There have been murmurings that a new Batman Arkham game is coming. Most of these rumours were unconfirmed until a person claiming to be a WB Montreal employee leaked a ton of information on Reddit and referred to the new game as Batman Arkham Insurgency. However, just because someone claims that a new Batman game might be releasing soon doesn’t make it so, although I really hope that this rumour is true.
So, what exactly has leaked and what do we know of this supposed new Batman game? I’ve put together a list of some of the many rumours, murmurs and theories out there. Be warned these might contain some spoilers.
It’s going to be a prequel.
With Rocksteady pretty much closing the book on their Arkham trilogy, it makes sense for WB Montreal to follow in the footsteps of their Batman Origins game and delve into the Dark Knight’s past.
Batman Insurgency is said to take place three years after Origins. There is quite a substantial gap in Batman’s history that needs filling in. We’ll hopefully get to learn more about how Batman became the force of justice that we eventually meet in Arkham Asylum.
Also, having Insurgency be a prequel gives WB Montreal the freedom to develop a story that, although taking place in the same universe as the Rocksteady games, isn’t completely tied down by them. This will allow them to create a narrative that delves into how both Bruce Wayne and Batman evolved.
Holy Smokes, Batman! We’ll get to play as both the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder.
While we have been given the opportunity to don the red and yellow suit, and play as Robin in the Arkham games, we’ve mostly been stuck playing the ever brooding Batman (although, this wasn’t a bad thing). Batman Arkham Insurgency is rumoured to be the first game to have both Batman and Robin as fully playable characters. Of course, being part of a rumour means that certain aspects of how this will work still remains unclear. Will we be able to switch freely between them? How will this affect the narrative structure of the game?
What we do know is that WB Montreal went to a lot of trouble to develop an entirely new skill tree for the Boy Wonder which has me thinking that we might be spending quite a bit of time playing as him.
The leak mentioned that the Robin in question (as Batman has had quite a few over the years) is none other than Dick Grayson and that his costume will be less armoured than previous versions. The new costume apparently takes some inspiration from the New 52 Robin costume design. So less Batman & Robin and more Batman 66′. This might mean that the story could touch on how team Batman and Robin came to be.
Ha Ha Ha Ha – Joker is back!
Much like the rat in my attic, Batman can’t seem to get rid of the Joker. Mr J has a nasty habit of appearing in each game, even after his death.
The reason behind the Clown Prince of Crime’s appearance in the new game appears to be due to a breakout at both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate prison (boy, Batman must be having a tough day). With all kinds of criminal masterminds and madmen running around, it seems Mr J will be leading the pack.
Along with the Joker’s return, the post mentions that Troy Baker will be voicing the iconic character. Now, while there is no doubt that Mark Hamill is the Joker, Troy Baker has done an admiral job of voicing him in the past. It would be interesting to see how Baker will fair this time around, although Hamill will definitely be sorely missed.
That said, he apparently isn’t the games main villain. This honour goes to….
Face off against the Talons. Meet the Court of Owls.
According to the leaked information, Batman will be facing off against the Court of Owls, a secretive society of super assassins that have been controlling Gotham for centuries. Originally created by Scott Snyder, this Illuminati-esqued group consists of some of Gotham’s wealthiest families. In the comics, the Court of Owls and their leader, Owlman, gave Batman a run for his money as he struggled to bring them down.
Not only is the Court of Owls cunning and manipulative but their army of assassins, called the Talons, will serve as intimidating foes for the Dark Knight and Robin to face against in combat.
It could be quite interesting to see how, and if, the Court of Owls uses the Joker and his gang of thugs as part of their overarching plan. Maybe the Joker could even become an ally? As the saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
The leak does also mention that proper boss battles will make a return. This is something that I personally found disappointing about Arkham Knight. We never got to experience the exhilaration we did when facing off against Mr. Freeze in Arkham City.
The leak also reveals that quite a few of Batman’s rogue gallery will appear in the game. These include Maxie Zeus, Dollmaker, Killer Moth, Anarky, Two-Face, Blockbuster, Ventriloquist, Cornelius Stirk, Tweedledee & Tweedledum, Dusan al Ghul, Mad Monk, Dala and The Riddler.
Should this prove true, it is great to see WB Montreal digging a bit deeper into Batman’s pool of villains and choosing less familiar ones to face off against.
A visit to the coast. Well’ get to explore new environments.
So we’ve explored almost every nook and cranny of Gotham and Arkham Asylum, where to next? According to the leak, we’re heading to the coast. Now, I have to be totally honest, when I think of Gotham the last thing that comes to mind is the seashore. The name Gotham usually conjures up images of dark gothic alleyways filled with creepy criminals out for blood. Not only will the game take place in a coastal region of Gotham but we’ll also get to visit Wayne Manor and the Batcave. Apparently, we’ll be able to freely travel between these three areas. Hopefully, we’ll also get to visit Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison.
Bye bye. The Batmobile’s Tank Mode is no more.
I know of many gamers out there who felt that the Batmobile’s Tank Mode felt out of place in Arkham Knight. It just didn’t feel right to have Batman driving around in what is essentially a tank and shooting everything that moves. I never felt that it really added anything beyond blowing everything up and smashing through walls. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved the Batmobile – just not the Tank Mode. Luckily, the leak reveals that, although the Batmobile is back, the Tank Mode is out.
Where is everybody? Yes, there still won’t be civilians hanging around.
This has become somewhat of a comical feature in the franchise. There always seems to be some reason why Gotham is deserted and there is no one expect gangs and thugs to be seen. Arkham Insurgency seems to still follow this trend.
The reason this time around is, of course, all the escaped convicts that will be roaming Gotham. With GCPD blocking off some segments of Gotham, most civilians will be safely out of harm’s way. I did, however, say most. Batman and Robin will still need to rescue the odd civilian from the clutches of the many thugs in Gotham.
Should this be true, it will be disappointing as there should be no reason why WB Montreal wouldn’t be able to create a better representation of a living and breathing Gotham city.
New ways to kick-ass. Combat is being revamped.
Batman Arkham Asylum was lauded for its unique and surprisingly deep combat system. Fast forward a few years and every game have “borrowed” from this winning formula. It seems that WB Montreal is quite aware of this fact and are working on updating the combat system. The leak suggests that the team is expanding combat to better accommodate one-on-one fights. It will still be similar in structure to the original combat system but will have even more depth this time around. What WB Montreal needs to keep in mind is that no matter how they tweak the combat, in the end, we still need to feel like Batman when beating down foes. Hopefully, they get this right.
Well, that covers most of what leaked through Reddit. Whether these rumours prove true or false, I sincerely hope we get to don the Dark Knight’s cloak once again, sooner rather than later.