There is a veritable plethora of Batman games out there. They've been steadily making games featuring The Caped Crusader for over thirty years. The first Batman game was released only in Europe and was a simple 3D isometric game that featured Batman rescuing Robin by exploring the Batcave and searching for parts to repair the Batmobile. If you played it all those years ago, you'd be shocked to see that Batman would go on to be featured in a video game series that would find itself in the Guinness Book of World Records.
This series would be the Arkham Batman series that the vast major of gamers hold in rather high regard.
The Batman of the Arkham video game series isn't the same Batman you might know from the comic series that's been in constant publication going all the way back to 1939. He's also not the same Batman you've seen depicted in the film series directed by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. This isn't the Batman you know from highly regarded animated series like Batman: The Animated Series or Justice League Unlimited. This is not The Nolanverse Batman (though he almost was). This Batman is not our current Batfleck.
The Arkham Batman lives in his own universe and has his own canon. This means there could be a number of things you don't know about this particular version of The Dark Knight. In addition to having their own canon, the Arkham Batman games have their own development stories separate from the shows and movies. Keep reading to see what you might not know about one of the more modern incarnations of The World's Greatest Detective.
15 He's Not A Very Good Doctor
In Arkham Origins, Batman decides that he isn't just the World's Greatest Detective, but the World's Greatest Doctor as well. On two occasions, Batman uses his shock glove item as a defibrillator in cut scenes. There's only one problem. He's doing it wrong.
Defibrillation uses a shock to stop and restart a heart on a patient with an irregularity in their heart beat. You do not shock a flat-lined patient back to life. Batman uses his gloves on flat-lined individuals. The correct course of action wouldn't have required a fancy gadget at all. Batman simply could have just administered CPR.
Bats might want to ask Alfred for some tips the next time he needs patched up.
14 Arkham City Never Happened... In the Comics
The Arkham games have kept most of the Batman mythos intact. The important parts anyway. He's still motivated by the death of his parents. He's still secretly billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. He has Alfred, the Bat Cave, the Batmobile. All the important things are there. The series started with Arkham Asylum, an infamous location in the Batman comics. While Arkham Asylum has been ripped from the pages, Arkham City was not.
A similar idea was toyed with in the comic story "No Man's Land." Gotham is separated from the rest of the world and a turf war ensues. Arkham City was loosely based on this story, but never in the comics was an entire area of Gotham sectioned off to house inmates and let them otherwise live at their leisure.
13 Arkham Batman Is Taller
Ah, the "height argument." It's been making folks in nerd culture look petulant and pathetic for quite some time. Nerd culture's attention to such a minute detail is the reason actor John Leguizamo crouched in his costume when playing The Clown/Violator in 1997's Spawn. If you'd believe it, many people had issue with Hugh Jackman's casting as Wolverine because they said the actor was too tall.
It is stated in Arkham Origins that The Batman is 6'4" inches. According to DC canon, Batman stands at 6'2" inches. We hope that pointing out this height difference doesn't upset anyone!
12 He Cosplays As The Batmobile
Okay, okay. Batman isn't really cosplaying as his own car in Arkham Knight. What you may not know is the costume and Batmobile were designed for Arkham Knight in conjunction with each other. The designers have stated that they were designed to feel "visually and functionally compatible with one another."
Art director David Hego wanted to show the suit and car "came from the same family." Batman has a new car with upgraded technology and Hego saw Batman "doing all this crazy sh-- with it" to make the technologies in the suit and car complimentary to each other.
11 He Has Super Powers
One thing that sets Batman apart from the company he keeps in the Justice League is the fact that he doesn't actually have any powers. This isn't to say that he's never had any. In the comic books, Batman has wielded one of the power rings of a Lantern. Even more recently in the comic pages he was infected with the Amazo Virus which gave him a number of actual bat-like abilities. Still, at the end of the day, Batman always returns to being a regular human. It's his thing...but not in the Arkham games.
In the Arkham games we see a Batman that can punch a criminal thirty feet into the air, jump into the air, and stay suspended in mid-air if he continually punches and kicks the criminal.
Maybe this isn't a superpower. Maybe this is just game physics. A guy can dream though.
10 Bats and Babs Both Love Shakespeare
In the 1966 Batman series starring Adam West, Batman and Robin would use a bust of Shakespeare with a flip-top head revealing a secret button to gain access to the Bat Cave. An additional key-code entry system or bio-metric system probably would have provided a little more security than a simple button, but who are we to tell Batman how to do his job?
In Arkham Knight, Barbara Gordon has a secret clock tower base where she operates as Oracle. Gaining access to this base requires the same exact "hidden button in a Shakespeare bust" system that Batman uses in the series from the '60s. Perhaps Bats gave Babs the idea?
Note to self: When visiting Gotham, check every Shakespeare bust you find.
9 He Sounds Familiar
The Arkham games are incredibly popular and it would be foolish to say the only people playing the games are hardcore Batman fans. I'm always surprised when I come across someone who doesn't know this little bit of information.
Many of the voice actors in the Arkham series are the very same voice actors that worked on the legendary Batman: The Animated Series from Fox. In Arkham Asylum, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin returned as the voices for Batman, Joker, and Harley Quinn respectively. Arleen would be replaced by Tara Strong in later games, while Conroy and Hamill would only be excluded from Arkham Origins.
8 He's Supposed To Be Dead?
SPOILER ALERT! If you have not played and finished Arkham Knight you might want to skip the next item on the list.
Due to a screw up on Amazon.com, a picture of the collectors edition showed a Batman statue with the words "In memory of the Gotham Knight" and was taken down shortly after. This might indicate that the series was originally planned to conclude with the death of The Caped Crusader.
If you have beaten the game and received all three instances of the ending, then you will know that Batman is very much alive at the end. Unfortunately he has had to make his identity known to the public and afterwards he tells Alfred to initiate the "Knightfall Protocol."
This could be a reference to the Knightfall story-line from the comics. In the arc, Bruce Wayne is badly injured by Bane and a man named John Paul Valley (Azreal) takes up the Mantle of the Bat.
Perhaps Wayne will fake his death so a new face can don the cowl in a spin-off series?
7 He Grew To Be Very Mature
Arkham Knight is not only the first game in the Arkham series to receive the "Rated M for Mature" rating from the ESRB, but it also holds the distinction of being the first Batman game ever to receive the "Rated M for Mature" rating. It seems odd that a game about a superhero that refuses to kill would carry a mature rating, but it's actually a pretty fair assessment.
Due to Scarecrow's role in the game, there are some pretty intense and frightening scenes. There are a lot of provocative outfits donned by characters like Harley Quinn. There is a fetish shop in town. There is some smoking (The Penguin's cigar) and the main storyline involves exposing the city to a hallucinogen (drug use). Of course the game also has some pretty intense violence and firearm usage.
6 He's A Record Breaker
We can assume that Batman has broken a few records within the pages of his various comic series, but would you believe he has also broken a record here in the real world?
In 2009, Arkham Asylum was added to the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest rated superhero video game of all time. The game received a worldwide review average of 91.67.
Even Gaz Deaves was excited about the game's inclusion in the book stating, “We are so pleased to be awarding Batman: Arkham Asylum a Guinness World Record. It is a fantastic new game and due to the reaction of gaming experts we believe it has a well deserved place in the Guinness World Records book.”
5 He Loves Whipped Cream
Did you know that the explosive gel you use in the Arkham series is actually whipped cream? It's true. If you have a utility belt full of pockets, odds are one of them contains a snack. Crime fighting really works up an appetite.
Okay, okay. It's not really whipped cream infused with explosive properties, but it sure does sound like whipped cream, right? That's because the effects team used the audio from three different whipped cream cans to create the sound effect we hear in the Arkham series.
So this is why I always crave strawberry shortcake when I play the Arkham games! Talk about some serious Pavlovian Conditioning.
4 He Takes Forever To Get Dressed
Okay. We really don't know how long it takes Batman to get dressed. The closest insight we've been given to his dress routine was in the 1997 film Batman and Robin - and even that was done in jump cuts. While we can't actually tell you how long it takes him to get dressed, we can tell you that it took one developer two years to program Batman's famous cape and cowl. The developer used 700 different animations and sound effects to get the cape to look and act properly.
Two. Years. I'll definitely remember how much effort these developers put into AAA games the next time I complain about a small glitch or the cost of a game.
3 The Arkham Batman Is Not The Same Batman From Injustice
This might seem like a no-brainer to some since it seems pretty obvious. There are no mentions of events from Injustice in the Arkham series and there are no mentions of events from Arkham in Injustice. Not to mention the fact that the two franchises are developed by two different studios.
To be fair, there are a lot of similarities. Both versions of the Dark Knight are voiced by Kevin Conroy and both versions of Harley Quinn are voiced by Tara Strong. This could give one the idea that these games take place in a shared universe. At the time, there were some similarities between the two costume designs as well. Plus, it wouldn't be unheard of for DC games to take place in a shared universe as is the case with DC comics.
2 He Could Have Been Christian Bale
There are some pretty committed fans when it comes to the Nolanverse Batman. Fan's loved The Dark Knight, the second installment in the series. It seemed like a no-brainer to give the Nolanverse Batman his own video game. This game was also planned as an open-world Batman game.
Unfortunately, and for reasons that don't seem to be known, the game was cancelled. In an interview, Gary Oldman, who played Commissioner Gordon in the films, said great care was going into making everything suitable, specifically mentioning a gliding ability that Batman would have in the game. It seems that things were taking too long as they missed a release date alongside the movie.
Pandemic Brisbane eventually announced the game, but were shut down some time after. This is when Rocksteady began work on the Arkham series.
How different things could have been...
1 He's on Deadshot's Hit-List...As Bruce Wayne
At the beginning of Arkham City, Bruce Wayne finds himself stuck inside the eponymous city. Another inmate notices him and shouts, "Bruce Wayne. You're on my list. Bang!" If you know your stuff, you will know that this is Deadshot out of costume and it's possible to see the list later in the game. Sure enough, the name "Bruce Wayne" is on said list.
If it was simply "Batman" on Deadshot's hit list, that wouldn't be all too surprising. It's a very different thing when Bruce Wayne is on the hit-list. It brings up all sorts of questions.
What did Batman do as Bruce Wayne that would anger somebody enough to put a bounty on his head? Was it a spurned ex-lover? Was it a business rival?
Does the person who put out the bounty know that Bruce Wayne is Batman?
Was the hit put out on Batman, but the Arkham version of Deadshot knows Batman and Bruce are one and the same?
Was this simply an oversight by the writers of the game?
The mind reels!