Rocksteady should go Beyond with Batman

The Arkham series of Batman games vary from very good to Origins and, although the PC version of Knight is awful, it’s still meant to be a half decent game if the console reviews are anything to go by. But, Batman is getting a little worn out and Arkham is hopefully finished. It’d be nice for more Batman games to come out but they’d need to be radically different in order to offer anything truly worthwhile. While Batman has alternate universes that he could pull from – with Flashpoint Batman (Thomas Wayne) the gun-wielding baddie killer being my second choice – I’d like to keep it closer to the Batman we all know but instead thrust into the future.

I want Batman Beyond.

For those that don’t know it Batman Beyond is set in the future where an elderly Bruce Wayne, no longer capable of donning the suit of the Dark Knight, has retired his mantle and taken a new Batman under his wing. Terry McGinnis, a teenage College/University student, stumbles across Bruce’s secret and becomes the Bat in an all new servo suit. He’s agile like the Robins, is full of quips, and has a lot to learn in terms of his role of Batman, his family and love lives; and how to balance them all. In many respects he is a Batman version of Peter Parker.

What makes Batman Beyond so special is the fact that Bruce takes the back seat for practically the entire thing. He needs Terry because Neo-Gotham needs a Batman. It’s made all the better by Bruce almost playing the antagonist, by deceiving, leaving out crucial information, and spinning half-truths to Terry. Bruce is as a much a hindrance as anything else which is why {spoiler!} in the comics Bruce is eventually bumped out of the mentor position and replaced by his own protégé, Dick Grayson. It’s another layer of intertwining feuds and partnerships that Terry has to deal with on a fairly regular basis, making his life as Batman just ever so slightly more difficult at every turn.

But what would Batman be without the villains? It’s true that many of them have long since passed away from age, illness or whathaveyou but many of them have left legacies that haunt Neo-Gotham long after they’ve faded away. The Joker may be gone but Jokerz have risen up to help remind Gotham of one of its worst inhabitants. A street gang of crazies that have become enamoured by the horrendous things the Joker has done over his criminal career, something that could easily be translated to the frequently fought enemies in a Beyond game.

While there are others who have filled the places of old villains (such as the new Catwoman who has the ability to self-multiply), there are many fresh new faces. Mad Stan the anti-establishment terrorist, Inque the shapeshifting mercenary, Shriek a wearer of a sound manipulating suit, and the Scarecrow-like Joker follower Ghoul are some of his very own villains. There is also the possibility for whoever makes the game (hopefully Rocksteady) to create their own villains, especially since the Arkham Knight is of their own creation.

Cadmus is another one that permeates through the various DC universes, and it does play a pivotal role in Batman Beyond which I won’t spoil. Amanda Waller would be a great antagonist and the possibility of her making an appearance could lead to far more interesting things than what a Batman villain can usually achieve. Her “doing it for the greater good” actions are often in stark contrast to the short term effects of her actions. It’d also be interesting to see Batman oppose someone in a different way rather than fight them physically like he does with most villains.

Terry brings a variety of new things to Batman. He’s not a millionaire and he’s far older than any “Boy Wonder” was when they first became enrolled in Bruce’s war on crime. He lost his father at a young age too so there are parallels to Bruce, which is partly the reason they end up working so well together. This is a Batman that doesn’t feel so superhuman, and a little bit of weakness goes a long way in storytelling and it also works very well for games; as well as the difficulty curve that goes alongside learning the game and getting better.

Another thing that would make a nice change is the addition of those outside the Batosphere. The Justice League lives in the Beyond Universe and, unsurprisingly, there is a Batman in this League. It’d be another chance to try something new and perhaps not as close to home as Gotham. Even passing references or small cameos make these universes feel more alive, so any nod towards that could only serve to enrich the world. Also it’d be a great way to get out of Gotham for DLC, providing it lasts over an hour and isn’t awful – so a fairly slim chance.

Batman Beyond is getting thrust back into the DC universe with a Batman Beyond New 52 comic which follows on from the Futures End event. While it doesn’t mark a start for Terry to get his own game based in this new version of Beyond, it does mean that it would be a really good time to start working on something like this as the series has new eyes on it.

Hype and the general malleability of Beyond are still up in the air, so the possibilities are practically endless. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be set in the same universe as the comics, as Arkham, much like the films, are their own beast. But with Arkham having a fourth big title with them all playing very similarly, it would be nice to see Rocksteady pull out something new yet familiar with a Batman that isn’t quite as imposing or disciplined.

It’s definitely worth noting that I’m not the only one with this idea rattling about; while I have a certain fondness for the Batman Beyond animated series, my memories of it aren’t as vivid or central to my love of Beyond. Forbes has an article by Paul Tassi (beware, he touches on a huge spoiler I decided to avoid) who comes at it after completing Arkham Knight and as a lover of the animated series. As a lover of the comics, I believe the Beyond series is well worth dipping into to read through (with 10,000 Clowns being a good place to start if you just want a taste rather than starting at the beginning) but I haven’t had a chance to read the reboot of Batman Beyond (pictured below). Suffice to say it’s a very different setting to the one from the animated series and comic book additions. If you end up a die-hard McGinnis fan then the first few chapters of Futures End are quite interesting, but after a few issues of that particular DC event you, much like myself, might find your interest Wayne-ing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

Leave a Reply