Bat-fans eager for some news on Rocksteady Studio’s follow-up to last year’s widely successful, critical darling Batman: Arkham Asylum won’t have to hold their breath for much longer. On September 2nd, the October issues of Official Xbox Magazine and Official PlayStation Magazine both hit newsstands with pages packed full of details for Batman: Arkham Asylum 2. The forthcoming features promise the first solid bits of information about the game, as well as the first screenshots.
Even though this will mark the first official news release for Arkham Asylum 2, a few of the Dark Knight’s secrets have managed to escape the cave. This past April at C2E2, long-time Batman/Bruce Wayne voice actor Kevin Conroy let fans know that the story would be taking a much darker tone this time around. He also mentioned the inclusion of many twists and turns to keep players guessing as to who the real villain is. One sly fan also managed to trip Conroy up by getting him to reveal that Two-Face would be one of the classic baddies making an appearance.
In addition to Two-Face, a couple other members of Batman’s rogue gallery have also been confirmed to appear in the series for the first time. Both Mr. Freeze and Talia Al Ghul (Ras Al Ghul’s daughter) were confirmed via leaks from their real-life voice counterparts, Maurice LaMarche and Stana Katic. Arkham Asylum 2's teaser trailer also possibly contains hints at some of the familiar faces that we could see including Catwoman, The Penguin and Black Mask. Mark Hamill, whose incredible work as The Joker in the first game received a hefty portion of praise, will indeed be returning. However, in a bittersweet addition to that news, Hamill also said that he plans for the game to be his final trip through Gotham as the Clown Prince of Crime. Why, Mark? Why?
There have also been a variety of domain names that were recently acquired that could hint at the scope of the game. Many of them seem to hint at a game that might feature a more open-world, sandbox type of setting. This idea has garnered mixed reactions from fans that loved the tightly directed feeling of the original Arkham Asylum, myself included.
Will the sequel live up to the lofty expectations created by Arkham Asylum? Will the game be at risk of losing its energetic pace and cinematic feel should it move to an open-world format? What other characters would you love to see? Just remember to come out of your lair this September, or news on one of the most anticipated upcoming games could sneak right past you.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is headed to an Xbox 360, PS3 or PC near you at some undisclosed time in the future (potentially this year).