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Friday, May 17, 2024

The best new Batman game might be this Doom mod

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I’m slightly baffled by all these Batman projects that don’t have Batman in them. There’s a TV show about the early life of Batman’s butler, Alfred. 2019’s Joker film was Batman-free. October’s disappointing Gotham Knights is full of heroes, but Batman himself only shows up for the first five minutes. I know wringing every last drop from expanded superhero universes is the trendy thing right now, but I can’t bring myself to care about Batman stuff that doesn’t have Batman in it.

To quote Batman: “I’m Batman.” If you’re going to make a new Batman thing, there should be more Batman in it, not less.

So I was excited to see a new Batman game on the horizon: Batman Rogue City. And amazingly, it’s a full conversion mod for Doom 2 starring the Dark Knight himself and loads of his familiar enemies.

Hard to believe, but being a mod for a game that’s nearly 30 years old doesn’t stop Rogue City from looking like one hell of a Batman game. In the mod you can punch crooks, use a grappling hook and stun gun, battle bosses like Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Harley Quinn, and the Joker, and even drive the Batmobile through Gotham City. All in the Doom engine.

The trailer takes us through Arkham Asylum, where once again the inmates are running the prison. Mad Hatter makes an appearance on monitors inside Gotham’s stock exchange where businessmen have been tied up by goons in rabbit masks. And then Batman appears, punching goons in a maze of cargo containers, pulling himself through the air with his quick-firing grapnel, and flinging his iconic batarang around.

We get a glimpse of Nora Fries in cryostasis in Mr. Freeze’s lair (followed by an angry Freeze himself) and the Batmobile speeding across a bridge firing machine guns and blowing up the Joker gang’s purple and green cars. The Gotham skyline even shows Wayne Tower and the bat signal projected on the clouds, and the trailer ends with a confrontation with the Joker and Harley. What more could you want from a Batman game?

Batman Rogue City isn’t out yet, but the creator says a public beta will be released “soon.” So keep an eye on its page at Moddb for the bat signal.

In the meantime, consider checking out Batman Doom, a very good 1999 mod from the Chilean development group that eventually became ACE Team, the folks behind Zeno Clash and Clash: Artifacts of Chaos. 

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