Whilst development continues on the anticipated sequel to Arkham City, many people are wondering whether Batman will make it out of the explosive finale alive. With Gotham City under lockdown, the Arkham Knight and Scarecrow are set to bring the Dark Knight face-to-face with his biggest fears, but given Rocksteady’s penchant for pushing the boundaries, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they decided to off B-man altogether. After all, this is a studio that killed off the Joker at the end of Arkham City, so everyone should consider themselves on thin ice.
There are many reasons as to why they might end their definitive trilogy of Arkham games with the death of the caped crusader, but there are also many reasons why they may not. You only have to have discovered Azrael in Arkham City to hear him prophesying the demise of Gotham and the fire that would bring Batman down with it. From the ashes may rise another hero, but although killing Batman would be a poignant end to the series, it would also be a bold move should Warner Bros. want to continue the story.
It’s already been mentioned by Rocksteady themselves that they intend to leave Batman behind once work has been completed on Arkham Knight, however, it certainly doesn’t spell the end. Having already had one non-Rocksteady Batman game with Arkham Origins, it would make sense to have Warner Bros. turn to their Montreal Studio and task them with taking the series forward. The possibilities of where to go next are endless, so let’s take a look at just a couple of them.
Look to the future
Once released, Arkham Knight will mark the fourth game based around Bruce’s progression from amateur crime fighter to experienced professional, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that moving into his later years could bring with it a wealth of story and gameplay opportunities. It’s true that we could see the introduction of other heroes such as Superman, involving a story in a similar vein to the upcoming Batman v Superman movie, but I think keeping it Batman-centric would be better. Does Terry McGinnis ring a bell?
Yes, Batman Beyond would serve up quite a mix to what we’ve already seen, but getting a story that features a wealth of Batman characters in their later years would definitely be interesting to play. I’m not saying it would be easy, by any means, it would probably be harder than what Rocksteady have accomplished. Alongside having to re-work gameplay around Batman’s ability to fly with an ultra-agile suit, the environment would also have to be large enough to cater towards a much faster pace.
Since Batman: Arkham Knight will provide the most comprehensive package yet, there may even be the chance to expand the city and its surrounding areas through additional DLC. How about once Rocksteady are finished, Warner Bros. Montreal make their own missions and incorporate additional characters? Why not take a note out of Sucker Punch’s book and allow people to create their own missions with a simple editor? These ideas will most probably not happen, but there’s plenty to consider.
So, will Batman die? I’d say that there’s a strong possibility of sacrifice, but I suspect through one of his closest allies, opposite the main man himself. Perhaps Commissioner Gordon will learn about Bruce’s alter ego, ultimately giving his life for the greater good? If you remember another Arkham City side-quest, Hush has indeed perfected Bruce Wayne’s face, but how he’ll be involved in the story remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure, with Scarecrow’s fear toxin making the rounds, anything is possible.