The continuing adventures of the World's Grumpiest Dad.
Released October 26, 2013
Developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal.
Published by Warner Bros. Interactive.
Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U (forthcoming).
Version played: PlayStation 3.
Oh, Batman. No matter how much mud I sling your way for your deeply tiresome obsession with things being 'dark', your horrible fanbase full of the absolute worst of the internet, and your irritating ubiquity that threatens to blot out all other DC heroes like the shadow of Unicron falling o'er that poor bunch of non-Autobot robot people at the start of Transformers: The Movie, I still can't quit you. You're like a really mangy cat. For every bit of roadkill you drag into my house and throw up on my shoes (see The Dark Knight Rises or the current 'Zero Year' comics that are dedicating 12 whole months to telling us that, yes, his parents are still in fact dead) you still do something that makes me reconsider putting you up for adoption/throwing you in a dumpster far away from here. In recent years, those 'somethings' have tended to be the Arkham Insert Noun games from Rocksteady, which were quite rightly praised for giving players the sensation of 'being' Batman to a tee and just being really good Metroid-y puzzle adventures with a great combat system everyone else has tried copying.
The combination of 'properly good game' and 'Batman is in it' propelled both Asylum and the bigger, more ambitious City to crazy sales numbers, which made it deeply unsurprising that Warners chose to outsource the engine and art assets to another developer so they could churn out a third game super-quick and franchise the hell out of the Arkham name. Whether or not this works is, at time of writing, up in the air; the transparency of this game as a cash-grab, I think, will likely hurt its numbers a bit. But that's not really what I'm here to talk about. What matters, after all, is whether or not they threw the weird cosplaying ninja orphan baby out with the bathwater...