It's been two weeks and people are still talking about Batman: Arkham City. Many have completed the main mission but of course Riddler's shaping up to be quite a pain with all his trophies you need to find. Arkham City does what most other comic book video games fail to do, it's a great game with great gameplay.
We know the chances of a third Arkham game is practically guaranteed. Rocksteady has made a great game even better in their second installment with Batman. The game is bigger and we get a nice variety in playable characters.
The idea of different playable characters in Arkham City opens the door for other characters to get the spotlight for themselves. Catwoman added some variety in the type of missions you have to complete and while there are some similarities in her fighting mechanics, it still gives a different feel to the game. It's been possible to play as Robin as well and beginning today, you have the opportunity to download Nightwing as a playable character. Are any of these characters or ones from other comics deserving of their own video game and could it be made with the same quality?== TEASER ==
The fact that both Arkham games have been so successful doesn't mean any character could be thrown into a video game. Even if it was made by the same developers, there are reasons why these Batman games have worked (does anyone remember the past attempts?). Some characters would work with the formula created here and others would crash and burn.
Playing in the Arkham games, you get a feel for what it would be like to be Batman. It's an experience that you don't get from the comics. Batman is a street level hero that relies on his fighting skills along with his high tech gadgets. The game requires you to travel from one part of the city to another, whether it's walking down the streets or gliding from building to building, it's all a believable portrayal. Trying to make a game with someone like Superman wouldn't work. Having the power to fly around and the (nearly) unlimited strength would give the character too much power unless it was centered around a horde of creatures sent by Darkseid from Apokolips. And as much as I love the Flash, a game focused on a speedster could be a challenge to even make.
Batman isn't just about running around and beating up the bad guys. There is the puzzle solving aspect that utilized the fact that he's supposed to be the World's Greatest Detective. There are plenty of clues and you are straight out told where to go at times but you do have to do some thinking as well.
What about a Catwoman game? That could be a tougher sell. Having side missions is one thing but trying to build an entire gaming experience around her would be a little tougher. This is not to say she isn't a worthy character but missions of sneaking around, stealing items and saving the occasional victim wouldn't have the same epic feel.
Perhaps a story like Darwyn Cooke's 'Selina's Big Score' could be adapted into a video game. It would have a more adventure-type feel to it than the Arkham games but could turn out to be an interesting game, provided it could be made without being a completely horrible game. Having a Tomb Raider-clone game with Selina thrown in would be an insult to her character.
If there's anything we've learned from the Batman comics in the last couple decades is Robin can be a cool character. Tim Drake (currently Red Robin) showed readers he could be more than just a sidekick. With the training across the world he's received and the deadly villains he's faced on his own, there is the possibility that a Robin game could work.
The Robin in this game doesn't feel like any of the Robins we know. He's a little...tougher and stronger. He's more of a brawler. Robin should be about more than just punching a level full of thugs. Tim was able to figure out Batman's identity through his own detective skills at a fairly young age. Let's see more of that rather than just endless fight after endless fight.
The same goes for Nightwing. Nightwing has the advantage of having more experience and a larger rogues gallery. His fighting style is definitely different than Batman's in Arkham City. Having a deeper history than Tim Drake, a Nightwing game could easily work.
To mix things up a little, let's have Dick Grayson back in Blüdhaven (maybe it still exists in the "New 52" and in the Arkham City universe). Since Arkham City began with a certain character in a different...guise, maybe something similar could happen with Dick. Parts of the game could feature the time when he was an actual police officer in Blüdhaven. The Nightwing series lasted over one hundred fifty issues and there's also all the Teen Titans and New Teen Titans issues that are bound to have stories that could inspire the groundwork for a game.
Speaking of Teen Titans, why not a different angle? What if we had a game based on Deathstroke? He has (and has had) an ongoing title of his own. There are video games that feature cold-hearted characters. Deathstroke has been portrayed as having some sort of personal morals but maybe the game could center around the jobs he takes and wouldn't have to focus simply on being an assassin.
For an added selling point, there could be the occasional level where he goes up against some heroes like the Teen Titans or perhaps even the Justice League (remember that scene in Identity Crisis?).
For now, we have Arkham City and the side missions and DLC portions to play with characters other than Batman. It's often the case that if a video game is based on either a movie or a comic book character, it's not going to be good. Rocksteady has proven this doesn't have to be the case. We could have really great comic book video games but a lot will depend on the character, the story and the gameplay. Not all comic book characters would work in a video game, despite how great they may be on paper (or even in animated and live-action form). There are a lot of people that do like comic characters as well as video games so now is the time to have more. Let's hope we can see more really good comic book video games.