When we were putting together our list of comic book characters that need video games the steampunk, turn-of-the-century DC Comics one-shot Gotham By Gaslight wasn't among them. That doesn't mean that Batman's quest to find and capture Jack the Ripper on the streets of 19th Century Gotham doesn't deserve a bit more attention. As it turns out, recently discovered artwork shows that at one point developer Day 1 Studios was considering a video game adaptation of the story that never came to fruition.
The original comic book was among the first stories taking DC heroes and villains into different locations and time periods, a series that would later be collected under the Elseworlds banner. The unique setting and story of the book was written by comic great Brian Augustyn before his years helming The Flash series, and illustrated by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.
According to a recent batch of concept artwork from the portfolio of graphic artist Julie A. Farrell, F.E.A.R. and MechAssault developer Day 1 was at least exploring the idea of a game based on the comic book. Whether the project was merely a pitch or cancelled is impossible to know, but one look at the artwork will surely have Batman fans wishing it had become a reality. Have a look:
We don't need to explain why a cloaked and caned Bruce Wayne would make for an artistically inspired game experience, but the chances of this ever becoming a reality are slim. It's safe to say that Batman: Arkham City has received as much praise and success as any Batman game could, although in a perfect world, Gotham By Gaslight would somehow become the next superhero game from Rocksteady.
With the dark and moody world and story of Arkham City, it's hard to think of a studio that could do a better job of bringing the world's greatest detective and the most infamous unsolved murder cases together. With the Batman property a proven game franchise there's a chance more worlds may be explored, but fans shouldn't hold their breath. 'Steampunk' and 'Batman' don't exactly go hand in hand, but the concept artwork on Farrell's website shows that more Batman games means good things for gamers.
What do you think of the artwork and designs? Are there any other Batman stories that you think are tailor-made for a video game adaptation? Leave us some of your ideas in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.