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Few will deny that Batman is awesome (and all of those people will likely find themselves in traction within a day of said denial). Like, for real: he's super rich, he dresses like a bat, and he beats up bad guys at night. What more do you need to know?
But beyond being great for movies, comics, and television shows, Batman is essentially the perfect video game hero. His robust skill set and back story make him perfectly suited for traversing video game worlds, hanging upside-down and beating up bad guys within an inch of their lives. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons...
7. He doesn't kill people
It's infrequent that video game characters aren't serial killers. Even the charming Nathan Drake and the heroic Commander Shepard have so much blood on their hands that it's shocking they can even sleep at night. They've both killed hundreds of people, slaughtering fathers and mothers without blinking an eye. Batman, though, doesn't fall victim to this folly. He's a good guy, and good guys don't kill people. And he's not only not a murderer, but he goes out of his way to make sure his victims don't die from the punches and kicks he mashes them with.
This forces the developers of Batman games to get creative. If Batman killed people, he could just shoot enemies from the tops of buildings, murdering every foe he came across. Because he has morals and doesn't feel like ending lives just because he can, he needs to actually swoop down and fight, taking on enemies face-to-face. It makes for more interesting gameplay, and a more balanced character.
6. Hes loved by kids and adults alike
Another added benefit of not bring a murderer: he's a hit with the kids. Batman's code of ethics makes it so his games can avoid the Mature rating without being watered down, retaining the adult fans while still making a game that most parents would be alright with their kids playing, as long as they're alright with the occasional foul language.
5. Hes a master of hand-to-hand combat and has tons of gadgets
Batman might not beat his foes to death, but he sure loves beating them half to death. He's a trained fighter, and can take down almost anyone in hand-to-hand combat with powerful kicks, punches, and other melee attacks. Being able to fight obviously makes him a great video game character, and allows developers to create awesome combos and battle systems (like the one found in the Arkham games).
Even better is his utility belt and vast assortment of gadgets. They're essentially the perfect deus ex machina, allowing him to get just the thing he needs at the exact time he needs it. Just like Samus gains a new power every time she needs to enter a new room or Link finds a new weapon when he needs to defeat a boss, Batman can simply access a new gadget whenever he needs to get to a new area. It works perfectly for video games, tapping into the core mechanics that make non-linear games so great.
4. He's mortal
It doesn't make sense when Superman gets shot to death by bank robbers in a Superman game. His skin is impenetrable, it doesn't matter how many times he gets shot - he can't die. That's why making a game based on most comic book characters is so difficult: they're usually nearly impossible to kill. Batman doesn't have this strength. He's just a man, and that weakness is one of his best video game strengths.
There doesn't need to be some weird reason why Batman is suddenly weak enough to be taken down by a regular guy. Batman is, at all times, one stray bullet away from the end of his story. He doesn't have any super powers at all, and his armor is only sort of bulletproof, meaning developers can treat him like a normal human instead of a super hero, opening up a lot more gameplay variety than is normally afforded to supermen.
3. His city is extremely interesting
Batman's home town is a mix of the best and worst part of every large city in America. Gotham is a shadow of brilliance, cast across a scarred, destroyed landscape ravaged daily by maniacal villains hell-bent on ruining the lives of the people that live there - who, truth be told, are barely worth saving to begin with. It's a messy place, but it's a great video game location, and one that shares just enough in common with the real world to be relocatable, but is just cartoony enough to be whimsical and wonderful.
It's a varied landscape, too. Just like any other city it has its rich areas, its poor areas, and everything in-between, making this New York analog an interesting one to traverse, be it by gliding above, driving below, or walking around. It also has a prison located within its perimeter, which brings up the next point...
2. He has a huge roster of awesome enemies
Locked up in Arkham Asylum (or Arkham City, or just wandering around), Batman's enemies are some of the most numerous and the most interesting in all of comics. From the psychopathic Joker to the sympathetic (but also psychopathic) Mr. Freeze, the rogues gallery of villains makes not just for great stories, but for great boss battles in video games.
Dude with an ice-ray? Perfect video game boss. Chick who can control plants? Seems like it was made with gaming in mind. Giant, hulking crocodile man? Riddle-obsessed maniac? Shape-changing murderer? Batman's villains each come with a mechanic that makes them super interesting as bosses in games, and there are plenty that haven't even been tapped in games yet.
1. ...he's "the Goddamn Batman"
Like, for real. Do you even need more than that? He's "the Goddamn Batman." He's the world's greatest detective, hiding in shadows and pouncing on foes that quiver at the mention of his name.
He punches sharks in the face, throws criminals off roofs, and has the coolest, most futuristic gadgets on the planets. And that's when his mask is on - even when it's off, he's a billionaire playboy who can do whatever he wants. He's the perfect game hero because he's awesome. He's strong, he's smart... he's the Batman, and who doesn't want to be the Batman?
Riddle me this
There are plenty of other reasons Batman is awesome. He has cool cars, he gets to hang out with women dressed like cats, and he has a cool cave with a bunch of toys in it.
What other reasons do you think Batman is awesome, and what sort of stuff do you think you'd want to see Batman do in games? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you want more super-powered goodness, check out gaming's greatest unexplained super powers and 9 great comic book games that don't star super heroes.