Warner Bros. Montreal have been very quiet since the release of Batman: Arkham Origins, the prequel to the award-winning #Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios. It wasn't until the release of Arkham Knight - Rocksteady's final Arkham game - that we heard some whispers and rumors surrounding the company and their upcoming project.
The project that was rumored to be in production was none other than a #Superman game, set within the same universe as the Arkham series - colloquially known as the Arkhamverse. For the following months, artwork and details begun to surface that seemed to confirm the games existence, but then everything went silent. That was until the summer of 2016.
A report hit the internet that revealed that Warner Bros. Montreal were looking to capitalize on the release of Suicide Squad by putting a game based on that property into production (that was later reportedly scrapped). But it wasn't the only game confirmed to be in existence from the report, as it was announced that Montreal were developing a #Batman game revolving around Damian Wayne (yay?). The latter's existence was then confirmed when, later that year, Warner Bros. Montreal accidentally included developmental footage of the game in their recruitment video, which showed Batman stealthily moving through a street.
Now, much like the Superman project, the internet has gone quiet and nothing has been mentioned in quite sometime, that is until now. A new bit of info from an—and this is the key word here—alleged employee at Montreal says that there is a Batman game in development, but it does not star Damian Wayne.
A Batman And Robin Game In The Works?
The former employee stated on Reddit that due to recent shake-ups and potential layoffs, he decided to leak some details about the Batman game in development. This fits with the earlier news of studio head Martin Carrier leaving the company early last year and being replaced last November by Stéphane Roy. The departure of Carrier had meant the aforementioned cancellation of the #SuicideSquad project, and several delays on their upcoming Batman game.
The former employee reveals that the new game is titled Batman: Arkham Insurgency and will feature Bruce Wayne as Batman and Dick Grayson as Robin as the playable characters. Fortuitous timing considering Warner Bros. just announced a Dick Grayson/Nightwing movie. And let's not forget, a cryptic tease for a big announcement on March 8 hit the internet last month:
The Developer Revealed Some Interesting Details
Here is a round-up of the details that the employee leaked:
- Built on the same engine as Arkham Knight, the game is set 3 years after the events of Arkham Origins.
- Insurgency has been in production since 2014, which coincides with the production date for the leaked Superman game.
- The game will be set within a previously unexplored Coastal area of Gotham, which the employee states is roughly the same size as the three islands from Arkham Knight. While the interior will not be expanded from the 2015 game, the interior of the buildings has been vastly updated, granting access to nearly every building.
- Wayne Manor and the Batcave are once again accessible via Fast Travel.
- The Batmobile makes its return, but has been modified (understandably). Much to the delight of some critics, the battle mode has been disabled and revamped. Missiles, Power Winch and EMP devices return along with some new weaponry.
- Dual combat returns, but entirely revamped. The dual-takedown has been removed and replaced with combos and an entirely new skill tree dedicated to this style of play.
- A more complicated style of 1-on-1 fighting has been incorporated into the game.
- Alfred and Lucius Fox return as your contacts, with Barbara Gordon returning. In news that will anger long-time fans of Dick and Babs, Dick Grayson does not reciprocate Barbara's feelings toward him. This explains the Tim Drake/Barbara Gordon romance which is present in Arkham Knight.
- Boss battles will be returning!
The lessened emphasis on the Batmobile will be something that will delight the critics of Arkham Knight. While the Batmobile was something that fans demanded from Rocksteady for years, the pressure of adding the iconic vehicle seemed to be too much for the company as they made too much of the story revolve around the Batmobile. The biggest criticism of the vehicle regarded the final boss battle with #Deathstroke... while in the Batmobile.
Now that the game details have been covered, now it is time to get into the story.
Blackgate And Arkham Asylum Experience Breakouts... Again
Blackgate and Arkham Asylum seriously need to put new security measures in place. The plot revolves around the two prisons experiencing breakouts and the criminals housed within them wrecking havoc in Gotham. This will serve as the game's reason for you not accessing the entirety of the city, as the police have shut off the surrounding areas that it has under control. The areas that players will have access to will be populated by criminals and villains; there will be civilians trapped inside that Batman and #Robin must protect and extract.
Villains from the previous games will return, including Anarky, Maxie Zues, Two-Face and Riddler. The game will also see Dusan Al Ghul grace our screens for the first time, and the long awaited debut of Killer Moth(!). Also returning, controversially, is #Joker. This will be Joker's 5th appearance in an Arkham video game, which will surely be the subject of debate for quite some time.
The Court Of Owls And Owl Man Are The Antagonists
Not only will you have to deal with a super-villain breakout, Batman and Robin must suppress the threat of the Court of Owls and Owl Man. While the Court will have a presence, Owl Man is the true focus of the game, which is sure to be great news for fans of the Arkham series. After three games of fighting Joker and then a (kind of) brand-new villain in #ArkhamKnight, it'll be a welcome change to see a lesser-known Batman villain claim the spotlight.
The Talons will also make an appearance as elite enemies, similar to the League of Assassins', well, assassins. The Court is said to view Batman and Robin's heroics as a threat to their cause, and will eliminate them at all costs.
All of this is sure to get fans pumped for a future Batman game, even if Warner Bros. Montreal dropped the ball with Superman and Suicide Squad. It also seems that fans won't have to wait that long to get a hold of Batman: Arkham Insurgency.
Expect A November 2017 Release Date...Probably
The employee stated that fans should expect to see #BatmanArkhamInsurgency in stores at the end of 2017, most likely around November. He did cautious, however, that we shouldn't be committed to that, as the game was meant to be announced at the end of 2016 but production troubles set that timeline way back.
With the inclusion of Owl Man, The Court of Owls and #DickGrayson as Robin, could this game possibly live up to the expectations set by Rocksteady? Arkham Origins certainly impressed with its story and combat, but its buggy controls and glitch-ridden open world means it will go down as the least favored Arkham game among critics. Could Arkham Insurgency absolve Warner Bros. of the sins of Arkham Origins? Only time will tell.