Rocksteady’s Next ‘Batman’ Is a Silver Age Prequel, Features Justice League

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 11th, 2012 at 7:09 pm,

Batman Rocksteady Prequel Justice League

How do you follow up on the most critically acclaimed Batman game of all time? Turns out developer Rocksteady Studios isn’t just bringing the Caped Crusader back, they’re sending him back as well.

There was minute speculation months ago that the developer would depart the Gotham universe altogether after teasing its next game as “exciting” and different” – some even anticipated a curious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles deviation. Those rumors can take a rain check, though, as a new report positions Rocksteady at the helm of a Silver Age Batman prequel – with a league of familiar faces in toe.

Stemming from an unnamed source at Variety is the knowledge that Warner Brothers Interactive, publisher of all DC Comics games, has commissioned Rocksteady to chronicle Batman’s first encounter with The Joker. Teaming up with the superhero will be several, but right now unspecified members of the Justice League of America, in a game that’s slated to release in 2014.

In the DC Comics canon, this sends Batman back to the Silver Age – a period of comic book making, from 1955 to c. 1970, that saw the constant inception of new superheroes (as well as the formation of the Justice League) and an increased emphasis on artistic verve. Indeed, it’s alleged that the new game will be “highly stylized,” though whether or not that means an inflection from the beautifully harrowing, gritty design of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City isn’t stated.

Batman Rocksteady Justice League Game

What’s also vague is how Rocksteady would use the Justice League alongside the main playable gameplay sequences of Batman – sequences our Arkham City review felt were close to perfection in the last title. We’re thinking right now that a rotation of JL-specific missions is more in sync with the developer’s singleplayer modus operandi (think Arkham City’s Catwoman or Robin missions, just not as DLC), but AI companions or even co-op mode aren’t out of the question.

As for the award-winning voice work of the franchise, don’t expect Mark Hamill to make a return; the voice of the Joker in the previous two installments has stated on several occasions that he wouldn’t be reprising his role (this time for real). Kevin Conroy as Batman was left open for another appearance, but it might depend on just how drastically redesigned the prequel aims to be.

Batman Rocksteady Justice League 2014

Another interesting tidbit asserted by Variety concerns the project’s release date. Allegedly, the prequel/Justice League pathway represents a calculated, post-Nolan effort by Warner Bros. to ingratiate audiences with the Justice League of America (whose only current sans-comic presence, really, is in LEGO Batman 2) before a 2015 JLA film. This leads them to posit Rocksteady’s Batman game as a 2014 release at the earliest. So we have to wonder: is the game also being developed primarily for the next generation? If so, the potential for Rocksteady to shine – they’ve built quite the reputation for gripping narratives, elaborately detailed worlds, and wildly popular characters – is staggering.

Ranters, now that we know where Rocksteady’s locus is at for their next game, how excited are you for a Batman prequel? How should the Justice League (and, apparently, some Justice League film synergy) factor in to the game’s design? Which members should take center stage?


Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Variety [via Game Informer]

TAGS: Batman, Batman Arkham City, PC, PS3, Rocksteady Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive, Xbox 360


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  1. Thats a cool creative concept I wouldn’t mind it, I think playing his first encounter with the joker is very intresting. They could make it less dark and more vibrant or the opposite bleak and dark, I don’t care lol as long as the combat is the same or better and you get to ride around in the classical bat mobile in a open world Gotham. I don’t know how to feel about JLA being involved, just as long as they are used well and don’t interfere with the story I’m good. Don’t make them playable though, it would make it too much. Oh and guys it’s not confirmed yet, rocksteady has said nothing about this, there is no basis to this claim other than variety and stuff. As far as I’m concerned this is a pure rumor and Arkham 3 is in the works instead, this is like the TMNT rumor remember how that turned out? AC had so many sidemissons and eastereggs leading into the sequel , like azereals prophecy, hush, scarecrow, Quinn’s and jokers baby, and scarecrow! Even if this rumor is true I think they’re gonna take they’re time on Arkham 3 and release it on a next gen console( or not).

  2. This is extremely disappointing to hear. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t expand on the Arkham world that Rocksteady has set up. They are amazing games, and to go in another direction makes no sense. Several side missions (Azrael and The Order of St. Dumas, Hush), Harley Quinn’s positive pregnancy test, all point to Rocksteady progressing the story. Also, they made such an emphasis in the Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC, that Batman was acting differently/upset since the end of Arkham City, why would they not expand on it in a new game? In my opinion, they will continue the Arkham franshise and this new game is not a “prequel”, but a new series all together… I hope.

  3. I could write a very long post, but why bother?

    I essentially agree that it could be really kool, but that if it’s true, should totally be a new series altogether.

    Certaqinly I think the Arkhamverse Batman could fit in with the Justice League, and they could even draw on that version as their inspiration for this one. But I don’t think the JLA should be present in a prequel that depicts the beginnings of the intimate relationship to the Joker.

    Also, I personally feel that if they are making a JLA game, it should be a JLA game, not a “Batman: featuring the JLA” game.

    Batman has enough of a spotlight. let’s share the wealth. and make them all playable. please.

  4. “Justice League of America (whose only current sans-comic presence, really, is in LEGO Batman 2)”

    Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe?!?!?!

  5. I would rather see a sequel to Arkham City remember at the end If you wait for the credits you will know Harley Quinn has the Joke Baby and she sang to it Hush little baby don’t say a word mama’s gonna blow for you e whole damb world that’s Pretty good sign that they will continue the storyline maybe the son of the Joker will be a Heath Ledger like Joker one with a darker sense of humor, WHY SO SERIOUS.

  6. If this game fails, it could potentially ruin your chances for another Arkham. Although it’s highly unlikely.

    You should be ashamed, wishing failure on a developer that innovates (one of the few).

  7. If you are going to post such negative comments, you should probably use spell check so you don’t look like an even bigger moron than already do for posting that. You’re a friggin genius buddy.

  8. I’m not used to seeing this kind of immature conversations on game rant. hopefully I don’t see too many more.

  9. not to mention gave him two games that he really enjoyed… No wonder they call gamers entitled.

    I am eager to see what Rocksteady can do outside of the Arkham series. Should be interesting as long as they arent forced to make it a movie tie in with the justice league movie

  10. You do realise the main reason the Arkham games sold so well is because Nolan’s movies, right? That’s because it wasn’t the lighter toned, silver age Batman, that everyone was tired of seeing. Nolan’s movies of course used the darker toned Batman, extremely successful. Much to everyones’ delight Rocksteady also went with a darker toned Batman. By the way, the game doesn’t have to fail if it never sees the light of day. They should go back to the drawing board, it’s obvious the dark tone Batman is a wiser choice.

  11. Silver Age Batman can still be dark.

  12. Joker35….blah-blah…

    Instead of reacting like a twelve year-old, you might wish to read what was ACTUALLY written above. The “source” said nothing about the Silver Age, just that Batman would be encountering the Joker for the first time. Brian Sipple (the article’s writer) is the one talking about the Silver Age. This is the same company that gave us AA and AC, and yet you REALLY believe they would suddenly soften their story for THIS game?


  13. While it might be true that the Nolan Batman-triology had raised the general interest in Batman and could explain some of the success of the games, Im inclined to believe the main reason of it is because they both are freaking great games. And besides that they both are “dark” or “gritty” or whatever you’d like to call it, I dont see much resemblance between the Rocksteady games and the Nolan Films. More likely are Rocksteady influenced by Frank Millers Batman-comics than Nolans hollywood-version.

  14. Well that’s cool and everything. If the the game is silver age then the Justice League will play a large role, that is when they were formed. Like I said previously the first two games were successful largely due to their dark nature and their awesome choice of which Batman to use. They did excellent, I’m sorry I can’t be to optomistic about this game, I have to be a realist. They have to use silver age Batman, if they want to stay true to the comics. The problem lies in that, the first two games used the darker Batman, the same fan-base won’t be as accepting of this game because we liked the first two games’ Batman. By the way, there is no neeed in such vulgarities like the “F word” we are having a friendly discussion here. So lets be adults and not use such vulgarities, makes you look like a child.

  15. You claim not to use vulgarities, yet you used them to describe the Justice League. Back to the subject at hand, you said he first two were great, yet you seem to have no faith in the people that brought them to you. If anyone can don’t, it’s Rocksteady.

  16. “just so you idiots know”? You are the one being hypocritical and judging a game before it even releases. I’n with Matt here dude, you’re insulting everyone yet you claimed earlier it was just a friendly disagreement.

  17. Look, Joker, I understand what you’re saying. Rocksteady may be creating a game that is not in the same era as the Arkham series, so odds are the feel may change. Be that as it may, until the game actually is released, you cannot possibly know if it will flop or not. Besides, a developer really shows their talent when they diversify what they create. If they create dark-themed games from the get-go and nothing else, it will become stale and we, the gamers, will burn out on it. Branching out is needed for them to survive in the gaming industry. Also, just because the Justice League is involved does not mean it will be horrible. Depending on the treatment they use, this game may even top the Arkham series. Finally, even though they are still very new, Rocksteady has proven they can create a quality game that engages its players with a unique story and innovative gameplay, not to mention making a character that has been notoriously difficult to make popular as a video game a sensation. For these reasons, you should give Rocksteady a little more credit than you are. It’s kind of disheartening to me when a person turns on a favored developer so quickly on news of its next project. Give them a chance. Given their track record, I’m sure they won’t disappoint.

  18. I said vulgarities such as the “F word” you numb skull. Figures you are not a legal adult, only a child thinks it cool to spout off the “f word” every chance they get. I am done speaking to you, I prefer not to argue with some child over the internet. By the way, “ass” is hardly a vulgarity, considering it is seen quite often in old literature.

  19. Just so you idiots know, no matter how good a game developer is, it’s not out of the question for them to make a bad game. This is an example, now then if you want I can name other examples. (THQ’s Homefront, Infinity Ward’s CoD MW3, also EA’s 2010 MoH reboot flopped) Even big name developers like THQ, EA, and Activision who have all had big success can make a bad game. Why should Rocksteady be any different?

  20. @Joker, those are all publishers, dude lol

  21. Well buddy, I hate to tell you this, but it started out as a friendly disagreement. Then it became something more the minute you guys started to get annoying, you don’t seem to understand what I’m saying. Of course you have no reply about what I said about the game you intstead wanted to attack me, thats cool though. If you have nothing to say about the game then don’t bother commenting. Okay? Cause you’re just wasting my time.

    @ATG Good for you, would you like a cookie?

  22. @Joker, no thanks!

    FYI, I understand what you’re saying (or at least trying to), it’s just the way you worded it. Plus, your disrespect towards Rocksteady. Yes, they CAN make a bad game but because they haven’t, we have faith in them.

  23. Joke357187…

    YOU have not been friendly from your first comment, onward.

  24. I’m with ATG, you (Joker357187) did not word your comment correctly. You used the names of publishers when you should have used the names of developers. I am dumbfounded as to how you, a gamer, don’t realize the difference between a publisher and a developer.

  25. New to the Internet, Jack7? Expect a lot of disappointment. Most people are not as civilized as you would like them to be. Anonymity brings out the worst in some folks. Good luck keeping above the fray.

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