5 Things We Want From the Next Batman Arkham Game
SPOILER WARNING FOR BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM & BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY.
All-out street war
Whilst we don’t want the fantastic stealth sequences of these games to disappear – for we take great pleasure in picking off goons one by one, strategizing and improvising as the situations in the criminal underworld become more and more perilous – it would be a fascinating contrast to have Batman facing a street riot or war in Gotham City as villains and goons alike invade the world of law-abiding good citizens. He would have no time to ponder his next move. Enemies would be attacking the innocent all around Batman as the city crumbles and decays. He would have to fight quickly, taking out enemies as fast as he can, working with the police and preventing more bloodshed. It would make for an incredibly tense, fast-paced sequence that would take seasoned Arkham gamers by total surprise. Batman would be completely overwhelmed.
Better boss fights
It’s no surprise that the boss fights of the Arkham series are of lesser quality than the rest of the games. Often these are either repetitive battles against goons before delivering a blow to the main villain, or these are easy and boring fights that require very simple moves to best (a particularly shocking example was Harley Quinn’s final battle in the DLC campaign Harley Quinn’s Revenge). We need a more puzzling challenge that will test the Dark Knight, something akin to the fight against Mr. Freeze in Batman: Arkham City, which required a lot of discovery and improvisation to beat without resorting to button-mashing as many boss fights tend to include these days.
Harley in the spotlight
She’s already had Harley Quinn’s Revenge, we hear you cry. Yes, she may have been in the title, but in the entire Arkham series she never comes across as a proper challenge. Whilst an inferior criminal mastermind when compared with other villain veterans such as The Joker, she surely didn’t re-acquire Arkham City after the events of the main game by being a weakling. She often feels like she’s having a cameo performance (even within her own DLC), simply sending waves of goons against Bats but never being a particular threat herself. With the Joker out of the way, she now has a chance to become the devious yet bubbly persona we always knew she was. She could perhaps now team up with Poison Ivy, one of her close friends in many versions of Batman, to create a terrifying yet adorable twisted criminal partnership. As a big character in the series, she deserves to have a proper role in the Arkham tales.
The Batmobile or the Batwing
With the ever-expanding world of the Arkham series, there is plenty of scope for the inclusion of Bat-vehicles and driving mechanics, whilst could instigate tense chase sequences a la The Dark Knight with other villains. Perhaps, as with the aforementioned film, there could also be suspenseful timed sequences in which Batman has to choose someone to save between two or more separate hostages. Done well, these could be highly memorable parts of the game.
Mark Hamill to return as Joker
Yes, the Joker’s dead. Yes, Hamill has cited that he does not wish to ruin his Joker career by milking it. But wouldn’t it be interesting if Joker haunted Harley and/or Batman as Harry Morgan haunts the title character in the hit TV series Dexter, influencing their decisions and toying with their emotions? Batman and Joker shared a complex relationship, and it would be intriguing to see the Clown Prince of Crime continue to pester the Dark Knight from beyond the grave, echoing the sinister voicemail messages he left on Bats’ phone in Batman: Arkham City. We know from Harley Quinn’s Revenge that the concluding events of Batman: Arkham City – the deaths of Talia and Joker – deeply disturbed Batman, but the DLC never gave this proper death. To include Joker’s ghost would capitalize on this, and explore the fragility of the Dark Knight’s psyche. If his memory haunted the mind of Harley Quinn, especially if she had teamed up with Poison Ivy – one of her best friends and comfort when she was angered by Joker’s behavior (although we know she always ran back to him in the end, hopelessly in love) – there would be an interesting exploration of her mind, torn between her own motivations, Ivy’s and Joker’s.