Though it feels like it’s been forever, it’s only been four years since Rocksteady graced the PlayStation 4 with the last part of their Batman story in Arkham Knight. However, it’s been almost six years since we’ve gotten to see WB Montreal’s rendition of the Dark Knight, with their last game coming back in the final year of the PS3/360 generation in 2013.
That seems like it’s about to change soon, however. With WB Montreal dropping several hints that their next game is coming soon, and that it appears to be about Batman...and the Court of Owls. Thouh the game is very likely close to completion now, here’s a list of things we hope WB Montreal will be including in their next Batman title.
10 ALTERNATE COSTUMES
Marvel’s Spider-Man set the gold standard for this. Arkham City had different costumes, but they were just skins and didn’t change the gameplay at all. In Spider-Man, there’s all sorts of costumes and all of them alter the gameplay. Not on a fundamental level, but enough to make you feel like you’re wearing a new suit, and leaning into what that might mean. A new Batman game should absolutely be following in those footsteps, granting additional gadgets and stat changes based on the outfits we pick.
9 MORE RPG ELEMENTS
At least for one game, it’d be nice to see what they could do with Batman if they leaned into having more RPG elements. Maybe certain Batman armors are collectible by completing specific missions. Perhaps if there’s multiple characters in the game choosing how they level up could change how they play and make each character completely distinct from one another. Even if it’s merely Batman we play as, allowing a wide enough skill tree would effectively make every person’s Batman uniquely playable.
8 A POPULATED GOTHAM CITY
It’s time. It’s finally time to show us a Gotham that isn’t completely abandoned. A Gotham where we aren’t saving merely a city, but the people in that city. A Gotham where every person on the streets isn’t meant to be punched in the face.
This would allow for establishing parts of the city with Bruce’s allies like Leslie Thompkins or Lucius Fox. It could allow for characters who can give out quests relating to shutting down other bad guys. Arkham Origins went a long way towards showing us a Gotham that wasn’t completely ruined, now give us one with people.
7 NEMESIS SYSTEM
Supposedly, the creation of the famous Nemesis System that’s become known thanks to Monolith’s Middle-Earth series was originally something that was meant to be implemented into a Batman game. Thanks to some slowdown in the game’s development, the Nemesis System was instead used first in 2014’s Shadow of Mordor, where orcs escaping from Talion would return with altered stats and behaviors because of their fight with him. This could easily become a thing in Batman as well. If Batman couldn’t knock out the enemies and the cops don’t arrest him, they could return with new weapons or a resistance to how they were previously brought down.
6 ESTABLISH MORE OF THE DC UNIVERSE
It wouldn’t hurt if we got just a few touches of the outside DC Universe. That’s not necessarily to say Superman should show up and fix all of Batman’s problems, just that it’s weird that the DC Universe has been confined to easter eggs. It made sense in the original game and it’s follow-up—those games were trying to establish the universe as it was for Batman. But since then, it’s felt more like he’s been walled off from his allies. A conversation about forensics with Flash, working a case in Gotham with someone like Green Arrow, these would work as fun add-ons.
5 MORE BATCAVES
One of the coolest parts about Arkham Asylum is how Batman had a fully functioning mini Batcave underneath the Asylum. It’s both weird but also the most logical, Bruce-like thing possible. Bruce is known for having different areas around town he can retreat to, all outfitted with whatever he needs to be Batman. These additional Batcaves could belong to other members of the Bat-Family, contain different kinds of weaponry, be customized with different trophies based on mini-games and missions, and also serve as fast-travel points to get around the city.
4 BRUCE WAYNE
This is something that’s probably true for the actual comics as well. All too often, we forget that there’s an entire other side to Batman’s life, one that’s arguably far more important both to Gotham and his mission. Marvel’s Spider-Man wasn’t afraid to occasionally have players play as Peter Parker, both because it meant getting in touch with his rich supporting cast, and to show his incredible gifts as a scientist. With Bruce, it could involve doing certain research to create better gadgets, or making financial moves in disadvantaged areas to make Gotham less likely to lean into crime.
3 MORE SIDE MISSIONS
If we’re going to suggest adding more characters to the game, then the game should probably also include more side missions. There’s really no end to the number of bad guys that exist not just for Batman, but for his fellow Bat-Family members. Not all of them have to be major supervillains, either.
There could be detective missions, gang hideouts (and eventually gang leaders), and other missions which would center around making Gotham a safer place to be. Of course it can’t last forever, but for this game at least make it feel like the never-ending war against crime isn’t quite so...neverending.
2 LESS BAT-TANK, MORE BATMOBILE
One of the bigger complaints coming out of the release of Arkham Knight was the presence of the Batmobile. The developer wanted to make the Batmobile into a big deal, so it’s used all over the game. Thanks to it’s ability to transform into a tank, Batman spends several parts of the game trapped inside of the Batmobile, even during certain key boss battles that players would’ve wanted to do as Batman. But the problem wasn’t the Batmobile itself, but rather the tank sections. Long before Christopher Nolan did his take on the Caped Crusader, the Batmobile was just a sleek, cool car. If we’re going to set the game in a larger city, it’s fine (and arguably, preferable) to just leave the Batmobile as a quick method of traversal.
1 MORE OF THE BAT-FAMILY
Above all else, this feels like a must-have. We’ve had four games of Batman in an open-world setting, and ever since Arkham City they’ve been teasing other characters. City outright let players swap between Bruce and Selina. Knight featured Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl in side missions. The new Batman game should go full-on GTA with the ability to switch between multiple members of the Bat-Family. Batman, Robin, Red Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Batwing, Huntress...not all of them need to be available, but at least a handful of them could alter the gameplay and allow for development of characters who aren’t just Bruce. It could even possibly allow...co-op play for the campaign.