Batman: Arkham is a series of action-adventure video games based on the DC Comics character Batman, developed by Rocksteady Studios and WB Games Montréal, and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The first two Rocksteady games were written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini and featured voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively, from the DC Animated Universe (DCAU). Other actors in the series to reprise their roles from the DCAU include Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn (in Batman: Arkham Asylum), as well as C.C.H. Pounder as Amanda Waller and Robert Costanzo as Harvey Bullock (both in Arkham Origins).
The first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009), focuses on Batman trying to prevent the Joker from destroying Gotham City after he takes control of Arkham Asylum and is forced to contend with numerous other villains he has incarcerated. The second game, Arkham City (2011), is set a year later, after Hugo Strange expands Arkham into a massive super-prison enclosing a dilapidated segment of Gotham City; Batman is incarcerated and must uncover the secret behind Strange’s sinister scheme, “Protocol 10”, while dying from an illness inflicted by the Joker. Arkham Origins (2013) is a prequel set five years before the events of Arkham Asylum in which a younger and less-refined Batman only in the second year of his career must deal with a bounty that has been placed on him by crime lord Black Mask, who has lured eight deadly assassins to Gotham on Christmas Eve, as well as uncover the mystery of the Joker. The fourth installment, Batman: Arkham Knight (2015), is Rocksteady’s conclusion to the series. Set one year after the events of Arkham City, Arkham Knight sees Batman facing Scarecrow along with the mysterious Arkham Knight (and his militia), who have seized control of Gotham in a plan to destroy Batman, both physically and mentally, as well as the city.
The franchise has also seen the release of various mobile games, and the virtual reality game, Batman: Arkham VR, which was once again developed by Rocksteady.
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Main article: Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City, set one year after the events of Arkham Asylum, features a bigger cast of characters and a story again written by Paul Dini, along with Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill. Batman is incarcerated in Arkham City, a massive new super-prison enclosing the decaying urban slums of Gotham City. He must uncover the secret behind the sinister scheme, “Protocol 10”, orchestrated by the facility’s warden, Hugo Strange. Meanwhile, the Joker is dying due to the unstable properties of the Titan formula in his blood. After injecting Batman with his blood, Batman must work to find a cure. Mark Hamill, who reprised his role of the Joker from the previous game, stated that Arkham City would be his last performance as the Joker, although he returned to perform the role again in Batman: Arkham Knight.
by simon schofield