Batman: Arkham

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Batman: Arkham
Batman Arkham series logo.png
The "Bat" logo for the series, as seen on the Batman: Arkham Collection box art, featuring the color schemes (from left to right) used on the Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Origins logos.
Genres Action-adventure, stealth
Developers
Publishers
Creators
Writers
Composers
Platforms
Platform of origin
First release Batman: Arkham Asylum
August 25, 2009
Latest release Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
October 25, 2013

Batman: Arkham is a series of action-adventure video games based on the DC Comics character Batman, developed by Rocksteady Studios[1][2] and Warner Bros. Games Montréal, and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The first two Rocksteady games were written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini and featured voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and Joker, respectively, from the DC Animated Universe. Other actors to reprise their roles from the DCAU include Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn in Batman: Arkham Asylum, C.C.H. Pounder as Amanda Waller and Robert Costanza as Harvey Bullock, both in Arkham Origins.

The first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009), focuses on Batman trying to prevent Joker from destroying Gotham City after he takes control of Arkham Asylum. The second game, Arkham City (2011), is set a year later, after Hugo Strange expands Arkham into a massive super-prison enclosing a dilapidated segment of Gotham City; Batman is incarcerated and must uncover the secret behind Strange's sinister scheme, "Protocol 10". Arkham Origins (2013) is a prequel set years before the events of Arkham Asylum in which a younger and less-refined Batman must deal with a bounty that has been placed on him by crime lord Black Mask and has lured eight deadly assassins to Gotham on Christmas Eve. The next and final Rocksteady installment, Batman: Arkham Knight, is scheduled to be released in 2015 and is set one year after the events of Arkham City. It features Scarecrow and a mysterious new foe, called the Arkham Knight as the main villains.

Games[edit]

Games, by year and platform
Title Year Console PC Handheld Mobile
PS3 PS4 Wii U X360 XOne Mac Win 3DS Vita And iOS
Batman: Arkham Asylum 2009 Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No No No
Batman: Arkham City[A] 2011 Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown 2011 No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes
Batman: Arkham Origins 2013 Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No
Batman: Arkham Origins (mobile) 2013 No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate[B] 2013 Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No
Batman: Arkham Knight 2015 No Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No
Notes
  1. ^ The Wii U edition was released under the title Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition.
  2. ^ The console and PC editions were released under the title Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition.

Main series[edit]

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)[edit]

Main article: Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum, the first game in the series, is written by veteran Batman writer, Paul Dini.[1] Batman trying to stop his archenemy, the Joker, who instigates an elaborate plot to seize control of Arkham Asylum and trap Batman inside with many of his incarcerated foes. With Joker threatening to detonate hidden bombs and unleash Titan, an experimental chemical based on Venom, around fictional Gotham City, Batman is forced to fight his way through the asylum's inmates and put an end to the Joker's plans.

Batman: Arkham City (2011)[edit]

Main article: Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City, set a year after the events of Arkham Asylum, features a bigger cast of characters and a story again written by Paul Dini, along with Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill. Batman is incarcerated in Arkham City, a massive new super-prison enclosing the decaying urban slums of Gotham City. He must uncover the secret behind the sinister scheme, "Protocol 10", orchestrated by the facility's warden, Hugo Strange. Meanwhile, the Joker is dying due to the unstable properties of the Titan formula in his blood. After injecting Batman with his blood, Batman must work to find a cure. Mark Hamill, who reprised his role of the Joker from the previous game, stated that Arkham City would be his last performance as the Joker.[3]

Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)[edit]

Batman: Arkham Origins, a prequel set many years before Arkham Asylum, is developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal and written by Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia writers Corey May and Dooma Wendschuh. The game is the first in the series to feature multiplayer gameplay, with that content developed by Splash Damage.[4] The story follows a younger, less refined Batman, who has a bounty placed on his head by Black Mask, drawing eight of the world's deadliest assassins to Gotham City on Christmas Eve while he also encounters Joker for the first time. Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker voiced Batman and the Joker, respectively, who replace Kevin Conroy and Hamill from the previous two games.[5]

Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)[edit]

Main article: Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight, a sequel set one year after Arkham City, is being developed once again by Rocksteady, and is scheduled to release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows on June 2, 2015.[6] The game sees the return of the supervillain Scarecrow, who unites several of Gotham City's greatest villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy the Batman.[7][8] It is intended to be the final Arkham game by Rocksteady.[9] Kevin Conroy will reprise his role as Batman in the game.[10]

Other games[edit]

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown (2011)[edit]

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, an iOS and Android game developed by NetherRealm Studios, creators of Mortal Kombat, is set before the events of Arkham City. Batman has to stop criminals who are unleashed on the streets of Gotham City.

Batman: Arkham Origins (mobile) (2013)[edit]

Batman: Arkham Origins is an iOS and Android game developed by NetherRealm Studios.[11] The game follows the same storyline as the main console version.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (2013)[edit]

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, is a PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS game developed by Armature Studio, set three months after the events of Arkham Origins. Batman must investigate a mysterious explosion at Blackgate Prison that allows the inmates to take over. The game features voice acting. A deluxe edition featuring new maps, enemy encounters, difficulty levels, batsuits, and enhanced visuals from the original, was released on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo eShop and Microsoft Windows on April 1, 2014 in North America, and April 2, 2014 in Europe.[12]

Collections[edit]

On September 23, 2013, the Batman: Arkham Bundle was released in North America for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as a Greatest Hits and Platinum Hits collection, respectively. It features the Game of the Year edition of Arkham Asylum, which includes the "Totally Insane", "Nocturnal Hunter", "Crime Alley" and "Scarecrow Nightmare" challenge maps, and the Game of the Year edition of Arkham City, which includes all additional content, including multiple skin DLC packs, as well as the extended story "Harley Quinn's Revenge".[13]

On November 22, 2013, the Batman: Arkham Collection was released in Europe for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The collection features downloadable versions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and a physical copy of Arkham Origins. In addition, the PlayStation 3 version features the Knightfall DLC pack for Arkham Origins, while Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are the Game of the Year editions on Windows.[14]

Future[edit]

At the conclusion of Arkham Origins and Origins Blackgate, Amanda Waller approaches Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bronze Tiger and Rick Flag about joining the Suicide Squad, hinting at a possible game or tie-in to the Arkham series, based around the team.[15] This correlates with knowledge that Geoff Johns provided in February 2012 that a Suicide Squad game was in development.[16]

Characters[edit]

Batman: Arkham Asylum
(2009)
Batman: Arkham City
(2011)
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown[17]
(2011)
Batman: Arkham Origins
(2013)
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
(2013)
Batman: Arkham Knight
(2015)
Bruce Wayne
Batman
Kevin Conroy[18][19][20] Roger Craig Smith[5][21] Kevin Conroy[10]
The Joker Mark Hamill[18][19][20] Troy Baker[5][21]
James Gordon Tom Kane[18] David Kaye[19] Michael Gough[22][23] TBA
Bane Fred Tatasciore[18][24] J.B. Blanc[25] (non-speaking appearance)
Barbara Gordon
Oracle
Kimberly Brooks[18][26] TBA TBA
Dr. Harleen Quinzel
Harley Quinn
Arleen Sorkin[18] Tara Strong[19][27] Tara Strong[28]
Edward Nashton/Nigma
The Riddler/Enigma
Wally Wingert[18][19] Wally Wingert[29] Wally Wingert[28]
Waylon Jones
Killer Croc
Steven Blum[18][19] Khary Payton[30]
Pamela Isley
Poison Ivy
Tasia Valenza[18][19] Amy Carle
Victor Zsasz Danny Jacobs[18][31]
Quincy Sharp Tom Kane[18][19] Tom Kane[29]
Aaron Cash Duane R. Shepard, Sr.[18][citation needed]
Martha Wayne Tasia Valenza[18][citation needed] TBA
Jack Ryder James Horan[citation needed][19] TBA
Jonathan Crane
Scarecrow
Dino Andrade[18] TBA
Thomas Wayne Kevin Conroy[18] (non-speaking appearance) TBA
Amadeus Arkham Tom Kane[citation needed]
Frank Boles Danny Jacobs[18]
Penelope Young Cree Summer[18]
Alfred Pennyworth Martin Jarvis[19] Martin Jarvis[32]
Oswald Cobblepot
The Penguin
Nolan North[19] Nolan North[23][28][33]
Floyd Lawton
Deadshot
Chris Cox[19] TBA
Jervis Tetch
Mad Hatter
Peter MacNicol[19] Peter MacNicol[34]
Roman Sionis
Black Mask
Nolan North[19] Brian Bloom[23][35]
Selina Kyle
Catwoman
Grey DeLisle[19] Grey DeLisle[36]
Hugo Strange Corey Burton[19]
Ra's al Ghul Dee Bradley Baker[19]
Talia al Ghul Stana Katic[19]
Victor Fries
Mr. Freeze
Maurice LaMarche[19] Maurice LaMarche[37]
Harvey Dent
Two-Face
Troy Baker[19] Troy Baker[28]
Basil Karlo
Clayface
Rick D. Wasserman[19]
Tim Drake
Robin
Troy Baker[19]
Solomon Grundy Fred Tatasciore[19] TBA
Thomas Elliot Kevin Conroy[19]
Julian Day
Calendar Man
Maurice LaMarche[19] (non-speaking appearance)
Azrael Khary Payton[26]
Vicki Vale Grey DeLisle[38] TBA
Hammer Fred Tatasciore[citation needed]
Sickle Steven Blum[citation needed]
Dick Grayson
Nightwing/Robin
(non-speaking appearance) Josh Keaton[39]
Slade Wilson
Deathstroke
Larry Grimm Mark Rolston[40]
Copperhead Rosa Salazar[41]
Anarky Matthew Mercer[42]
Alberto Falcone TBA
Gillian B. Loeb TBA
Branden TBA
Garfield Lynns
Firefly
Crispin Freeman[43]
Lester Buchinsky
Electrocutioner
Steven Blum[44]
Shiva Kelly Hu[45]
Amanda Waller C. C. H. Pounder[29]
Warden Martin Joseph Khary Payton[46]
Harvey Bullock Robert Costanzo[27]
Kirigi TBA
Ferris Boyle TBA
Bronze Tiger TBA
Rick Flag Jr. TBA
Arkham Knight TBA
Jason Todd
Red Hood
TBA

Other media[edit]

Comics[edit]

Batman: Arkham Asylum – The Road to Arkham[edit]

A 16-page, single-issue comic, Batman: Arkham Asylum – The Road to Arkham, was included in limited editions of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It is a prequel to the game and is written by Alan Burnett and illustrated by Carlos D'Anda.[47]

Batman: Arkham City[edit]

Starting in May 2011, DC Comics released a five-issue miniseries titled Batman: Arkham City. The miniseries was meant to bridge the gap between the story of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City the game. The series is written by Paul Dini, who wrote both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and is drawn by Arkham Asylum and Arkham City concept artist Carlos D’anda. The miniseries picks up one year after Arkham Asylum, where former Arkham Warden Quincy Sharp, now mayor of Gotham City, has decided to close down Arkham Asylum. He decides to create “Arkham City” as the new “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds, set in the heart of Gotham City. Inmates are under the watchful eye of Dr. Hugo Strange, and can roam free and do whatever they want as long as they don’t try to escape.[48]

In addition, 8-page digital-first interludes were released to expand on the story included in the miniseries, were written once again Dini as well as Derek Fridolfs and drawn by a variety of artists. The interludes focus on Batman’s enemies as they vie for power within Arkham City. The interludes were later included in print in the Batman: Arkham City collected edition.[48]

Batman: Arkham Unhinged[edit]

Batman: Arkham Unhinged is an original digital comic series that released in October 2011 alongside Arkham City, the game. Derek Fridolfs is the main series writer and is drawn by many different artists. The stories spin directly out of events in the game itself, or are flashbacks to events prior to either game, allowing expansion on the background of the characters as they may have existed pre-Arkham City. The stories focus on Batman prominently, but some highlight the villains and the supporting characters as well. The stories were later released in print form.[49]

Batman: Arkham City – End Game[edit]

Released in May 2012 as digital-first comics, and later in print, Batman: Arkham City – End Game is set after the events of Arkham City and before its downloadable content, "Harley Quinn's Revenge". The story is written by Derek Fridolfs with art by Jason Shawn Alexander.[50]

Batman: Arkham Origins[edit]

Batman: Arkham Origins is a digital-first comic, based on the game of the same name. Batman: Arkham Origins is the first title to feature the new DC2 Multiverse technology, that features dynamic artwork, action sounds and the ability to integrate a soundtrack, and allowing the reader to determine the fate of each storyline and character, with multiple options and end results available in each comic chapter.[51] The comic, set across eight chapters, is a prequel to the game's story, and was created by digital studio, Madefire.[52]

Batman: Arkham Knight[edit]

Batman: Arkham Knight is a digital-first prequel comic to the game of the same name. Written by Peter J. Tomasi, with art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Art Thibert, and covers by Dan Panosian, the comic picks up after the events of Arkham City. It is scheduled to be released digitally in February 2015, with the first print release featuring a collection of the digital issues in March 2015.[53][54]

Film[edit]

Batman: Assault on Arkham[edit]

Announced on July 20, 2013, at San Diego Comic-Con International, Batman: Assault on Arkham is based on the Arkham series. The animated film features new animations, as well as some voice talent that has been involved with the games that includes Kevin Conroy as Batman and Troy Baker as Joker. It was released on August 12, 2014.[55] The film is a sequel to Arkham Origins,[56] and takes place about two years before Arkham Asylum.[57]

Merchandise[edit]

Starting in January 2011, DC Direct released two series of statues based on characters in Arkham Asylum.[58][59] As well, DC Direct, and later DC Collectibles, released four series of statues based on characters in Arkham City, starting in December 2011.[60][61][62][63] On June 5, 2012, TriForce announced that they had acquired the license to create replicas of various weapons, gadgets and iconic objects from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.[64] DC Collectibles announced statues for release in October 2013 for Arkham Origins,[65] as well as Mattel announcing statues of their own, releasing in late 2013.[66]

Appearances in outside media[edit]

The game Injustice: Gods Among Us featured the Arkham City Skin Pack, containing downloadable costumes for Batman, Catwoman, and the Joker, based on their appearances in Arkham City.[67] An Arkham City skin is also available for Harley Quinn; however, unlike the other Arkham City skins, it must be unlocked through the iOS mobile app version.[68] In addition, the Arkham Asylum arena features appearances by Hugo Strange, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Two-Face, Riddler, and Penguin, all of whom appear as they did in the previous Arkham games.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of January 24, 2014.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Batman: Arkham Asylum 92.07% (PS3)[69]
92.34% (X360)[70]
91.89% (PC)[71]
91 (PS3)[72]
92 (X360)[73]
91 (PC)[74]
Batman: Arkham City 96.12% (PS3)[75]
93.89% (X360)[76]
90.43% (PC)[77]
84.87% (WiiU)[78]
96 (PS3)[79]
94 (X360)[80]
91 (PC)[81]
85 (WiiU)[82]
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown 72.78% (iOS)[83] 69 (iOS)[84]
Batman: Arkham Origins 73.59% (PS3)[85]
73.14% (X360)[86]
70.60% (WIIU)[87]
73.57% (PC)[88]
76/100 (PS3)[89]
74/100 (X360)[90]
70/100 (WIIU)[91]
74/100 (PC)[92]
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate 69.50% (3DS)[93]
59.96% (Vita)[94]
68/100 (3DS)[95]
61/100 (Vita)[96]

The series overall has received widespread critical acclaim. Arkham Asylum holds Guinness World Record for Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever based on an average Metacritic score of 91.67.[97] The game was praised as reaching to a darker side of Batman not seen in video games before. It was also acclaimed for its polished combat and stealth gameplay, as well as selection of gadgets under Batmans disposal and the extensive comic book lore and easter eggs implanted all over the map of Arkham Asylum. Arkham Asylum also received positive feedback for its choice in voice actors, such as Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy as The Joker and Batman, respectively.

Arkham City has received wider critical acclaim and won multiple awards including Game of the Year Award. It was heralded as taking the already innovative and intricate gameplay of its predecessor and largely expanding on it, as well as opening gameplay to a larger, greater detailed and intricate map. Hamill's return as a sick and dying Joker was very well taken by fans and critics alike, as well as the addition of other villains and heroes such as Robin, Catwoman, Hugo Strange, Calendar Man, and The Penguin.

Arkham Origins, while not as acclaimed as its predecessors, was still well received. The major consensus among critics was the game's lack of innovation and series advancement, citing the similar gameplay and atmosphere of the game before while still having an interesting and engaging story. This was largely attributed to the change in developers from Rocksteady to Warner Bros. Montreal. Arkham Origins was also criticized for its many bugs and glitches, especially on PC, as well as its odd and confined multiplayer. Most critics claimed that while it was a good game in and of itself, it didn't live up to the standards of the last two games.


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