Holy rumour, Batman!


Is Robin going to play a role in Arkham Asylum 2?

Straight out the gate, I’m just going to say it; I hate Robin. To me he was an unnecessary, lifeless, irritating and pointless addition to one of the great comics/franchises of all time. Whereas Batman was a grim, hardened and world-weary character, Robin was the spunky, light comic relief that to me ruined the tone of the whole piece. OK, he’s not so bad in certain comics, and the character worked well in the original Batman series, as portrayed by Burt Ward (who if you didn’t know, went on to star in a series of soft-core porn movies), but that was a light-hearted merry-go-round of frolics, and the character worked perfectly. But in other cases, when the mood was distinctively darker, Robin’s very appearance ruined it for me, and the sooner he got kidnapped and strung-up over a tank of angry sharks and begrudged piranhas, the better. Anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with the piece.

According to IMDB, Vincent Martella has been cast to play Robin in Batman: Arkham Asylum 2. Although no official confirmation from Warner has been released, with only the rather empty statement being “To our knowledge, what you asked about is inaccurate information. We are not yet discussing details for the sequel.” IMDB very rarely get it wrong.

So what does this mean for BAA2, and how will Robin feature? Well, there are several ideas that have been circulated. Firstly, it has been rumoured that Rockstar are going to use Robin as a playable character, so another player can join the action alongside Batman. This sounds like quite a good idea, and the premise of some co-op stealthing, puzzle-solving and scrapping does sound like fun. That said, how would this work in single player? The last thing you’d want is Robin screwing up a silent takedown, or repeatedly dieing in the heat of the fight. Stupid little brat, should go back to the circus, pointless waste of time….

Another idea is that Robin would appear during some possible nightmare scenes, like those induced by the Scarecrow in the original game. Again, this could work well, as behind all the Robin campness from the TV show and films, there are several comic-based plots that involve a much darker side to the Robin story. In Batman: A Death in the Family, The Joker kills Robin (Jason Todd, the second Robin to get technical), and following on from that, Batman’s fierce relationship with The Joker grows darker. If this was correctly handled in the game, and there’s nothing to suggest that it can’t be, then it could be a master stroke, and a fascinating additional layer to add. Although if he gets all peppy, there’ll be hell to pay….stupid little….

Another less likely but possible scenario is that BAA2 will be split into two sections, with the player taking control of both Batman and Robin during the story. If the sequel is based around the city of Gotham (which we expect it will be) then we may see the dynamic duo sharing duties, and splitting up to pursue different leads during the game. Although this is the least likely of the ideas erupted from the rumour geezer, it’s still a possibly scenario. Stupid little kid, get him out the way so Batman can have some peace…..

Until a release date is confirmed, and we see/hear some more some more information on this highly lucrative sequel, we’ll have to hold our breath. Hopefully Rockstar won’t mess with the formula of the first game too much, and although we’d like to see some new features and additions, we wouldn’t want to see a total reworking, just for the sake of it. As they say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, and that’s certainly the case here. Damn that Robin, irritating little pri….

Scott Tierney

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