The overwhelming success of Rocksteady Studio’s latest project, “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” proves that the developer can treat an often mishandled comic book property with the respect that it deserves. It took decades of not having a decent game, but The Dark Knight finally got a game worthy of his name, but the same thing can’t be said about pretty much everyone else on the DC Comics roster. With Warner Bros.’s recent acquisition of the studio, it leaves room for the possibility of Rocksteady getting their hands on some additional DC properties, and with any luck, hopefully they can do the same thing that they did for Batman with some of these characters.
What may have been the one good game that Brash Entertainment was working on at the time of their collapse was “The Flash,” and he deserves some vindication for that. The Flash’s game would find itself at the opposite end of the pacing spectrum from “Arkham Asylum,” and it would pose Rocksteady the problem of trying to capture light speed on a grand scale, as well as taking the gameplay out of the confined coziness of an insane asylum and pretty much opening it up to the entire world. Could it be too big for Rocksteady to handle? That’s doubtful.
Green Arrow seems like he’s almost a perfect fit as a follow up to “Arkham Asylum,” since the main characters are fairly similar, in that both of them are humans that use their talents and skills instead of possessing super powers to save the world. So, while not as high profile as Batman, Green Arrow seems like it would be a “safe” game for Rocksteady to make, if they didn’t want to venture too far outside of their “Arkham” mold, while at the same time working with a new character, plus replicating the batarang gameplay for Ollie’s quiver seems like a nice fit.
The Green Lantern Corps. are one of DC’s most beloved properties, yet, much like the rest, they have never been represented well in interactive media. A great game wouldn’t even have to feature all of them, just Hal Jordan, defending the world. Got that Rocksteady? Hal Jordan defending the world. It’s that simple.
Why not make the next game all kinds of confusing and base it on Nightwing? Kind of Batman, kind of Superman, kind of Robin, kind of Power Girl; Nightwing has a surprisingly rich history to pull from, and would offer some nice potential cross-over opportunities for the studio, depending on whether they wanted to set the game pre-Crisis on Infinite Earth or after.
The Man of Steel is pretty much a shoe-in for this list, especially since his last outing, “Superman Returns,” was barely playable (I know that first hand). It would be great to see how Rocksteady would handle a less traditional storyline for Superman, maybe something like Red Son. Perhaps even seeing them go the extra mile, and take on a story like Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” and offer both Bats and Supes as playable characters, letting us play both sides of the story.
Much like some of the other names on this list, Princess Diana has made a couple of video game appearances in the past, but nothing has ever lived up to her stature as an Amazon. A character like Wonder Woman would be a perfect fit for Rocksteady, as she has a rich history, as well as an impressive assortment of accessories, complete with invisible jet, which would make for some serious flight sequences if they could incorporate it into the game. Just imagine: “Wonder Woman: The Flight Sim.”
I’m well aware that Vertigo is just an imprint of DC, but that’s enough for me to make an argument that Y: The Last Man could be Game of the Year if it’s done well, which we all know Rocksteady could do. As long as they don’t touch the story at all, a game based on Yorick and his monkey Ampersand’s adventure around the world to find out how and why they’re still alive while all the other males on Earth are dead (as well as find Yorick’s lost love) would make for one hell of a wild ride.
For some reason, I could see Zatanna swapped in for Bayonetta, and it still pretty much being the same game, but that would be Platinum’s version, not Rocksteady’s. If the “Arkham Asylum”’s team were able to have their way with the sorceress, it would be a whole different story; in other words, they probably wouldn’t make her game as fast-paced, over-the-top, or hyper-sexed, but I still think there is room for development there, as long as they remember to include the fishnets.
I based this list on the same template as “Arkham Asylum,” at least in that the game starred only one character. However, it’s worth mentioning that DC has some of the best team based comics in the industry, and The Justice League of America, The Teen Titans, and The Watchmen (that’s right, I went there) have all had games released under their monikers, but have never, ever gotten what they deserve when it comes to video games. Developing a multi-character game would be a challenge for the studio; I think it’s one that they would welcome, and ultimately, overcome.