If “The Dark Knight” is the greatest superhero movie ever made, then “Batman: Arkham Asylum” is the greatest superhero video game ever made.
Both have sequels in the works, with “The Dark Knight Rises” to be released summer 2012 and “Batman: Arkham City” coming out next month.
As of right now, I couldn’t care less about how Christopher Nolan will end his spectacular Batman trilogy. Because starting Oct. 18 and every waking second after that, “Arkham City” will be the bearer of most of my affection. It’s going to be a star-studded epic in itself, perhaps greater than the upcoming film. Plus, I get to be Batman.
If you are out of the loop, the first “Arkham Asylum” game was like a move itself. The storyline started with the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill from the animated series) getting sent to Arkham, almost willingly. He broke loose, took over the entire island and freed all the inmates, which included every Batman villain you could think of. So you control of Batman (voiced by the Kevin Conroy from the animated series), master combat and stealth tactics, and try to endure the worst night of all time.
Now comes “Arkham City.” From what I know of the story, all the inmates that escaped from Arkham Asylum are now confined to Arkham City, a free roaming community set apart from Gotham City. Batman goes into the city to save Catwoman and to preserve balance between the bad guys, all while Hugo Strange and the Joker are in the shadows conspiring some twisted plot.
It’s hard to improve on something so wondrous and elaborate, yet there is something new popping up about the game every week and each one is more fantastic than the last.
First, they said “Arkham City” will be five times bigger than the first game with more Riddler riddles to solve. Catwoman became a playable character, as did a bad-A looking Robin (but only in challenge mode). Hugo Strange, Penguin, Two-Face, Solomon Grundy, Mr. Freeze, Deadshot and others were announced as villains. Then they announced gadget upgrades and the Game-Plus feature, which allows you to restart the storyline with all of your experience, but the game will be tougher.
This next one about sent me over the edge. Last month, Rocksteady released these glorious images of different playable suits for Batman:
And here are some for Robin:
Incredible. Rocksteady need not say more.
There are still 26 days before this game is released and we know so much about the game. In contrast, Nolan is keeping details of “The Dark Knight Rises” tightly under wraps, though there is no doubt it will be a promising film. I just have no idea what I should be excited about. But the way Rocksteady continues to release juicy “Arkham City” information, the more I know, the more I crave.
I want to square off against Mr. Freeze, I want to roam the streets in the Batman Beyond suit, I want to be a part of one of the Dark Knight’s darkest trials. I want to crack riddles, I want to crack Catwoman’s whip and I want to crack skulls. I want to be Batman.
By the time “The Dark Knight Rises,” it doesn’t look like “Arkham City” will have slept.
Holy Bat-gasm. I thought it was done. I thought it was as cool as it was going to get. But the game released yet another mind-blowing addition:
It’s $^#!*%& Nightwing.
Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson, aka the first Robin all grown up, is a playable character in the challenge maps as well.
For those of you who are confused, the Robin in “Arkham City” is the Tim Drake version. If you don’t know who that is, you should do some research.
Dick Grayson basically grew out of his Boy Wonder role and emerged as a stand-alone hero out of Bruce Wayne’s shadow. Nightwing is hands down the second coolest hero in the entire Batman series, behind only the man himself.
The Arkham City developers have their sh*t in gear. It’s going to be a long two weeks.