This summer, DC's line of animated DTV movies is gearing up for Batman: Assault on Arkham, an original movie set in the world of the Arkham video games that follows up Blackgate's introduction of the Suicide Squad by sending them on a mission to kill the Riddler in Arkham Asyulm before he can bring down Amanda Waller's carefully constructed team. Set two years before Arkham Origins, Assault is a prequel to that game, but also a direct sequel to the prequel games, making it a pre-sequel, or possibly a se-prequel, or maybe a demiquel, or... look, it fills in a gap in the timeline, okay?
What matters right now is that DC Entertainment has released a behind-the-scenes look at the movie, featuring producer James Tucker (recently of Batman: The Brave and the Bold) along with screenwriter Heath Corson, co-director Jay Oliva, and of course, voice director Andrea Romano, along with some pretty cool animatics.
Remember how a big chunk of the game map was frozen and icy in Arkham City? The new DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins, "Cold, Cold Heart" extends that idea a bit, with the ice seemingly extending throughout the city as Penguin and Mr. Freeze terrorize the landscape on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC (but not the Wii) on April 22.
A leaked video reveals the first half hour of the DLC, the first Arkham DLC that actually adds single-player, storyline-driven gameplay instead of challenge packs and multiplayer maps. Much of it takes place in Wayne Manor as Bruce Wayne charges to the Batcave to pick up his batsuit. (Another toyetic iceproof costume shows up later.)
Yesterday DC Comics launched its new Batman: Arkham Origins - A DC Comics MultiVerse Graphic Novel app, which serves as a choose-your-own-adventure style motion comic prequel to WB Games Montreal's video game of the same name. Befitting of its status as a video game tie-in, this is a "freemium" experience. You download a free 8-page setup before reaching a fork in the narrative road and pay more (it's being serialized, you see) for the full range of story content as it's released. As a bonus, readers who pay to read halfway through the story get a code to unlock a new playable skin in the Origins game. Those who pay for a season pass get the first skin, plus an additional costume for Batman to wear.
In an interview with Wired, Hank Kanalz, SVP of Integrated Publishing at DC Comics, characterized the effort as an experiment. Financially, this model could prove to be a success -- especially with its downloadable content (DLC) incentives for hardcore gamers. Creatively? So far it leaves something to be desired.
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