Batman: Arkham Origins studio: 'We are standing on the shoulders of giants'
There's a little bit of skepticism surrounding today's announcement of Batman: Arkham Origins, the next installment of Warner Bros. Batman: Arkham franchise. Both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have earned praise from critics and fans alike; however, both of those critically acclaimed titles were developed by Rocksteady Studios. This time around, Warner Bros. has decided to go with its own in-house studio, Warner Bros. Montreal. You can understand why fans are a little worried. Those are some mighty big shoes to fill; but, the good news is Warner Bros. is completely aware of the challenge that awaits them.
"To be offered a franchise of this magnitude is pretty humbling. We are very aware of the fact we are standing on the shoulders of giants," senior producer Ben Mattes told GameInformer. "We are playing in the space of some of the most critically acclaimed games of all time."
If you recall, Arkham City scored multiple perfect scores, even breaking the scale for Yahoo games.
"There aren't a lot of things that are lacking in those games. You don't look at them and say there's a big hole right there," added creative director Eric Holmes. "The challenge for us, coming in after Rocksteady, is to do something which hasn't been done."
Looking for a fresh start, while still respecting what Rocksteady has created, Arkham Origins is a prequel of sorts. As the title suggests, it takes place years before both of the previous Arkham titles. It centers on a younger Batman as he encounters eight of the "best assassins in the world" when they come to Gotham City on Christmas Eve.
"This is the story of the first time Batman meets certain characters that are very important to him and defines his relationships, which ultimately starts to define him," Holmes offered. Unfortunately, that's about all he let on. We do know Arkham Origins will take advantage of Rocksteady's previous assets, including the modified Unreal engine. This will allow Warner Bros. to achieve its own story while maintaining a similar artistic approach that has already been established by Rocksteady in the previous games.
Batman: Arkham Origins is currently development for the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U, and slated for release on October 25, 2013. There's been no mention of next-gen consoles. There was also a Arkham Origins Blackgate title announced today for PS Vita and 3DS, but that is being developed by Armature Studio.