- Related Games:
- Batman: Arkham Knight
[Editor's Note: Dream Sequels is a monthly feature where we conceptualize a sequel to a game that doesn't yet have one, but maybe could.]
Batman: Arkham Knight was always meant as the closing entry in a the Arkham trilogy. But, as anyone who has played Arkham Knight will tell you, the last thing Rocksteady gives you in its final bow to Batman is "closure." But could a sequel actually deliver that sense of accomplishment, and would it be worth it?
As a side note, it's pretty great that WB still advertised Akrham Knight as the end to the Arkham "trilogy," thereby officially discounting the WB Montreal-developed Arkham Origins, but I digress.
Just a fair warning, if you haven't played or beaten Arkham Knight yet and also stayed off the internet for the following six months after the release of Rocksteady's latest Batman game, this part will contain spoilers for Batman: Arkham Knight. You have been warned.
As I said before, Arkham Knight didn't really offer closure. The game seemingly ended on a cliff hanger with Wayne Manor exploding shortly after both he and Alfred entered it, but, upon completing the game 100%, you'll be treated to a bonus scene that shows a mysterious bat-like figure attacking two would-be muggers in Crime Alley.
But, this doesn't seem resolved, as there are a ton of questions, none of which offer anything other than what literally happened. Is it a new Batman? Is it the same Batman, just now using Joker's fear toxin since people are no longer afraid of him? I don't know, but the abiding sentiment of Arkham Knight is that Scarecrow won. He successfully unmasked Batman and showed the city that they don't have to be afraid of him anymore, causing Batman to go into hiding (I don't think anyone believes that he and Alfred actually died in that explosion, but I suppose that's an option).
At any rate, this is the darkest part of the trilogy, and certainly the darkest ending. Despite Batman's internal triumph over the Joker, there are still too many loose ends and unsatisfying answers. This would be like if the Star Wars series ended on The Empire Strikes Back, it would be a hollow ending.
For that main reason, I think the Arkham series really needs its Return of the Jedi (but hopefully a much better version). It could show us a side of Batman we've never seen before, even in the comics, a dark crusader finally on the losing side who has to regain whatever connections he may have to save the city he still holds dear.
But even though the game should have a sequel, that doesn't necessarily mean it could. But, fortunately the lore of Batman allows for many changes that could keep the sequel fresh, with new villains, supporting cast and even – dare I say it – a new Batman.
Many people already assumed the mysterious bat figure at the very end of the game was not Bruce Wayne anyhow, but there are several people who could take over the mantle, at least temporarily. Dick Grayson, Azrael and even Jason Todd could all be viable candidates with an interesting take on the character.
Heck, they could even do a comic-book tie-in with the Battle for the Cowl story arc, which showed the instability in Gotham following Batman's departure and those who sought to take over as the Caped Crusader.
Continuing with the Star Wars comparisons, this could even function a bit like The Force Awakens, which was noticeably absent Luke Skywalker for the majority of the movie, and tasked its characters with surviving without the immensely-powerful Jedi Knight fighting by their side.
As for villains, my vote would be Calendar Man, who appeared as an Easter Egg just before the Wayne Manor exploded in the Knightfall Protocol. If Batman is still alive, Calendar Man, who wanted to kill Batman before Scarecrow got in the way, would certainly want to know about it and find out where he is.
Calendar Man was also the focus of one of the greatest comic book arcs of all time in The Long Halloween, not to mention the best Easter Egg in Arkham City that required the play to visit Calendar Man on one real-world holiday per month for a whole year in order to unlock it.
As for gameplay, the absence of the Batmobile would be disappointing, but it would also give the game an opportunity to exist without all the high-chaos tank battles. The rest of the gameplay in Akrham Knight is solid and needs little attention.
Batman Arkham Knight was everything I wanted it to be, as a huge fan of Batman and the Arkham games, except a true ending to the series. I will forever remember the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy as the story of how Batman learned to embrace fear as a viable attribute, thereby defying his father's dying words. The story arc of the Arkham series? You got me there.
A sequel could still happen, but if rumors are true, not in any way that helps to resolve the story of the Arkham trilogy. Anyways, we haven't heard a peep about the series, officially, since the last game, and with the Telltale Batman games, I doubt Warner Bros. wants to oversaturate the market with the Dark Knight, so I'm not going to hold my breath.
If you have suggestions on what game we should cover for the next Dream Sequel segment, let us know in the comments section!