In a short development diary video at Game Informer, WB Games Montreal, the developers of Batman: Arkham Origins, explain their approach to the game. Rocksteady say they wanted to develop a “Year two” story, and this is the reason the game is set several years prior to Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Batman: Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve in Gotham City, with the city divided into two sections. Old Gotham is the part of the city that would eventually go on to become Arkham City. Meanwhile, New Gotham, separated from Old Gotham by a bridge, is the more modern part of the city, and is an entirely new, much more metropolitan environment filled with skyscrapers.
“The challenge for us coming in after [Arkham Asylum developer] Rocksteady is to do something that hasn’t been done,” says Eric Holmes, creative director. “Something that isn’t a retread and isn’t [a] copy-paste of their game. It has to add value, it has to bee new. To me, the key to that prequel is the invigoration that it adds to things.”
That having been said, Rocksteady have been available for assistance whenever required. The studio was able to assist with technological aspects of development and explain things like how Batman’s cape simulation system works and so on.
Holmes adds that WB Games Montreal are being careful with what they add to Batman: Arkham Origins in terms of new features and characters. “We’re not adding 20 things that suck,” he says. Instead, they’re cherry-picking things to add based on their creative vision for the game.
“We are very aware we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” says senior producer Ben Mattes. “We are playing in the space of some of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time and we’ve greatly benefited from that.”
You can watch the full development diary over at GameInformer.com.