Game Informer's new cover story announces Batman: Arkham Origins, the latest entry in the popular Arkham series. Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City were two of the most acclaimed games in recent years, putting players into the Dark Knight's cowl with puzzles, fluid combat and an array of gadgets. The former introduced Rocksteady Studios to the gaming world as the little studio that could, with a dark and complex environment, amazing voice acting (thanks to actors from the '90s animated series) and solid gameplay. The sequel saw the studio leap into an open world environment, with Batman gliding from the rooftops of the sprawling urban prison that was Arkham City.
Fans of the series may be disappointed to learn that Rocksteady is not returning to develop Batman: Arkham Origins. But through extensive interviews with Batman's newest team, Warner Brothers Games Montreal, Game Informer suggests fans have little to fear. A video feature reveals that WB Montreal has slowly been recruiting some of the top names in the business, including new creative director Eric Holmes.
"We are very aware of the fact we are standing on the shoulders of giants," said Ben Mattes, the game's senior producer. "We are playing in the space of some of the most critically acclaimed games of all time."
Rocksteady stands behind the studio, and has provided plenty of help when needed to maintain both quality and feel. That said, WB Montreal is still trying to make its own, unique game.
"We're not adding 20 things that suck," says Holmes. "We're aiming to add carefully targeted items that don't break what works and add value to what's there."
Origins is a prequel to the previous Arkham games, featurng a younger Batman. He's not a rookie, but he hasn't yet met the supervillains who will make up his diverse and extensive rogues gallery. Origins looks to be twice the size of Arkham City, taking place in Old Gotham and New Gotham.
Old Gotham will look familiar to fans—it's the future location of Arkham City, meaning towns and districts will carry over, but be significantly livelier and less flooded. New Gotham features skyscrapers and tall buildings. Developers claim it will mix up combat by levels, with enemies on the ground, medium roofs and tall roofs. The game will also be set during the Christmas season, to intentionally contrast the dark nature of the story and Gotham City with the spirit of the holiday.
The game is slated for release on Oct. 25, 2013, so fans won't have to wait too long to see how well WB Montreal carries the legacy. It will be available on Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Get a taste of Game Informer's coverage by checking out the preview below.