Batman: Arkham Asylum wowed us this year by being not merely a decent superhero game, as we were hoping, but an excellent game further enhanced by its license, and hence a contender for Game of the Year awards. With its critical and commercial success Rocksteady would be crazy not to start immediately on a sequel, and so it came as no surprise when a teaser trailer debuted today during the Spike Video Game Awards ’09. The brief teaser, embedded below, reveals the new setting for the game, which seems to be Arkham Aslyum again - only … not quite.
The Joker is back, looking a little worse for wear but up to his old tricks again. It’s unclear exactly what new location is being shown; the first thing we see are the gates of Arkham Asylum, but the buildings that rise behind them don’t resemble anything from the first game. Instead of an old private estate we see a dense cityscape, perhaps Gotham City? The camera pans through city streets, overcome with prison inmates running riot and beating people senseless. A glimpse of a recognisable location flashes by - Iceberg Lounge, the Penguin’s high-class nightclub that fronts for his underworld dealings. Another mythos reference is in the huge sign labelled ‘Sionis’, not doubt referring to Roman Sionis, otherwise known as Black Mask. The trailer ends centered on an aged Joker hooked up to an IV drip, his frail condition perhaps due to the Titan shenanigans in the first game.
With no spoken dialogue in the trailer and no information past the fleeting images, very little is known about the game at this point. A website has gone up, entitled Arkham Has Moved, with no content other than a subtle hint of Two Face and a form to sign up for updates. While it was a no-brainer for Rocksteady to be working on the game, it is still interesting to see how soon it is being announced. It would probably be too hopeful to expect a release in 2010, but other sequels have been fast-tracked to come out within a year, so who knows. What is certain is that Rocksteady has an incredible task ahead of them, of living up to their first effort, and I am excited to see how they tackle it.