Bros. Interactive. Holmes’ notable past works include the PlayStation 2 game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and its spiritual successor, Prototype.
Based on early artwork, the game will maintain the dark, grimy look of the first two games which is a departure from previous rumors. The early leaks surrounding Arkham Origins suggested that the game wouldn’t just go back to the character’s narrative past, but the literal past of Batman comics with a highly stylized look reminiscent of 1950s issues.
Warner Bros. Interactive is banking hard on its DC Universe properties this year between Arkham Origins and Injustice: Gods Among Us. These games will close out the publisher’s time on the current consoles, though. With Rocksteady and Arkham series mastermind Sefton Hill not working on this game, it’s hard not to wonder what they may be cooking up for the PlayStation 4 and Next Xbox that remains unannounced.