The Batman: Arkham games are amazing Batman games, and amazing games in general. Rumours have been appearing every now and then for a while regarding what the next Arkham game will be. There are rumours that it will be a prequel, as opposed to a sequel- I would prefer a sequel. No matter which way it turns out, I have got a few ideas on how the next Batman game can be better than Arkham Asylum and Arkham City (if that is even possible).
Gotham City as an open world:
In Arkham City, Batman is given a cornered off area of Gotham to roam around. However, the area is not as big as it looks and a lot of the ground is water and untouchable. I would love to see the next Batman game based in the entirety of Gotham City. In Lego Batman 2, players could run around Gotham City and explore, but I feel the next game series could capitalise on the navigation controls present in Arkham City to make traversing the landscape simple yet rewarding. Imagine being able to glide from the top of Wayne Tower all the way down to the street?
All of Arkham City’s levels are based in the sectioned off area of Gotham and Batman can continue the story at any time by going to the building, or area, the mission is set in. In a full Gotham City, players would be able to do exactly the same thing. Think of it as Arkham City, but much bigger. Maybe Batman would have to investigate a theft at a museum. All you have to do is enter the museum, when you are finished exploring Gotham, to continue the main story.
Gotham City could also be a bit like New York City from the recent Spider-Man reboot game (The Amazing Spider-Man: The Game). Dynamic events could occur around the city in real-time. You might be gliding around Gotham and spot a group of thugs trying to mug an innocent woman in Crime Alley. Just land on top of them and start knocking them out with the stylish FreeFlow combat system present in the two Arkham games. Maybe you’ll be in the Bat-mobile and intercept a report on the police radio that a bank robbery is in progress? Just head to the bank and apprehend the criminals. These events could be optional, but if you complete them you might get something like reputation points to turn Batman from a masked vigilante to a hero… the hero Gotham needs, but not the one it deserves.
The Batcave and Wayne Manor would be accessible and will allow Batman to equip items, change suits, and even analyse any evidence he finds around Gotham.
Having Gotham City as a playground would allow the developers to include so much stuff that fans would love, including many more Riddler trophies.
The Bat-family as playable characters:
In Arkham City, you can play as Batman, Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing. However, Robin can only be played in a separate, shorter campaign, and Nightwing can only be used in the challenge maps. I would love to be able to use all of the Bat-family in the next Arkham Game. All the characters would play differently and would require a different strategy in combat. I would not be against Barbara Gordon becoming Batgirl again, either, so maybe a prequel is best seeing as she is Oracle in Arkham City.
Maybe the other Bats would not play key roles in the main story, but I think fans would love it if they could control all the Bats in an open world Gotham City.
Another new, original story:
In Arkham City, the writer, Paul Dini, played with the idea that Batman and the Joker can not survive without each other. He took the idea figuratively and literally. I liked this original story that explored the relationship between Batman and Joker. For the next Arkham Game, I want the writer (who will not be Dini) to find another element of the Dark Knight and explore it. Maybe they could include the Bat family in the story and address the notion that Batman does not want help, but at times needs it. It would be a good way to be able to include the Bat family as characters (like I discussed before).
Thanks to the events of Arkham City (that is, what happened at the end of the game- before the DLC), a new arch-enemy is needed for Batman. The new story could lay the foundation for this enemy and create a new legacy in the history of Batman.
More time as Bruce Wayne:
At the start of Arkham City, players are given control of Bruce Wayne as Bruce Wayne, not Batman. The first 20 minutes or so show Bruce Wayne’s vulnerability when he is not Batman. Assuming everything I have written about is in the next game, I think Gotham City is the perfect setting to include the ability to run around as Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne could even attend charity events to increase his popularity or to investigate a corrupt, rich, citizen of Gotham.
After missions, Alfred could lecture Bruce about his limits and remind him that even though Batman may be a figure, there is still a human behind the mask.
If everything I have written about is just the beginning for the next Arkham Game, I can not begin to imagine just how phenomenal it could be. Rumours are that Rocksteady will not be making the next Arkham Game, but hopefully the new developer will keep everything that made Arkham City the masterpiece it is (which was most of it) and make the next Arkham game an undeniable success.
What do you think the next Batman: Arkham game should have in it? Leave your comments below!