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Looking back at Batman: Arkham Asylum - Part 2

Score Draw

“I’m not convinced the Danny Elfman movie score (from Tim Burton’s Batman movie from ‘89) would have made our game better. I think it’s very iconic, but it’s also very suited to the movie, and we’re not based on the movie, we’re based on everything else – the comics in particular. We tried to add music that suited the tone of the comics which is closer to the Batman universe we had envisioned.

“I think the audio that our sound guys came up with is unique and fits our game very well.”

Not So Superman

“One of the things that lends Batman so well to video games is the fact that he’s human. His abilities work well as a game. One game I would never want to work on is a Superman game because he’s meant to be invincible and yet he’s completely crippled by Kryptonite or magic powers. There’s no real gameplay there: you’re either invincible or you’re not. Or, you break all the rules and have him getting beaten up. It just never really works.

“I would like to work on a Transformers game. There’s a lot of very big charismatic characters in that universe that have gaming appeal.”

Buffed Up

“Batman’s supposed to be the perfect physical specimen. He never gives up. He’ll literally go on until everything is put back in its place. He’s a tortured soul. He’s still tormented by his parent’s death. He’s scared that it could be him who’s in Arkham one day – he could be in Arkham right now, if it wasn’t for the fact that he overcompensated by doing so much good in his world. But above all, he values life above everything.

“I mean it’s not just the fact that he won’t kill – he’ll literally try to rescue everybody he can. All the comics try to show this stuff – he’s a warrior against the darkness, but he’s also very broken beneath and it’s a constant struggle for him to stay on the right side and make sure he doesn’t go too far.”

Working Together

“One of the things that was made clear from the start was that Warner Bros and DC are the Batman experts, but we’re the game experts. That is our field. Making this game was definitely a collaborative effort, but we made sure the lines were drawn in the right place.

“We could comment on their stuff and they could comment on ours, but they had to let us do our thing. There are a lot of poor licensed games out there and Warner Bros and DC have had their share and they really wanted something that would revive Batman as a game franchise.

“I played Transformers on the C64, which is a bad memory to have. Superman on the N64 is most famous as being a completely wasted opportunity. There have been some pretty bad ones out there, but we really wanted to break that trend.”

For the first part of our interview,click here.

Dec 23, 2009

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