What Rocksteady has been doing with Batman.
Rocksteady Studios has been a highly successful video game producer since the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009 which really laid the foundation for how superhero video game franchises should be handled (because they all pretty much sucked before this game).
The game allowed players to get behind the controller and become Batman as you stalked villains and thugs throughout the poorly secured Arkham Asylum as Joker has taken control of the entire facility. The game mechanics were, in my opinion, a more refined fighting style than that of Assassin's Creed. It also played a little into the gadgets and goodies that Batman seems to always have on his person.
Rocksteady also made a smart move by teaming up with Unreal Engine for the character structuring. Every hit that Batman landed on a villain felt very rewarding and gratifying, you could feel the weight of each punch and kick. The movements of every silent take down were great as well. Who doesn't want to hang upside-down from a gargoyle and immobilize an otherwise unawares thug?
Flash forward two years to 2011 and Rocksteady had really blown the cap wide open with the release of the sequel, Batman: Arkham City.
Arkham City took the game mechanics to new levels. Batman felt more like a fluid fighter, the hits were more painful (to the enemies), gadgets got niftier, and the parkour aspect of grapple-boosting and gliding around a city was pretty awesome. There's something invigorating about being in mid-glide and diving towards an unsuspecting enemy and laying a nice, double-footed kick into their back, only to jump up and take on ten enemies all equipped with bats, crow-bars, and knives.
Arkham City also portrayed a much more colorful (while still maintaining it's dark atmosphere) version of Gotham, Batman, and the bigger names of his rogues gallery. Rocksteady has really garnered a reputation by recreating the Batman mythos.
In 2013, Rocksteady relinquished its franchise for one game produced by Warner Bros. Montreal in the form of Batman: Arkham Origins. Origins was not as well-received as its predecessors but, in my eyes, showed just how much some people appreciate what Rocksteady has done in the past. The biggest fault of Arkham Origins was that it didn't really provide anything new.
Now, in 2015, we'll be receiving Rocksteady's last Batman game: Batman: Arkham Knight. Arkham Knight is really upping the game. It is a next-gen only game (PS4, XBOX ONE, PC) and therefore has none of the limitations that the previous games have had. They're introducing the batmobile for the first time, the data of which they said will fill an entire 360 disc; Batman can now use quick attacks while in mid-glide; and there is a slew of other great features which have yet to be revealed.
But, as exciting as it is, it's also sad that Rocksteady Studios will be hanging their hat on the Arkham franchise. That doesn't mean Warner Bros Montreal won't pick up the pieces, but they'll never release anything like Rocksteady Studios has in the past.
But just because it's their last Batman game, doesn't mean it has to be their last DC property.
What Rocksteady Could Do with Wonder Woman
I've given a lot of thought of how Rocksteady can do great things if they apply the same effort they did with the Batman games to another franchise. At first I was hoping maybe for a Justice League game but in the end, I think I'd rather them focus on one character per franchise in the DC universe.
But out of all the DC characters, I began to think about who would best be utilized by Rocksteady Studios based on what they've done before. A lot of people called for a Superman game, and as awesome as that would be - I think Superman is awesome and by all means a Rocksteady Superman game would be something that would keep me up with excitement - but why not use a character who doesn't share the limelight as much? I thought maybe Green Lantern and by all means, I think he'd be my second-favorite choice, think of how you could just swap Batman's gadgets with GL's constructs; he could pass through portals to different alien cities that involve just as much open world.
But, alas, it isn't a Green Lantern game I'm talking about in this article (as the title suggests) but a Wonder Woman game. Wonder Woman has enough balance of superhuman capabilities and extreme fighting skills that could easily rival Batman's that she may provide a perfect bridge towards creating a Superman game at a later date.
But what else could we get out of a Wonder Woman game beyond tweaked fighting styles and combat-systems? Why not take the Green Lantern idea and have Wonder Woman travel through portals to different locations taking place in Earth cities and Greek mythological realms. I'd love to take a free-roam Wonder Woman through the streets of Metropolis, Gotham, Themyscira, Hades, and Olympus.
The enemies would be very different from the sort you fight in Batman's franchise. I am talking about undead warriors of Hades, ruthless blood-hungry soldiers of Ares, and large fantastical beasts of Greek mythological origin. But I'd also like to see Wonder Woman, when she travels between realms, to also fight in a modern setting, really spinning the player around in the game. In the modern realm, her fighting style wouldn't involve killing in the modern setting (have her say something about "Superman's rules" for that little tongue-in-cheek kind of humor).
Another benefit of having a Wonder Woman game is the exaggerated villains that the mythological Greek gods prove to be. If you are having a hard time thinking of the villains and boss-fights, think God of War but with less button-mashing and more intelligence, more...critical thinking...like a Zelda game.
Plus think of all the cool features that could come with the game, endless costume variations such as: Classic Wonder Woman, Star Sapphire Wonder Woman, Odyssey Wonder Woman, New 52, Wonder Girl, etc. I mean the list just goes on.
On top of that you could have extra playable characters that are fitting within the Wonder Woman realm such as Artemis and other Wonder Woman allies. Challenge modes could be more interesting too.
I also like the idea of having Wonder Woman because she's a woman, and that has proven successful in video games such as Tomb Raider; she's well-known by face but not by origin or mythos and it'd be great to shine some mainstream light on those mythos that inhabit the world of Wonder Woman; and lastly, with the tentavily titled Batman vs Superman movie coming out, featuring Wonder Woman, it'd be great to expand the reach of familiarity to more fans for both the movie and game sake. It's great marketing!
So, there you have it. After I enjoy every minute of Batman: Arkham Knight once it's released on PS4, I'll be hoping for an eventual Wonder Woman game (which could still take place in the "Arkhamverse" and maybe even feature cameos or easter eggs as head nods to the old franchise).
If you are wondering just how awesome Wonder Woman could fight, just check out the video below.