Why Rocksteady’s ‘Batman: Arkham’ Trilogy Deserves ‘The Birds Of Prey’ Follow-Up

Batman: Return to Arkham

Rocksteady took the world by storm with the critically acclaimed Arkham Asylum, then polished and built upon everything that worked with a bigger sandbox in the sequel Arkham City, before finally declaring a graceful adieu with the admittedly tedious but ultimately satisfying Arkham Knight. The Batman: Arkham series crafted a legacy unparalleled in the genre and have many fans anxiously awaiting what’s next.

READ: 'Batman: Arkham VR' PC Release Date Confirmed By New Trailer

So far it’s unclear if Rocksteady’s next conquest will involve the caped crusader or even a DC property at all, though the latter at least seems likely based on an interview producer Dax Guinn gave to EuroGamer back in 2016:

“We’re in a very enviable position where we have some time and space to decide what we’re doing next. We can sit back and decide what our dream game would be and we have Warner Bros. support to do that.”

At this juncture, the only thing we can safely surmise is that Rocksteady’s next title might not be a Batman one, but will almost certainly be based on another DC character. That leaves a plethora of heroes as potential candidates, but which lend themselves best to the kind of gameplay made famous by Rocksteady?

How about a game that utilizes the same mechanics as the previous Arkham games, also takes place in the same universe, but follows Oracle, Huntress, and Black Canary? Rocksteady’s Birds Of Prey: Of Like Minds. The plot could even loosely follow the Gail Simone run of the same name.

For those unfamiliar, the Of Like Minds arc features villains Savant and Creote as they attempt to extort Oracle into giving up Batman’s secret identity. You could frame the game as a crime noir caper broken up into chapters. Each chapter has you play as either Canary or Huntress with sections featuring melee team-ups not dissimilar to those found in Arkham Knight.

I imagine the Huntress sections would feel the least like a departure from what fans of the video game series have come to expect from the trail blazing studio. She’s got a cape for gliding, a grappling gun for zipping and she’s an expert hand to hand gymnast that’s right at home rhythmically taking down hordes of expendable goons.

It’s with Black Canary that I would like to see the most fundamental changes to the familiar gameplay associated with the Arkham games. I like the idea of the Black Canary segments feeling closer to Rocksteady’s first and only non-Batman title, Urban Chaos: Riot Response . I’d keep her closer to the ground. Maybe there could be side missions that require her to save civilians from burning buildings or chase down and apprehend thugs on her chopper, using her sonic scream as a ranged attack withal.  

Rocksteady could also expand upon the detective/stealth elements established in the earlier games, given Dinah’s background with covert ops. Key players like Nightwing, commissioner Gordon and Robin should definitely return but I really hope Rocksteady doubles down on the in game references to other DC properties with their next release. Black Canary and Huntress have a lot of ties to the larger DC world, so a dash of tasteful cameos sprinkled throughout the campaign and side quests would be apropos.

What would you like to see Rocksteady tackle next? Let us know in the comments.

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