The Batman may have released this year, but it’s been six long years since the last Batman role-playing game (RPG), but early teasers and gameplay footage are slowly appearing for the upcoming “Gotham Knights” release. Inspired by the “Batman: Gotham Knights” comic series, the new action RPG takes place after Batman’s death as his protégés — Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood — attempt to restore justice to the now lawless Gotham City.
Early gameplay trailers have fans buzzing. Each of Batman’s sidekicks has their own unique abilities and playstyle, and the open world of Gotham City can be played solo or as a two-player cooperative. This next-gen Batman release comes on the heels of Rocksteady’s wildly successful “Batman: Arkham” series, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
While “Gotham Knights” is reportedly an original story — separate from the Arkhamverse — in honor of its upcoming release, we’re looking back at the beloved video game series, ranking the best of the best.
“Batman: Arkham VR”
Technically the most recent of the Arkham series, “Batman: Arkham VR,” is a spinoff that gave fans of the Dark Knight the chance to don the cowl themselves. Released in 2016, the storyline takes place between “Arkham City” and “Arkham Knight,” following Batman as he searches for clues leading to the disappearance of Robin and Nightwing. As the first installment to feature virtual reality headsets, the game stands apart from the rest of the series, and though the scope of the story is limited in comparison, there’s nothing like getting the chance to step into Batman’s shoes.
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“Batman: Arkham Origins”
Another of the series offshoots, 2013’s “Arkham Origins” acts as a prequel to” Arkham Asylum” and sadly doesn’t feature mainstays Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill in their voice cast — so something certainly feels a bit off throughout the installment. Though the open world feels a bit barren and the button-mashing combat tedious, the boss battles and compelling story deliver.
“Batman: Arkham Asylum”
The OG Batman RPG will always have a special place in the hearts of gamers. When “Arkham Asylum” debuted, kicking off the Arkhamverse, Rocksteady Studios set a new benchmark for what a superhero game could be. The game surprised Batman fans and gamers alike, not only for its ambitious storyline and scope but also because it nailed the character of the Dark Knight. Not an easy feat! But thanks to the claustrophobic confines of “Arkham Asylum,” the puzzle and stealth gameplay and the incredible voice acting, “Arkham Asylum” was dubbed an instant classic.
“Batman: Arkham Knight”
“Arkham Knight” took the open world introduced in “Arkham City” and elevated it to an eleven. Pitting Batman against Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight (a rare original villain who hadn’t appeared in any comics), this installment serves as the final chapter of the story arc that started with “Arkham Asylum” in 2009. While the Riddler’s dreaded puzzles unnecessarily stretch the game to infinity, the introduction of the beloved Batmobile and a storyline that depicts Bruce Wayne grappling with his mental instability make this a winning entry to the Arkham series.
“Batman: Arkham City”
After shocking the video game industry by creating the revolutionary “Arkham Asylum,” Rocksteady had a tall order in developing a sequel that would expand on the story and gameplay established in their original game — but they more than delivered with the astonishing “Arkham City.” After escaping the Joker-run Asylum, “Arkham City” gave gamers their first chance to navigate an open world environment, complete with side missions, free-flowing combat controls and a rogues gallery of classic Batman foes.
With the legacy of the Arkham series looming large, “Gotham Knights” has quite a bit to live up to. But if early trailers and sneak peeks are any indication, the game will carry the torch of Arkham’s engaging storylines and thrilling gameplay. October 25th can’t come soon enough.
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