One of the rising stars in the game development world is Rocksteady Studios, known for the superb Batman: Arkham Asylum and its even better sequel, Batman: Arkham City. I know I’m not alone is saying that if Rocksteady wants to keep making Batman games, that’s fine by me, but Rocksteady’s work suggests that they are certainly capable of creating great games that don’t involve Batman.
In Batman: Arkham City, Rocksteady essentially created a Metroid-style puzzle game with gadgets interspersed with a unique and gratifying combat system. This style of game was built for Batman, but does not necessarily need to be implemented with Batman in mind.
One direction for Rocksteady to go would be to create other superhero games. Of course, they would have to change their gameplay style a little to deal with new superheroes, but they could keep their tried-and-true system for the most part intact if they created a Superman or Spiderman game, for example. In Arkham City, Rocksteady started to really explore Batman’s abilities to fly and grapple over long distances, and this concept would easily lend itself to the traversal required in a Superman or Spiderman game.
Another option for Rocksteady would be to expand on the pseudo-open world used in their previous two games and create a true open world game. This would not be a huge stretch at all, as both Batman games feature small open worlds with plenty of collectibles and a variety of side missions. Side missions are a particular strength in Arkham City, with almost every mission feeling just as carefully crafted as the main story missions. If Rocksteady could reproduce this on a larger scale, they would truly have something special.
One last alternative would be to go a slightly different direction and emphasize combat and create a Devil May Cry-style combat game, complete with swordplay and gunplay. Rocksteady has already demonstrated that their combat system is very adaptable to weapons such as swords (see one boss fight in Arkham City) and projectiles (Batarangs). Combat has always been a strong point in the Batman games, and there seems to be no reason not to just focus on combat in their next game.
While rumors point to Rocksteady making a Batman prequel, if they ever choose to abandon the property, they will certainly have no shortage of new possibilities. That being said, I will never say no to another Batman game.
Originally posted on leviathyn.com