Next Batman Video Game Won't Look Like Arkham City

When I first heard about Gotham City Impostors, this lifelong Batman fan got very nervous. Part of it comes from the way the game's premise rubs up uncomfortably against Caped Crusader canon.

"Batman doesn't use guns!" my inner fanboy cried. (Except that he did in his earliest appearances.) "And there's no way that he'd allow amateur vigilantes — especially ones that use guns — and evil clown wannabes to roam through his city!" Gotham City Impostors sports a more exaggerated art style than the detailed hyper-realism of RockSteady Games' latest Bat-outing. More worries.

This is going to be a disaster, I thought. However, my thinking on that's changed.

The animated video above sets up the tone of Impostors and also put some of my fanboy fears to rest. Why? Because it serves as a reminder of where Batman comes from. and the fact that, when it comes to the ways that the character's been portrayed, Batman is legion. He contains multitudes. The 1950s Batman comics had him and Robin adventuring in broad daylight with a lighter, boys-adventure tone that diverged wildly from the gothic shadows of his first few outings. And then, for TV watchers of a certain age, Adam West's campy Caped Crusader will always be their touchstone for the character and the comics made while the 1960s Batman TV show was on the air followed that interpretation's lead. Comics readers and Bat-observers know the rest: how a young Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams brought the character back to its pulp influences in the 1970s, followed by Frank Miller's gritty bookends The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One in the 1980s.

The point, of course, is that multiple interpretations for Batman aren't anything new. What's new is that video games are just now getting to the point where they can reflect the multivalent potential of Bruce Wayne's masked alter ego. Shortly after Batman: Arkham Asylum came out, Warner Bros' game division released Batman: The Brave and The Bold, a side-scrolling action title that tied into the popular Cartoon Network show. And, as a heroic triumverate with Superman and Wonder Woman, Batman figures prominently in the DC Universe Online MMO, too. He's slightly chattier, friendlier and willing to be a mentor. A different guy than in Arkham City, but the same, too.

So, if you're scared like I was, take a deep breath, fellow Batman fans. As good as Arkham City is, there needn't be one Batman to rule them all. Gotham City Impostors won't invalidate Arkham City, especially since Batman's out of town in the former game. Instead, it's evidence that we just might be entering where gamers of all ages and tastes — kids, FPS players, character creation enthusiasts — will have a Batman game they can enjoy.


    Fourth paragraph starts with 'The animated video above...', but I can't see any video on this page.

      Same lol.

    Cancell this awkward looking tf2-rip off and use the funds/time on the next proper Batman, please and thank you.

      >Tf2-rip off
      that's the dumbest thing I've read all day

      and I only woke up half an hour ago

    I've been reading Batman comics on and off for years and every so often there are stories that involve Batman impostors. I don't really get why people initially resisted the idea of Gotham City Impostors when it's been when been a reoccurring thing in the comics for decades.

    “Batman doesn’t use guns!” my inner fanboy cried. (Except that he did in his earliest appearances.) “And there’s no way that he’d allow amateur vigilantes — especially ones that use guns — and evil clown wannabes to roam through his city!”

    Try reading Dark Knight Returns - not only does he use a gun against the Joker, he takes control of an amateur vigilante gang called the Sons of the Batman (some of whom use guns).

      DKR is non-canon. The Batman everyone knows, the one from Earth-1/New Earth/whatever it is nowadays, hasn't used guns for over 50 years of publishing history.

        ...and is also not nearly as awesome. ;-)

        ('Franchising', Grant? really?)

        But as soon as he takes over the Sons of Batman he takes away their guns. I don't have my copy on hand, but I remember a panel where he breaks a shotgun in half and says 'this is the weapon of our enemies;.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now