I really didn't see much of a point in posting impressions on Arkham City, it seems blindingly obvious to everyone that this is one of the greatest games ever and you can see that within minutes and I pretty much agree. Rocksteady has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Asylum was no fluke. If anything it was a warm-up. The real question is what's next? While a third Batman game is almost a certainty, I would love to see a Rocksteady-esque take on other superheroes. Here are the top ten I'd really love to see Rocksteady get their hands on:
#10: Superman-Might as well get this one out of the way, because it's so goddamned obvious. Superman has yet to be in a good game, and is in fact responsible for one of the worst titles ever. Sure, he's nearly invincible, which presents a challenge in keeping true to the character and yet making the game interesting. But I think Rocksteady would see this as a challenge, not a problem. He's also got a large gallery of friends and villains that haven't been well-represented either. I think you could make one based in Metroplis, focusing mostly on his Earthly enemies such as Luthor and Toyman, and if that works well maybe expand to his more otherworldly foes like Darkseid and Mongol in a sequel. This might be the hardest one to get right, but it seems like it's an almost necessary next step.
#9: Green Arrow: A huge criticism of Green Arrow is that he's basically a Batman clone with arrows. Both rich billionaires who regularly employ teen sidekicks, it's easy to see why. What better way to establish differences than have Rocksteady take a crack at him saying, sure he's got a lot of similarities to Batman, but how do we highlight the differences? The most obvious way would be to really focus in on distance fighting and stealth. Arrow is no Batman in hand to hand combat, so he'd have to be a little more creative, but creatively using his arrows could be a lot of fun.
#8: Green Lantern: Arguably as hard if not harder to get right than Superman, but oh what a game this could be if done right. Although something based on Earth could work, a space-based adventure would be far more fitting, and something completely different for Rocksteady to tackle.
#7: The Question: I think the Question would actually be quite easy to make a game for with the L.A. Noire template. Just throw in a little stealth and action, but focus on the investigation and interrogation side of things and you've got a game that fits Q downpat. He wouldn't even need a decent rogue's gallery, you could throw in some major but normal DC mob boss like Zucco or Falcone as the primary villain. Throw in some crazy conspiracy mystery and you'd pretty much have the essential Question game.
#6: The Punisher: Much like the Green Arrow, the Punisher draws a lot of comparisons to Batman. Family was murdered by criminals, becomes a vigilante, yadda yadda yadda. Some would argue he's basically Batman with guns, and they wouldn't be horribly far off. An easy thing that would work is take the basic Batman template and throw in guns, but I would expect Rocksteaady to be more creative with that, really ramp up the action and make it run and gun gameplay, maybe something a little like Uncharted.
#5: Dr. Strange: Aside from a few supporting roles, the Sorcerer Supreme hasn't had much of a role in games, and it's a shame, because while his powers are a little vague and hard to define, he's got an interesting enough rogue's gallery and universe to make a more compelling game than most more famous heroes. You could go a lot of different ways with this but an action-rpg where you can upgrade abilities and learn new spells as you go would be extremely awesome.
#4: Daredevil: This one's almost too goddamn easy. Daredevil pretty much is Marvel's Batman in terms of the fact that he deals with mostly with regular mobsters and crooks in a crime-ridden slum and his style of fighting is pretty identical as well. You could probably just copy Arkham City filling it with established Daredevil enemies like Kingpin and Bullseye instead. And I'd be more than ok with that frankly.
#3 Aquaman: Yes Aquaman, even with your sliced off hand, you are still not a badass. You are still the joke of the DC universe no matter how many times they try to re-invent you. You know what could easily fix that? A kickass game from Rocksteady. This could easily big the biggest challenge for any team because it could be goofy, but put his biggest villains in a Bioshock-like sunken city with some solid combat and I think you'd have a winner in your hands.
#2: Deadpool: Rocksteady might not be able to top a game as awesome as Arkham City, so why try? How about instead make a game that pokes fun mercilessly at it? Deadpool is huge right now and a game that features him spoofing good and bad superhero games alike could be very cool. It could be like the Serious Sam of superhero games.
#1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: To someone who has only seen the cartoons or movies, this may seem like an odd choice. But anybody who has read the original graphic novel knows there is a much more serious side to the green dudes who are mainly known for their love of pizza and goofy antics. You could have some seriously awesome ninja stealth and combat, loaded with fanservice, but keeping to more normal enemies like Baxter Stockman and the Rat King with of course Shredder as the main villain. Co-op play would be a good idea, but not a necessity. This is easily the title I would most like to see Rocksteady or really any solid developer tackle and give it a serious run.
Ok that's the list. I should be back Thursday or Friday with an All-4-One review and possibly other stuff. Til then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: The Binding of Isaac