Written by Brock Poulsen, brockst4r Sunday, 20 November 2011 06:00
Brock Poulsen has some excellent ideas for a new Rocksteady game, along with some great ideas for Batman DLC. These ideas aren't based on any rumors or evidence; in fact, there is some pretty significant evidence that he's wrong, at least about the next Batman game. Rather, these are some ideas he's dreamed up based on the expertise Rocksteady has shown with the Dark Knight's adventures.
Sherlock Holmes as a Video Game
My [Brock's] first idea for the next Rocksteady game is one I doubt will ever happen officially; we'll have to wait for the PC mod community to make it happen. From my experiences with the Nightwing DLC, I think it would only take some minor alterations to come up with an absolutely cracking Sherlock Holmes game. It wouldn't have to be tied to the current franchise, but a similar "modern" vibe like the Robert Downey Jr. version would be much appreciated, and some of what I'll adress in this article is inspired by certain aspects of that film. Consider the three main elements of the Arkham games: combat, stealth, and detective work. The recent Sherlock Holmes movie demonstrated each of these concepts brilliantly and with significant visual flair.
When adressing combat, Nightwing's eskrima fighting style could translate favorably into Holmes' bartitsu style; they're not identical by any means, but I would certainly trust Rocksteady to apply their magic to the 19th century gentleman's stick fighting. Counterattacking, striking, disarming, and even Batman's cape stun (which absolutely fits with bartitsu and for which Holmes could use his cloak or perhaps a handful of dust) would all fit with the "brawling intellectual" interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. Add the option of co-op brawling with a partner playing as Watson and you could end up with something unique and exceptionally enjoyable. Just don't include the phrase, "Elementary, my dear Watson." Please, there's just no reason it ever needs to be said again.
There's an interesting scene near the beginning of Sherlock Holmes in which he observes a sentry ascending some stairs and, using his considerable skills of deduction, plans a strategy to quickly incapacitate the man with four calculated strikes. The slow-motion planning frames beautifully what we then see Holmes quickly execute, and it's a level of brilliance that would fit beautifully into a video game. I wouldn't expect an identical style in a Sherlock Holmes game, but being able to glance around a corner and have Holmes accurately predict patrol patterns and guard tendencies would make for some very fun predatory sequences. The Victorian architecture and decoration would make for interesting hiding places and confrontations, as well.
The main attraction for any Sherlock Holmes game should, of course, be the detective portions. Video games are the perfect medium in which to experience the types of riddles, logic puzzles, and other challenges Holmes would be presented with. Puzzles could drive the pursuit of Professor Moriarty as well as provide diversions from the main story. All of these elements, together with the unique setting and aesthetic of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's London, could make for a tribute to Holmes the likes of which has never been seen.
New Ideas for Batman
The other idea I have is slightly more likely to happen: the progression of the Batman story to catch up to the current comic's storyline. Every disparate story piece is present: Tim Drake's Robin; Dick Grayson to take up the cowl of the Batman in his absence; Talia al Ghul to have given birth to Batman's son and future Robin to Grayson's Batman. Jason Todd should be introduced to be beaten to death and return as the Red Hood, so he could be both a playable character as Robin and then an adversary as the Red Hood. The story arc would make for incredible drama and twists, and Rocksteady by no means would have to adhere to the precise sequence of events. They have taken liberties with the existing canon and had great success, while keeping the overall world in tact.
We've fought as Nightwing, and come November 22nd we'll buckle on Robin's utility belt, but I'd love to fight as Damian Wayne. I love the idea of controlling a 10-year-old whirling dervish, dishing out pain in droves; dodging between men twice my size, snapping limbs and cracking skulls. I'd love to fight as Tim Drake as Robin, and then as him against the Red Hood. Controlling the Dynamic Duo as a cohesive whole (sort of the way a single player can control both Ice Climbers in Smash Bros.) could also make for some amazing battles.
Whatever it is that Rocksteady chooses to tackle next, I'm confident in their abilities and I look forward to once again diving in.