It’s the return of FRIDAY FEELING – hurrah! Possibly. Maybe you don’t really care – hopefully you do, as Dave promises to return to his (in the distant past) regular Friday lists of gaming fun, musings and trivia if you do care. Show him you care, damn you! Ahem. This week, the column looks like the unannounced villains that could be winging (GET IT?!?!) their way into this years Batman: Arkham Knight. Unless it gets delayed. READ ON!
I am seriously PUMPED for Batman: Arkham Knight. What was one of the best gaming series of the last generation is almost ready to make its (hopefully) triumphant entrance to the next-gen. While not much has been announced about the game yet, I’ve done my detective work on the Arkham canon in an attempt to lock down which of Batman’s plethora of villains might make an appearance in what should be one of 2014s stand-out games. We already know Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin and, erm, Arkham Knight will appear – but who else is likely? There are spoilers ahead for the previous Arkham games…
Talia al Ghul
Talia is an obvious choice. After the demise of her father Ra’s at the hands of the Batman in Arkham City, Rocksteady would be foolish not to give Talia and the Dark Knight’s storyline a final payoff. Will she be friend or foe, though? Over the years, Talia has been both – she’s even the mother of Bruce Waynes son, Damien – and Rocksteady hinted at a complicated past between the new leader of The League of Shadows and Gotham’s protector in the previous installment. It’s extremely likely she’ll make an appearance in Arkham Knight.
Another character Rocksteady went at great lengths to lay some groundwork in Arkham City, Hush is actually Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Dr Thomas Elliot, who has secretly held a grudge against the Wayne family for years after Thomas Wayne saved the life of Hush’s father – after Hush had attempted to murder him. Hush appeared in a series of side-missions in Arkham City that you may remember – he was murdering inmates in attempt to create a false face that was identical to that of Bruce Waynes – he was successful and escaped into Gotham. Hush’s infamous entry into the Batman canon found him masterminding a scheme to destroy Batman by manipulating Batman’s enemies into working together – a plot that seems very similar to that of Arkham Knight. I’d be AMAZED if Hush wasn’t playing a major role.
Azrael is more than likely linked to the entire premise of Batman: Arkham Knight. He is set up brilliantly in Arkham City – you meet him on three occassions in the game, occassionally you may see him watching you from a rooftop – following him will make him leave an emblem of The Order of St Dumas (a religious sect splintered from Templars with many an ambiguous design) which leads you to a final meeting. Azrael declares that dark days are coming and that Batman will be the one to close the Gates of Hell, that from the ashes of Arkham, the fires will rage and Gotham will burn alongside Batman. Sound familiar? It should – all the key artwork for Arkham Knight so far has featured the familiar Bat insignia wreathed in, yes, flames.
Yes, yes he’s dead. And I firmly believe he’ll stay dead – but do you honestly think Rocksteady will resist adding him in somewhere? I think I know where; we already know The Scarecrow will play a major role so it stands to reason his fear gas will too – could we see The Joker make a reappearance in a series of fear-induced hallucinations? Likely. The Joker is hugely important to the mythos and psychology of Batman, and you can be sure Rocksteady will be exploring what happens to both when you take the character out of the equation – he may even play a larger role if Rocksteady include a certain Red Hood – one of Batman’s ex-Robin’s turned villain Jason Todd, who everyone thought was famously murdered by The Joker. Many believe the titular Arkham Knight will be revealed as Todd. I don’t think that’s likely, but I do think Jason Todd/Red Hood will feature – and I firmly believe The Joker will too.
– Dave Green. He’s on Twitter @davidpgreen83