In 2009 when Batman: Arkham Asylum made its debut, it was clear that there was something unique about this new IP. The fluid combat, in depth character models of titans in the DC Universe, and engaging storyline captivated both newcomers and old-school DC fans alike. These factors and many more propelled Arkham Asylum all the way from “Best of Show at E3″ to “Game of the Year 2009″. Following Asylum came Arkham City just two years later. The second entry into the franchise took attributes from the previous game that made it such a success and “cranked it up to ten”. What impressed me personally about Batman: Arkham City was just how large the game world actually was. Hours were spent wandering through the streets of Arkham City, prowling on unsuspecting inmates from the safety of the rooftops and shadows. Yet again, Rocksteady had hit a home run.
Now, it looks like Rocksteady is attempting to make lightening strike the same place three times in a row with their release of Arkham Knight. The events of Arkham Knight take place one year after the events of Arkham City, and Scarecrow is now trying to take over where the Joker once ruled the roost. The devs claim that this is the largest world their have ever created for the Arkham universe, and the presence of a Batmobile seems to back that up. Those old-school DC fans will also enjoy this entry into the franchise because of how in depth the story appears to go. Villains ranging from Man-Bat to Penguin will be making an appearance, along with a little surprise to the entire Batman universe. Combined efforts from Rocksteady and comic creator Geoff Johns has led to an entirely new villain that has never been seen in the Batman universe. Basically, the Arkham Knight is a militarized version of Batman himself. In other words, Arkham Knight is a hardcore version of Batman that actually uses guns and deadly attacks.
Unfortunately for fans of the franchise, it appears that Arkham Knight is going to be the final entry. Although many might not agree and long for more quality Batman gaming experiences, I support this move. Calling this the last game for the Arkham series allows the games to live on as a quality series rather than one that ended as so many do; a drawn out, overcooked, and washed up has been. In addition to this, Rocksteady is now free to explore other ideas and pursue other ventures that simply might not have been possible while developing the Arkham games.
The future holds great things for Rockstar. With the experience of Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight under its belt there is nothing holding back this studio from making a completely new IP and taking the industry by storm yet again.