Batman Arkham Shadow Developer Cites Arkham Asylum as Its ‘North Star’ – Summer Game Fest 2024

Developer Camouflaj (Iron Man VR) and publisher Oculus Studios debuted the first cinematic story trailer for the Meta Quest 3-exclusive Batman: Arkham Shadow at Summer Game Fest today (watch it below), and I talked to Camouflaj studio head Ryan Payton to confirm a number of new gameplay details.

Arkham Shadow, due out in Fall of 2024, is an official part of the Arkham-verse, and it’s set between the events of Arkham Origins and Arkham Asylum. Roger Craig Smith will reprise his Arkham Origins role as Batman, and we’re promised a number of villain origin stories, including Scarecrow and Harley Quinn. Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent, among other public officials, have been abducted, and the mastermind behind it all is the Rat King. He’s pledged to execute them all in a week’s time for “crimes committed against the people of Gotham City,” so it’s up to you as Batman to decide how far you’re willing to go in order to stop these deaths.


Payton promises a full Arkham experience in VR, including a combo-driven freeform combat system, the ability to glide down from above onto unsuspecting enemies below using Batman’s cape for sneak attacks, using Detective Mode from perches above to plan stealth attacks, throwing Batarangs to keep combos going, dropping smoke bombs to get out of trouble, and using Batman’s Grapnel gun to quickly get to the rooftops of Gotham City. The Unity-powered Arkham Shadow isn’t an open-world game like Arkham City or Arkham Knight, and instead draws inspiration for its structure from Rocksteady’s first Batman adventure.

“Batman: Arkham Shadow is very much inspired by Arkham Asylum in terms of scope and scale in terms of also the structure of the game.”

“Batman: Arkham Shadow is very much inspired by Arkham Asylum in terms of scope and scale in terms of also the structure of the game,” Payton told me. “It’s exploration, like you have in Asylum – which includes free-flow locomotion, so using the Grapnel gun to zip over onto things, and do the slide, go through vents. All those elements that you’d expect from an Arkham game; it’s gonna be driven in in large part by the moment-to-moment combat.

“[Our pitch to Warner Bros. was,] We’re gonna take all of that and then we’re gonna completely reimagine it for VR and make it work amazing for VR and actually have it feel like an evolution. So you still have that feeling of doing crowd control, but you’re also getting interrupted with counters and you’re making sure you’re flowing into the counter and doing that. All in first-person, all in VR and making it feel that kind of bone-crushing Arkham combat. It’s going to have boss battles just like all the other Arkham games have, [it’ll have] investigations with Detective Mode. And we’re also going to have big Arkham-like cinematics where you’re going face-to-face in first-person as Batman with these kinds of hard-hitting moments. With these classic DC characters. So that was the pitch and that was almost four years ago, and here we are with the biggest game that Camouflaj has ever made, [and] longest game we’ve ever made. And Arkham Asylum is our North Star.”

Batman: Arkham Shadow was announced last month following the Kevin Conroy’s final performance as Batman in the Arkham-verse in Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, in which many fans didn’t care for how the developer chose to send off the character.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s executive editor of previews and host of both IGN’s weekly Xbox show, Podcast Unlocked, as well as our monthly(-ish) interview show, IGN Unfiltered. He’s a North Jersey guy, so it’s “Taylor ham,” not “pork roll.” Debate it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.


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