Batman Arkham 4 : The Definitive Must Have Features For Rocksteady's Next-Gen Outing
by Alister Kennedy (with 42 Level One)
The Arkham series is a set of critically acclaimed 3rd person action adventure games by Rocksteady. For the first time ever a game arrived that made the player actually feel like the Batman. Their perfect blend of detective skills and an amazing fighting system worked wonders for the digital dark knight.
With Arkham Origins releasing at the tail end of last gen (check out my review here) receiving mostly luke warm reviews, we decided to come together as a "bat collective" and ponder how, with Rocksteady back at the helm they can recapture and improve upon the first two titles virtually golden gameplay.
Ali - Firstly Origins was too big a project on the last generation, the machines just couldn't hold up to the sheer size of Gotham. This being said the first thing Arkham next gen needs is more scale. I don't mean just in map size but with actual content in the city. Besides a few side quests Gotham, in City and Origins the streets just lacked that truely alive feeling that make open world games memorable.
Citizens walking around and having proper active crimes that happen while on patrol such as muggings/robberies could be great with enough variety put in. We did see a basic version of this in Origins by listening in on the police frequencies but a more natural feel to these would be much better. Along with a much larger map, controllable bat vehicles would be more than welcome, rather than a repetitive cutscene of Bats grappling to the Batwing jet.
So that's a bigger more alive Gotham for starts (which will hopefully come as a given) the second and biggest addition I want to see is - story mode co-op. My all time favourite bat character is Nightwing. This "all grown up" version of Batman’s first Robin - Dick Grayson, is a badass with his twin batons that combine to make a staff and is infinitely more likeable than Batman himself.
In City they introduced Nightwing as a playable character in the rather marmite challenge rooms. An opportunity missed in my mind to allow him (along with Robin) to be controlled in the main story. This clearly could of been done as the character models and move sets were already present and I can't think of an excuse for it's exclusion bar the console tech at the time.
Arkham Origins laid the ground work for an online mode with it's barely playable joker thugs v bane thugs v the dynamic duo game mode. Next gen would be perfect for Rocksteady to allow a drop in drop out co-op mode where you could join a friends game as the boy wonder.
While most probably wouldn't like to be relegated to side kick status, the sheer fun of fighting crime on the streets of Gotham would be more than enough for players to fully utilise this for some online fun with buddies. The thought of creating a distraction while my online partner snuck behind the bad guys to survey a crime scene, or new riddler challenges that require two people to solve just make my inner nerd squeal with joy.
Either way next gen Arkham will be a day one purchase from this 42 staffer and I can only hope some of the ideas I have suggested get included.
Andy - I personally avoided Arkham origins due to the lack of involvement from Rocksteady (among other things), but now that the PS4 and Xbox One are out, I for one am craving a next gen Batman Arkham game. There's several things I'd love to see in the next installment but, top of the pile for me has to be a driveable Batmobile.
Possibly the most iconic car in history is criminally underused in gaming (and yes we saw it just sitting there taunting us in Asylum) but come on Rocksteady/WB give us what we want! I'd also love to see an online co-op mode instead of pointless tacked on multiplayer modes. And all these skins are totally pointless if you can't use them till you beat the game, fix it.
Also I'd love to see little hints at a larger universe or even cameos from some of the members of the Justice League, Injustice Gods Among Us has brought a number of characters into the gaming limelight so capitalise on that. Utilise the second screen apps for hacking and detective mode features.
Bring back Mark Hamill as the joker. A no brainer for me, his performances have been outstanding in both Asylum and City. Finally give Kevin Smith a cameo, he'd likely do it for free and would be a great tech support type voice to have on board. Doing these things will make the game a must buy.
Davis - First we had Batman Arkham Asylum which brought us a stealthier approach to being Batman where as in Arkham City we had more combat having to fight off each of the gangs within Arkham City. What I want to see is these two elements mixed together for next gen Batman so that we can choose how we approach each situation as the Dark Knight himself.
We’ve already seen Oracle, Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, Alfred and Commissioner Gordon but I would like to see even more of Batman’s allies, getting to work a case with one of them on side mission would be awesome.
Getting to play as Robin and Nightwing in the challenge maps was fun but just didn’t give me that welcoming feeling you should get when get to play as a new character, so something that should be considered for the next gen Arkham title is getting to actually play as these characters in the main game.
Arkham Origins gave us the first glimpse of what it would be like to have multiplayer in Batman with 3vs3vs2. Now what they should do for next gen Batman (if multiplayer is to be considered) is a co-op mode where players can choose between going the Dark Knight, Robin: The Boy Wonder or Nightwing.
Batman has had so many different costume’s over the years (many of which we have already seen as DLCin the previous entries) but it would be good to see even more recognisable costumes from the comic books and possibly have the Batman Beyond skin put back into the game as it was one of my most used skins in the game and the one that stood out the most because it was so different from the rest we have previously had.
Ross - I think the focus on a co-op mode would be a fresh take on the gameplay mechanics. Being able to roam Gotham with a buddy would heighten the experience of the game and make it more enjoyable.
Access to a varied amount of characters that have a similar fight mechanic to Batman (the Robins, Green Arrow, Batgirl, Catwoman etc). This could spice up gameplay especially having them available in co-op and free mode.
In terms of story, I'd like to see a wider story arc that just doesn't include Gotham. The option to visit and play through other cities would be an interesting aspect, and fighting alongside a newly formed Justice League would also be very interesting. Although I don't think you should be able to control other Justice League members; just Batman.
Another storyline that would be really interesting would be based on the “Hush” comicbook, or even exploring more of the easter eggs that Rocksteady have littered around their games...especially the Azreal character.
Fraser - Here's what I would like to see in the next incarnation of the Batman.
More gadgets, suits and batnipples: Great, we've seen batarangs that you can guide, batarangs you can explode, batarangs that split up, batarangs that slice up your food better than a kitchen blender on high speed, but show me explosions, show me advanced tech, I want to see EMP grenades, EMP guns, ballistics that make full use of anti crowd weaponry. Sure Batman cant use guns, but you can still use a shock blast to fly that mother away. Lets get some more suits in there, in particular his mech suit that has frequently popped up in the various animated series (Google that one my friends) and oh yes, bat nipples. Get dem nipples on.
Travel: For gods sake let me drive the Batmobile. I mean come on! Bring that bad boy on! Lets get some mission travel that doesn't always have you swinging about like a certain webslinger. Lets get missions that use the bat vehicles as well, a car chase in the Batmobile? A sky fight in the Batplane? A nautical adventure in the Batboat?
Need I say more?
(This would also include making the map even bigger, how does different cities grab you? METROPOLIS?)
Show me boobs: Seriously, where's the chicks? The rouge chicks are there, where's the rest? I mean this is Gotham City, the seedy crime riddled city of the Batman, lets get some strippers in there. Or at least let Batman get it on with one of his many conquests.
Your an investigator, investigate: Ok so Batman/Bruce Wayne has one of the sharpest minds, and is the greatest detective in the world, show me how. I can use a gadget to track a scent the same as Joe Bloggs round the corner, lets see some more in depth detective work. Lets see the gathering of clues, use the batcomputer to research and search for evidence and records to solve cases and track down targets. Christ lets see him swab for prints! Batman was famous for his detective skills as well as his fighting prowess so lets see a good balance of the two.
Adam West mode: Do I really need to explain this?
So there you have it, 42 Level One’s requests, nay, demands for Batman: Arkham on next gen consoles. Needless to say it will be on all of our shopping lists regardless. Agree? Disagree? Let us hear about it! We want to know your thoughts on the subject, and may even read some out on air. Hit us up via our Twitter or Facebook and remember to tune in to the show live on Allgames.com every Tuesday night at 4:30pm EST/9:30pm GMT/1:30pm PST and join us in the chat!