The clothes really do make the man (or the bat in this case).
I expect there’ll be a huge surge in folks calling in sick to work on Tuesday, June 2nd, as this has now become the official launch day for Batman: Arkham Knight! Needless to say, this gamer is pumped! The Arkham series has been one of the most interesting (and let’s not forget re-playable) franchises of the last generation. I’ve played each title front-to-back (including Origins) and simply loved every minute of it! Putting a new twist on fan-favorite content (like rooting it to the ‘90s Animated Series) is one reason each entry in the franchise consistently wins game of the year!
As somewhat of a love-letter to fans, Rocksteady has always infused these titles with tons of throw-back DLC. While we’ve seen everything from bonus missions to additional characters, I say the myriad of skins is what pushes the fun factor right over the top! Starting with Arkham City (and continuing with later releases on both the consoles and hand-helds), swapping out the batsuit and swinging around the city quickly became a favorite pastime of mine. Now, with the “Limited Edition” bundles having recently been announced, we got our first peak at the New 52 themed skins. So in honor of this, I thought I’d take a look back at my absolute favorites from the series (and ones I hope possibly make a return)!
`Earth 2 Thomas Wayne Batman | Arkham Origins:
Imagine a world where the caped crusader, as know him, never existed. Instead, a far darker vigilante arose to strike fear and terror into the hearts of Gotham’s criminals. Here the Wayne tragedy takes a very different turn, where Bruce (not his parents) is the one gunned down in crime alley that fateful night. As a result, it is Thomas Wayne who rises up and takes on the mantel of the Bat (but with a significantly more ruthless edge). The version of the Batman isn’t above bustin’ a cap in the Joker’s ass (also someone completely different), as he packs a set of bad-ass lookin’ pistols on his red utility belt.
Comic Circa 1970’s Batman | Arkham City:
I love this look for a variety of reasons. Number one, it’s nice to see a splash of color in a palette that is relatively dark. Much of the landscape consists of varying tones of grey and black, as Batman’s exploits typically take place at night. The bright blue and yellow is a nice change of pace and pleasing to the eye (if you find things getting a bit stale). Second, it’s probably one of his most iconic looks, as a large portion of the merchandise leans towards this motif.
‘60s Adam West Batman | Arkham Origins:
I have to admit, of all the Arkhams, Origins is my least favorite. I’m not saying that WB Montréal necessarily did a bad job (temporarily taking over the project from Rocksteady), but this one just didn’t have the same magic as previous iterations. However, it was still a good experience to be sure. If you get a chance to rent it, be sure to pick up the Adam West skin too. The only thing missing is an awesome shark-repellant themed challenge map in the batcave!
Batman Beyond | Arkham City (BEST IN SHOW AWARD):
And now we come to the absolute coolest skin to appear in the entire Arkham series! Yeah, I said it…and I dare you to argue with me! If you were a fan of the cartoon show, you’ll instantly recognize this one. It was a follow-up to the original Animated Series and told the story of an aging Bruce Wayne, who hands the mantle of the bat over to Terry McGinnis (via a futuristic Iron Man-esque batsuit). In 2011, we got the chance to zip around Gotham with Bruce sporting this sweet new tech (something only briefly seen in the past). This is a key reason I loved Arkham City so freakin’ much!
While I would love to see some of these skins return in Arkham Knight, there is obviously a lot of un-treaded ground left to cover. We’ve yet to witness any real movie adaptions (like a Michael Keaton or Christian Bale suit), which is something I know many fans are hankering for (some have already taken to modding the PC version to accomplish this). Most importantly, they need to include the same cheat code featured in Arkham City that allows you to play with skins activated right from the start!
Listen up Rocksteady…having to finish the story mode first is NOT cool! We want our skins and we want them now! Don’t do us wrong on this one (it’s our last dance together).