During an interview -- one of many, no doubt -- at Comic-Con International 2009, Rocksteady director Sefton Hill was eager to talk about the methods and madness behind Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Hill is hopeful that comic fans and gamers alike will like what Rocksteady has done with Batman, proudly noting that the dev studio was given licenses to use comic book material, allowing them access to decades of Batman history. This pertains to the villains too, who have major backstories of their own for Rocksteady to play with.
... I mean one of the great things were the license that we have. It's the comic book license, so it's 70 years of Batman history to draw on. So you know we have all the great characters in there; Joker is obviously the main antagonist in the game. We also have Harley Quinn in the game, for the first time, with her relationship with the Joker.
And I think one of the big things for the game that fans are really gonna enjoy is -- for us -- the main important thing is Batman's relationship with these villains you know. I think what defines Batman, and what makes him really interesting is he has this great array of supervillains. And that's so different to a lot other comic characters where the hero is so good, but they don't have this great array of villains who could all have their own games.
And it's that relationship which drives all of them, so the game essentially is about Batman's relationship with Joker, Batman's relationship with Harley, Harley's relationship with Joker -- how he treats her, mistreats her, abuses her, you know. I think what fans are really gonna enjoy is that it's not dumbed down. It's about what you like when you read the comics, what I like when I read the comics. It's about the characters; it's not just flat out buildings just for the sake of it! It's about these characters and how they interact. And I think that's what fans are going to enjoy most.
That doesn't mean Arkham Asylum is going to a villains-only club, despite its name. In fact, Hill hints that we may get to see a more of Batman from a psychological standpoint, and the game does not focus solely on combat to show off his physical and mental prowess.
And for us the kind of -- you know, not just who is Batman, but why is Batman such an important part of who [Bruce Wayne] is. So uhm, yeah we'll definitely delve into the psychological aspects of Batman. That's such a big part of who he is, and I think that was something that we felt the game wouldn't work without. I mean, I can't say too much about that element, but you know, it was definitely something we felt was really important, that aspect of Batman, that we didn't want to leave out. It's touched on in other places, and yeah -- you'll see -- it's quite a unique take on that element. I really don't want to ruin it, it's like we don't really wanna give... We're still trying to keep the story, because any comic book fan knows, the story is what it's all about, you know. So we're trying to let you see the features, but get people to experience the story for themselves when they play the game.
Batman: Arkham Asylum comes out in late August on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. Check out the Q&A in its entirety here.