VIDEO GAMES: The ARKHAM CITY Sequel We Deserve, Not The JUSTICE LEAGUE Game WB Needs
Recent news about a Justice League finally being made have driven DC fans crazy with excitement, but in order to raise popularity of these characters Warner Bros has requested an Arkham Asylum Silver Age prequel game. Is this the right move for gamers, here are my toughts on what the next Arkham game should be..
In recent years, Rocksteady Studios have made Batfans very happy with their two games: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, giving players what probably is the best Batman experience that anyone could possibly have hoped for. These games have brought us excelent action, superb voice acting from the likes of Mark Hamill and Kevin Connroy, the incredible Unreal 3 engine that uses Free-flow combat, combined with stealth scenarios and on top of all that, two great stories by non other than Paul Dini.
The second game of the series, Batman: Arkham City has given us a lot of improvements from the first one, Arkham Asylum. The Dark Knight was given a better gadget arsenal, better fighting skills and moves, so when the news of a Justice League game set as a prequel to these two, has made fans concerned at how much The Caped Crusader will be relegated in terms of fighting, detective experience, phisical and mental streght and not to mention his tech. This article is not meant to be a comparison between the announced Justice League game and the inevitable Arkham City sequel, but only what Arkham 3 should be like from all the things we already know, and based on the fact that transition between the first two games has given us plenty of improvements. This editorial contains spoilers from both games in the series, the Harley Quinn Rvenge dlc as well as the Arkham City End Game tie-in comic series.
Given the fact that the previous games have given us open world experiences, with the sandbox being made bigger with every title, it's safe to assume that the next step is to go all-out in Gotham City, but making a huge playground, with pedestrian and cars running around GTA style, would not work well in the context of this series, so I think the developers should draw inspiration from the No Man's Land storyline just like The Dark Knight Rises(wich I loved by the way), with North Gotham facing a huge crysis, while being completely disconected from the mainland. This was teased in Arkham City, with "No man's land" written on walls in the Amusment Mile and construction signs that advised caution because of unstable grounds.
Batman: Arkham City had a lot of events that left plenty of room for speculation on where the story will go next. A lot has happened in the superprison, but there are a few events that will greatly influence the future of the franchise: Azrael's warning about the Secret Order of St Dumas, Hush looking like Bruce Wayne on the loose, the Joker's titan infected blood being sent to emergency across the city( a good reason to quarantine the city and limit the open world), Hugo Strange initiating protocol 11(passcode Wayne) which might give Batman's identidy away to the general public, the secret room with Scarecrow's plans to cover the city in his fear toxin( another reason to limit the playground and keep unnecesary people and vehicles away from the streets) and last but not least, Joker's death.(more on that later)
The playable roster has to be improved, Batman will return with new gadgets, a better body armour and maybe even vehicles. Robin proved to be an excelent playable character in the Harley Quin dlc and he should assist Batman in the crysis. I'm all game for Catwoman to make an appearance but only as a cameo. As for the fan-favorite Nightwing, I belive he deserves his own spotlight, so the best way to go is to make dlc similar to Undead Nightmare from Rockstar Games, with an open-world Bludhaven and 8-10 hours of gameplay where Dick Grayson will have hsi chance to shine.
The Scarecrow is the favorite for main villain, with his plans to cover Gotham in fear(Batman Begins), making alliances with other rogues and after being absent from Arkham City he is the best choice.
Hush will try and ruin Bruce Wayne's life having his appearance, maybe even bankrupt him just like in the events of The Dark Knight Rises, but if Protocol 11 turns out to be a plot to expose Bruce as Batman, it could end really bad for Dr. Thomas Elliot.
The Order of St. Dumas, a secret warrior society, similar to the League of Shadows will take the place of Thalia's elite guard as more skilled fighting opponents than the henchmen.
Two-Face and Penguin will probably have smaller roles instead of giving too much gametime for their revenge, making room for other villains like Black-Mask, Bane or new bad-guys like the Red Hood and Deathstroke.
Mr Freeze is unlikely to return after parting on good terms with Batman.
Poison Ivy threatens to destroy Gotham when you return to her lair in Arkham City after beating the game, while Killer Croc will return for another memorable boss fight.
Calendar Man has escaped from Harvey Dent's cell but he can't be more of a sidequest similar to Victor Zsasz, while Riddler will have another chance to prove that he is better and smarter then the World's Greatest Detective.
Ra's al Ghul can always be revived via the Lazarus pit and the same can happen to Thalia, who might "wake-up" wanting to kill Batman for letting her die by the hands of Joker. Also let's not forget about Clayface falling into the pit, so what could come out would be a surprise to anyone.
Harley Quinn has been dealth with in her dlc, and thank God Rocksteady have killed the speculation about her having Joker's baby.
Last, but not least, and you're probably wondering how: The Joker! We all know Mark Hamill said he is retiring from playing The Clown Prince of Crime, but given the chance and a great script I have no doubt he will return, but how? considering that in the End Game comics his body is taken by the police and burned.
Both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have given us very emotional moments for The Dark Knight, from reliving his parents death as a child, to hearing them calling him "into the light", his archnemesis's death and losing the woman he loves, the series has given us a lot of drama that has worked very well so far. The ideal way to improve on the excelent gameplay is to give even more depth to these characters and make the story based more on emotion this time so here is where the Joker comes into play.
As I mentioned earlier, The Scarecrow will be the main villain, with a plot to poison all of Gotham with his chemicals, so the risk of getting infected while free-roaming is huge. The Scarecrow levels in Arkham Asylum where, with platforming and fighting skeletons, followed by the Mad Hatter sidequest and Ra's al Ghul's Demon trials where great, and pushed Batman's mind and body to the edge, now, after playing the Harley Quinn dlc, we have learned that Bruce is very affected by the Joker's death, not wanting to talk to any of his friends about it. It's clear that Batman will start the next game with a lot of frustration inside him, and getting exposed to the Fear Toxin will make him see things darker like never before and we will see him face a deadlier and scarier, nightmare style Joker who will push him to the breaking point, with challenges based in carnivals and fun-houses where nothing will be what it seems. Batman will relive his past failures, from the death of his parents, to the death of Jason Todd at the hand of Joker(teased if you play the Joker Carnival challenge map with Robin) and Barbara Gordon getting paralized by his greatest rogue, eventually making The Dark Knight realising that the Joker's death should make him laugh in the end.
I hope you like my ideas, I am a huge fan of this series, beating both games countless times. Please tell me if you think that the sequel to Arkham City should be different, what would you change? Or would you just prefer the Justice League prequel? or the even the rumored TMNT game? sound off in the usual place
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