The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
Today, internet-ers received wind of Batman: Arkham Origins. Gameinformer, as usual, is carrying the heavy-hitting news. In light of Rocksteady's recent track record with the first two Arkham games and their spectacular reception, Origins' announcement comes as huge news to fans (like me) who have enjoyed the series. However, in the fine-print is one interesting fact: Arkham Origins isn't being developed by Rocksteady Studios this time around. Instead, Warner Bros. Montreal is picking up the pieces. This can mean some great things, but it's also necessary to point out some cynicism.
The fact that WB Montreal is holding the slack for the new Arkham could mean two things: either Rocksteady is prepping a next-gen Arkham World game - which would be groundbreaking - or they've started work on something new entirely. That's cool and all, and they can have their fun with that while we clamor in our ignorance.
I also see two effects coming from the quality of the Montreal studio's new game. The studio is apparently relatively new, having recently opened shop. They have two other games announced, Lego Legends of Chima Online, and Cartoon Universe. I'd hate to question the skill and dedication of the employees, but it's a lot of weight on their shoulders to take the responsibility of Rocksteady's stellar work. Let's hope not, but it's entirely possible that the 'soul' of the Arkham games may be lost intranslation, or the development team may not fully understand what it takes to make an impressive game under the Arkham moniker.
The team has already stated that players will be able to travel between Arkham City's Old Gotham, and the more-familiar New Gotham, where Wayne Tower is located. Specifically, the game's map size will be double the size. This could either be incredible, or disappointing that the team possibly sacrifices detail for massive size. It all depends on the time, and execution of the devs over in Montreal, hopefully they don't let us down.
On the other hand, the fact that the game is introducing an entirely-new area, as well as new super-villains, with a younger Batman and story could be one of the most impressive things we've seen come from a Batman game. Once again, it depends on the execution. WB's Montreal studio most likely wants nothing more than to live up to the expectations set in place by the Arkham legacy, and the raving of fans, and it's easy to hope that they will pull nothing short of inspiring when the game releases in October.
Other things to be concerned about - how long has the team's development cycle been? It'll only have been two years by the time the game hits store shelves in the fall. Most likely the period has been longer than that, but you never know. Is the team spread thin? The Montreal studio is covering four games currently: Lego Legends of Chima Online, TBD Cartoon Universe, Arkham Origins, and the portable Arkham Origins Blackgate release. It's slightly concerning that this is so, and you have to wonder if their resources are ample enough to cover the Origins' two major releases, or if they'll turn out strained upon release.
Despite everything, the announcement is huge on Gameinformer's part. More Batman is always great to hear, since I'm a huge comic and Batman fan. With the stars aligned, Arkham Origins will be bigger, better, and more awesome than we've seen in the past. Seeing Deathstroke is awesome as well, that dude is BA.
What an exciting month.