The Nemesis System Could Make for an Amazing Batman Game

We theorycraft what the ideal Batman game could look like.
January 14, 2020, 9:37pm
Screenshot from Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman stands on a gargoyle in a snowstorm, a building with christmas lights reading "Season's Greetings" in the background.
Image courtesy of WB Games Montreal

It's been almost 5 years since the last Batman game in the Arkham series, and it's starting to show signs of life. Franchise stewards WB Games Montreal have been teasing what seems to be a new Batman game for the last few months with cryptic tweets. They recently dropped a new image that has the Waypoint Radio crew's imaginations running wild.

Image courtesy of WB Games Montreal.

Could this be a faction based game? Will there be multiple protagonists? Will we see the triumphant return of the nemesis system? We discuss our hopes for the next Batman game, the slow death of E3, and what Pokémon Rob truly embodies on this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can read an excerpt and listen to the full episode below.

Patrick: So potentially that's eight enemy factions, but it's probably six enemy factions and then four [protagonists]. Mike Williams over at USgamer proposed his interpretation of what this could be, this isn't inside knowledge but he said "So we pretty much all agree this is going to be a Batman game with factions and the Nemesis system right? I wonder if the four middle circles will be playable characters?" The notion that you could have four different members of the Bat family who have different nemeses [sounds amazing].

For some reason Warner Brothers has not really [iterated] that much on the Nemesis System, even though it makes total sense for a faction based Batman game and the idea that you could be playing four different Bat characters in which you have different sort of villains, and enemies pollinated between six totally different factions sounds fucking awesome.

I just hope that's actually the game that they're making. I was not interested in playing another [Arkham]. I know Kevin Conroy said he's not doing the voice in whatever this game is, but I was not interested in just another Batman game, with another gallery of villains, and some other part of Gotham City. But [the Nemesis System idea] is fundamentally interesting. That could be super cool. So I just want to shout that out.

Austin: Yeah. I mean, that's been the thing that we've been saying for years. People who tweet about video games have been tweeting for years "they should put the Nemesis System in a Batman game. It'd be cool, there'd be villains, it'd be cool." The two logos that they've revealed so far are –

Rob: GCPD and Joker?

Austin: Is that what you're reading that as? I could definitely see, do you think that that's the Gotham [Police Department]?

Rob: I don't know, the diamonds evokes cards, but that can be Al-Ghul, maybe?

Austin: I guess? You think the other one though is the police department because of like the eagle and the badge, is that what you said?

Rob: Yeah, it's pretty monarchists though for–

Austin: It is, there's a crown which is weird.

Rob: But Gotham is kind of like that, Gotham's a weird place.

Patrick: Also one of the early rumors is that it was going to be a Court of Owls game. Maybe it won't be called Court of Owls, but [be about] the notion of a long standing underground dynasty that has its hands in a billion different parts of Gotham City.

Rob: Perfect for really forcing tie-ins to other characters too.

Patrick: Oh yeah, of course.

Austin: It also would be easy to see them being one of these six circles or whatever, you know?

Rob: Okay, so here's the thing. If you're doing factions, just make No Man's Land. Just fucking do that story arc, it lends itself perfectly to a video game. Literally the first book of No Man's Land has a map of Gotham City and the territory the factions have carved out for themselves, and the map changes as the gang wars continue.

Austin: That would be a very –

Rob: It's a fucking video game!

Austin: It already was, right?

Rob: It's what Arkham City should've been, but they couldn't do it. Yeah.

Austin: Yeah, dream version of this is that it's systems driven, that there are actually conflicts over territory happening between the factions and that you're pushing them in different directions. That could be fun.

Rob: Right, and the Nemesis System would dovetail really nicely there because one of the things that happens throughout, like a lot of Batman arcs, the stakes continue to escalate as it goes on. In No Man's Land, when the different members of the Bat family start allying against some of the villains, they start experiencing some really swift success as they begin breaking the villains' hold on parts of the city. But the villains begin figuring some shit out pretty quick, and they begin identifying weak points pretty fast, and it leads to some pretty surprising twists and some pretty great battles. Huntress's stand outside of a hospital in Gotham is probably one of my favorite Batman comic moments.

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