Video Game: Batman: Arkham Series

Batman: Arkham is a video game series based on the Batman superhero franchise. The series is a shining example of No Problem with Licensed Games, with the majority of entries having strong sales and critical acclaim.

Each game revolves around the inmates of the infamous Arkham Asylum, the mental institution that holds (or fails to hold) all of Batman's insane foes. Asylum has The Joker seizing control of Arkham Island and freeing all the other inmates, including the Bat-rogues. City takes place a year later, with Batman caught up in a plan to imprison Arkham's inmates in a walled-off area of Gotham City that includes pivotal locations in Batman's history, including Crime Alley and Ace Chemicals. Origins is a prequel detailing how Batman first met various enemies, including Joker, Bane, Deadshot, and The Riddler. Knight is the supposed finale of the series, with Batman fighting Scarecrow and an alliance of villains as they attempt to burn Gotham City to the ground.

The main games are third-person Action Adventure with a Wide Open Sandbox component, with a heavy emphasis on movement, combat against multiple foes simultaneously, and stealth-based type of gameplay. Batman has the ability to glide and use his Grappling-Hook Pistol to scale up and down most buildings and structures. Batman also has "detective mode", a special vision that highlights objects and people of interest. Direct combat uses a "freeflow combat system" based around three main actions: Attack, Stun, and Counter, which allows Batman to take on multiple foes at the same time with ease, dancing between his enemies with powerful punches and kicks. This gameplay style has been incorporated into many other games, most notably Shadow of Mordor. Gadgets like Batarangs and the Batclaw are also incorporated. A stealth based "Predator mode" meanwhile revolves around performing takedowns on enemies using gadgets and the surrounding environment. A leveling system also allows you to enhance to Batman's various abilities over time.

Rocksteady's games are filled with appreciation for the Batman franchise in all its forms, remaining loyal to the comics, yet incorporating elements from the Nolanverse, the Burtonverse, Batman: The Animated Series, and the DCAU in general. Asylum and City were written by acclaimed DCAU writer Paul Dini. Kevin Conroy reprises his role as Batman and Mark Hamill reprises his as The Joker.note 

Games:

Tie-ins:
  • Batman: Arkham City - 2011 interquel comic bridging the gap between Asylum and City.
  • Batman Arkham Unhinged - comic mini-series following various villains before and during Arkham City, including Hugo Strange, TYGER security, and various Arkham inmates.
  • Arkham City: Lockdown - iOS and Android fighting game by Netherrealm Studios which pits Batman against numerous enemies, including Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson, in one-on-one battles.
  • Arkham City: End Game - six-issue digital comic set directly after the ending of City, as Batman comes to terms with the Joker's death.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins - iOS/Android game, again by Netherrealm studios, with similar gameplay to Lockdown.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham - DC Universe Animated Original Movies film set in the Arkham universe.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight - 2015 interquel comic bridging the gap between City and Knight.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight: Genesis - Another 2015 comic centering on the Arkham Knight himself.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight - 2015 novelization by comic writer Marv Wolfman.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight: The Riddler's Gambit - Prequel Novel by Alex Irvine focusing on the Riddler.
  • Batman: Arkham Underworld - Clash of Clans clone based on the series, released alongside Arkham Knight.

Additionally, elements of the series have appeared in other series by WB Games. Notably, Arkham City-inspired skins for Batman, Joker, Catwoman, and Harley Quinnnote  appear in Netherrealm Studios' Injustice: Gods Among Us, and the Arkham Knight Batmobile makes a (Sadly non-drivable) appearance in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Tropes in this series

  • Adaptation Distillation: Truly one of the greatest incarnations of the Dark Knight and his rogues ever. It's actually a potluck of the best aspects of practically all his previous media incarnations: the grittiness of the Christopher Nolan movies, the gothic architecture and film noir-ish mood of the Tim Burton films, the canon of the comics, the voices and writing talent of the animated series... It's difficult to imagine an incarnation of the Dark Knight that could so easily please all of Batman's fans from any medium.
    • Batman is primarily based on his comic version, but he has the voice of the animated version and his suit actually looks like body armor with a glider cape. His Arkham Origins design is armor with hard plates along the lines of his The Dark Knight costume and in Knight, he's modeled on Ben Affleck and wears metal armor akin to his Injustice: Gods Among Us incarnation.
    • Joker — again, primarily based on his comic version, but he has Heath Ledger's suit, a face that looks a lot like Jack Nicholson (and his face and hair getting a younger look in Origins), he transforms into a muscle-bound hulk similar to Kevin Michael Richardson's Joker, they used Mark Hamill's voice and we can count Hamill's voice as a Caesar Romero reference. There's a lot of similarity there, especially in the laugh, thus completing the full spectrum of Batman Jokers. In Origins, he dresses similarly to his The Dark Knight and Joker incarnation.
    • The Clayface in this game bears Basil Karlo's name (blink-and-you-miss-it when Bats takes Harley's "party list") and now-in-continuity powers: otherwise he's an amalgamated Batman: The Animated Series Clayface (Matt Hagen) and Preston Payne. This is canon. Karlo acquired the powers of Hagen and Payne in the early 90s. What's new, however, is his desire to impersonate people. In the comics, Karlo turned to crime out of egomania. The acting ability was a trait of Hagen's in the animated series.
    • Two-Face's unscarred side is modelled on Tommy Lee Jones, and he speaks in plural here as there, yet his suit is a normal suit with half of it ruined like Aaron Eckhart and his Two-Face voice sounds like Richard Moll.
    • Bane uses Venom as in the comics, but in Origins, his outfit (barring the mask) is similar to Tom Hardy's.
    • While Penguin's not disfigured (or at least in the same way) as he was in Batman Returns, his clothes are similar to those worn by the Penguin there and looks a bit like Danny DeVito, albeit how the actor normally looks. He has a similar backstory of his family having a grudge against the Waynes ala The Batman. As with both, he's also savage and animalistic, but trying to pass off as refined personality instead of the actual refined personality of the comics version.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Arguably Batman himself! Arkham Batman is probably the strongest Batman incarnation of all time. In the first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, he was injected with Scarecrow's toxin multiple times and fought through it with no rest or antidote. In the second game, Batman: Arkham City, he can punch Mr. Freeze's suit with his bare hands....and hurt Mr. Freeze. In the prequel, Batman: Arkham Origins, he defeated Lady Shiva twice, once when he was still in training; defeated Deathstroke without problems in his 2nd year; beat up Killer Croc; and Bane did the backbreaker on him....and COULDN'T break his back, unlike in the comics and Nolanverse. Really nothing more to be said.
    • In comics and most adaptations, Hugo Strange is a criminal mastermind or conman whereas in Arkham City he is a Manipulative Bastard who gets the top on all of Batman's rogues except Joker. Likewise in the comics, Hugo Strange was the first villain to learn of Batman's identity but in the original story, Strange Apparitions, it came about because he trapped Batman and unmasked him and in Prey he managed to trick Batman into revealing it, whereas here he's competent enough as a shrink to create an accurate psychological profile of Batman from a distance.
    • Calendar Man goes from a Harmless gimmick villain to being a vicious serial killer who is genuinely menacing, the Riddler's Super OCD leads him to build many a Death Trap, serving as a Wild Card who creates a network of informants in different factions and as an unofficial Knowledge Broker for Gotham's underworld. Mr. Freeze and Clayface likewise have a larger profile in these games, with Mr. Freeze providing Batman the most intricate Boss Fight of the entire series and Clayface being the Final Boss of Arkham City, providing the largest character model as well as being one of the few villains Batman uses lethal force against.
    • Scarecrow, a minor villain in most comic events and in Batman Begins, gets a scarier costume, serves as a Level in Boss Clothing in Asylum before becoming the Big Bad of Arkham Knight where he unleashes a level of destruction that exceeds Hugo Strange and Joker and finally outs Batman's Secret Identity before the world, which no villain in any adaptation has ever done.
    • While most incarnations of Jason Todd are badasses in their own right, none of them are at the level of Arkham Knight's incarnation, who (as the titular Arkham Knight) leads an army of professional killers whom he's specifically trained to kill Batman, and manages to take over Gotham in mere hours.
    • Whilst Tim Drake in the comics is by no means un-badass, his Batman: Arkham City appearance definitely seems to be aiming for a grittier approach to the character, with a far more chiseled and muscled appearance, a buzz cut, and the idea that he takes part in cage-fighting in his spare time.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Achieved in a somewhat roundabout way. Gaining experience points restores your health, and beating people up gives you XP. Ergo, damage taken in combat may be healed from the XP you got from fighting. Depending on how much damage you took and how much XP you got, you may or may not be restored to full health. Bosses reliably give you enough XP to heal fully, however.
    • The reason this works for this trope is that the XP doesn't tally (and thereby the healing doesn't begin) until you finish the entire encounter, whether it's a gang of ten mooks trying to beat you down or a room full of gun-toting mooks you have to stealth-kill.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • Arkham City has a pair of Downloadable Content challenge maps that are Augmented Reality simulations of theoretical attacks on the Batcave and Wayne Manor by TYGER soldiers.
    • In Arkham Origins, the Batcave is attacked by Bane after he deduces that Bruce Wayne is Batman, while Wayne Manor is attacked during the Action Prologue of the Cold, Cold Heart DLC.
    • In Arkham Knight, Scarecrow's forces attack Batman's clock tower and kidnap Barbara Gordon off-screen. The trope is downplayed in a later sequence where the Arkham Knight's drones attack Wayne Tower; as the Arkham Knight is Jason Todd, he knows full well that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but neither Batman nor the player are aware of this at this point in the story, and it's easy to assume that the Arkham Knight is just trying to seize control of one of the tallest buildings in Gotham City.
  • Alternate Continuity: The first game was designed to be almost entirely identical to the history presented in the comics. The second game, as well as the third prequel game, establishes a few notable key differences.
    • Alternate History: Beginning with City, the series has also made numerous hints that the advanced progression of technology in this version of the DC Universe has radically sped up cultural development, partially explaining why Art Deco cities and zeppelin travel lines exist alongside cellphones and unmanned attack drones — a strategically crumbled commemorative engraving on the balcony above the gates of Arkham City reveals the facility was opened at some point in the 1990's, the Cyrus Pinkney side quest in Origins reveals that Gotham had functional automobiles in 1855 (possibly due to Lazarus Technology), and Deathstroke, 55 at the time of Knight, reveals that, like his comic counterpart, he fought in the Vietnam War.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Every game features DLC playable characters. Notably, each one features a different villain as one of the playable characters.
    • Asylum has the Joker
    • City has Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing
    • Origins has Deathstroke and Initiation Bruce Wayne
    • Knight has Harley Quinn, Red Hood and Batgirl. Azrael is playable in a series of sidequests. Commissioner Gordon, GCPD Officer Owens and The Joker are also playable in scripted story sequences.
  • Artifact Title: The series is referred to as "Arkham" despite now leaving the asylum completely. Each successive title has made justifications for the title; City was based around the idea of creating a small city (an isolated part of Gotham) to serve as a wing of the Asylum, Origins makes sense as the origin story of some of the inhabitants of the Asylum, and Knight has a self-titled antagonist whose back-story includes the Asylum heavily.
  • Bedlam House: Arkham naturally.
    • From Asylum: The marketing (as evidenced in the tie-in Arkham Care website and some of the in-game PA announcements) desperately tries to make it seem like a pleasant, modern psychiatric institution. To utterly hilarious degrees; it's really something to stand in a dank, creepy and falling-apart Arkham corridor listening to a pleasant voice on a commercial witter on about how Arkham is 'the state's premier psychiatric therapeutic facility', how the famous supervillains who get locked up there 'are only half the story' and other such nonsense.
    • City : Proudly features an even worse solution: Arkham City, a walled off slum section of Gotham where former Arkham patients and Blackgate convicts alike are thrown in and left to their own devices. Then hired mercs kill everyone in the place. How therapeutic.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: All three games use this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's Batman. Do you expect anything else?
    • Arkham Origins: Batman has defeated Black Mask and his assassins, ingratiated himself with the police, and managed to make Gotham less of a hellhole, but Black Mask's fall leads to a power vacuum in Gotham's underworld that a certain clown steps in to fill, and we all know how that goes.
    • Arkham Asylum: Batman stops Joker and prevents Gotham from destruction from TITAN. But Arkham Asylum is heavily damaged, nearly everybody of its staff is dead. And there's Quincy Sharp's plans about Arkham City...
    • Arkham City: Batman saves the day. Unfortunately, Talia is dead (for now), Catwoman's apartment got bombed by Two-Face, it's left unclear whether any of the people Joker poisoned can be savednote , and Batman actually intended to save the Joker, despite the latter's evil nature, and failed.
      • The Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC ends with Harley's plan a resounding failure, but Bruce is still even more emotionally closed-off than usual. Not even the brief prospect of losing Tim gets him to open up - he just grapples away, leaving a very concerned Gordon in his wake.
    • Arkham Knight: The Big Bad Ensemble is thwarted and the GCPD takes Gotham back, but Scarecrow has successfully made Batman suffer, and unmasked him in front of Gotham and the world. In order to keep everyone else safe, Bruce and Alfred blow up Wayne Manor with themselves inside. Gotham is watched over by a new Batman.
  • Book Ends: Arkham City, which sees the end of the Batman/Joker feud ends with the Joker singing about him and Batman over part of the end credits. Similarly, Arkham Origins, which sees the start of the feud, ends the same way.
    • For the whole franchise in general, the finale of Arkham Knight takes place in the same location the series started: in Arkham Asylum.
  • But Thou Must:
    • Several times in City and Knight, you're seemingly given a choice which actually has only one "correct" option, with the other leading to a Non Standard Game Over. Knight plays with this a bit in one of this choices, where it actually forces you to take the "wrong" option once before giving you the choice again.
    • Averted in one of Knight's sidequests, which instead uses a Last-Second Ending Choice which determines Azrael's fate.
  • Cardboard Prison:
    • Origins: It begins and ends with a riot at Blackgate Penitentiary. In Origins Blackgate Batman enters the prison to quell another riot.
    • Asylum: A fire at Blackgate has resulted in much of the Joker's gang being moved to the asylum. Joker stages another riot once he's brought back
    • City: The prison was made because of the damage done to the existing prisons in the last game. Black Mask managed to escape briefly; Strange added turrets to the walls in response, Strange tried to fake a breakout to justify Protocol 10, and Catwoman has the option to escape during her story arc. Doing so results in a Non Standard Game Over where Joker's gang breaks out and lays siege to Gotham.
    • Knight: Outside of an Easter Egg, the game generally avoid this. Said Easter Egg? Setting the clock to 10/31 sees Kirk Langstrom transform back into Man-Bat and escape from the GCPD.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The game is quite well regarded for its unique character models and NPCs several of these models as well as variations can be seen in a separate page on the game's menu. The increase in character models from Arkham Asylum to City and from there to Knight is fairly astounding to observe in terms of Sequel Escalation.
  • Crapsack World: A decent argument could be made that the games are actually darker than the main verse, and possibly even the darkest Batman adaptations ever made. To recap...
    • In Asylum; At least half of the asylum's staff is murdered by the Joker's gang, and Joker intends to do the same to the rest of Gotham.
    • In City: Likely Hundreds are killed by Protocol 10: Gotham apparently has a population in the millions, and given the huge crime rate, how many people Strange and Sharp were apparently throwing in, it's likely that Arkham had a population that's nearly a thousand, and when Strange states that at least 22% of the inmates were killed, it's clear that hundreds were murdered, with 121 being one number cited by a TYGER command, including many who likely did nothing to deserve it, and this isn't counting the political prisoners and doctors killed by the Joker.
    • In Origins: Gordon is the only honest cop we see; beyond him, the police are all thugs with uniforms, who hurt people for no reason beyond wanting to amuse themselves. And this is all before the assassins showed up along with the Joker, who apparently killed most of the staff at the Gotham Royal Hotel, at least 1/4 of Black Mask's men, and likely a great deal of the staff at Blackgate when he broke out and started the riot.
    • In Knight, Scarecrow extorts the city into evacuating the city population but its definitely likely that several remained behind in the city, since the evacuation took place in 24 hours, furthermore Scarecrow successfully unleashes a chemical weapon in a city population and while that was countered by Poison Ivy's World-Healing Wave, it's likely that it would have aftereffects for years.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting:
    • As mentioned in Adaptation Distillation, a lot of characters resemble actors who've played them before, including Joker looking like Jack Nicholson, Two-Face's unscarred side looking like Tommy Lee Jones (though he has The Dark Knight level scarring), Penguin looking like Danny DeVito (albeit as the actor normaly looks), and even Batman in Knight resembles Ben Affleck. This also extends to voice acting, as Wally Wingert admitted to trying to emulate Frank Gorshin's laugh as the Riddler and Troy Baker likewise admitted to emulating Richard Moll's Two-Face voice. Likewise, many found Baker's Harvey Dent voice to sound similar to Eckhart and Roger Craig Smith's voice as the younger Batman to sound like Christian Bale's Batman voice at times.
    • Unrelated to past actors, Riddler in City and Knight resembles (respectively) Stephen Merchant and Charlie Sheen, and Robin in the latter game resembles Eminem.
  • Deconstruction: Due to being a kind of amalgamation of a lot of different Batman universes, the Arkham franchise really takes a look at some of the problems of the Batman mythos. The series takes a good look at a lot of the Batman's mental problems (trust issues, guilt over his parents, unwillingness to work together with others unless it's mandatory, pride and arrogance, and obsession with crimefighting), series tropes like Joker Immunity, ideas like the relationship between Batman and his rogues gallery and, in the end, if all this destruction and suffering really is doing any good for Gotham.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Many villains fit this trope.
    • In "City": The Joker's boss fight happens just before Batman must take on the Big Bad- Hugo Strange. But after Batman defeats Strange, it's quickly revealed he was the puppet of Ra's Al Ghul, who then commits suicide minutes later. Batman then has to save Talia from The Joker, who appears to be the game's real Big Bad. But after rescuing Talia, who kills The Joker, the true final boss is revealed in a major plot twist: Clayface was employed by The Joker to impersonate him at various points in the game, and the Joker Talia stabbed was merely a decoy Joker, who transforms back into Clayface.
    • In "Origins": Black Mask is advertised and set up as the Big Bad, only for a plot twist about a quarter way through the game to reveal that The Joker is the true villain, having kidnapped Black Mask days earlier and taken over his operation.
    • Subverted somewhat in Knight. Despite being billed as the main villain, Batman tracks down and attacks Scarecrow first, attempting to get rid of him as the most dangerous threat. This backfires, and after being exposed to fear gas, Hallucination!Joker plagues Batman for the rest of the game as an Enemy Within. Arkham Knight also appears to be a villain, possibly in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Scarecrow. While the Knight does have significant plot presence, Scarecrow and Hallucination!Joker fill in the roles as Big Bad and Bigger Bad, with the Knight filling in a sort of Dragon-in-Chief role.
  • Easter Egg: The Arkham games are famous for their incredibly subtle and clever Easter Eggs; some of them are incorporated into Riddler trophies, others simply visual details there for the fans to pick up, but its most famous ones are those that nobody noticed until the developers revealed it. In Arkham Asylum, there was a secret room announcing the Arkham City plan that nobody found until it was outed a year later by the developers; in Arkham City, two years after the game's release, it was revealed (in a video some suspected was also released by the developers, on a YouTube channel with a cryptic pseudonym) that there was a secret conversation with Calendar Man referencing Rocksteady and Arkham Knight.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Each game takes place over the course of a single night. This isn't too bad if you just play through the main plot, but it starts getting silly as you tackle the sidequests and try to find all the collectibles.
  • Fingerprinting Air: The Detective Scanner lets Batman pick up on available clues in the environment to solve past crimes and hunt down criminals. While initially somewhat far-fetched (one prompt in Asylum has the player form a trail via detecting traces of alcohol in the air), Origins' refines the process — the cowl's trackers are still extremely sensitive, but the clues themselves are more realistic and believable (like scanning impact points to identify a bullet's trajectory and origin of fire), and the crime scene reconstructions can be interacted with to highlight overlooked objects of interest. Knight takes it one step further by adding a deep tissue scanner, meaning Batman can analyze the skin, muscle and bone layers of corpses for possible abnormalities.
  • Genre-Busting: Has elements of stealth, beat-em-up, RPG, survival horror, and Metroidvania, so it's hard to classify. The third game's multiplayer adds Third-Person Shooter elements; the fourth adds driving and vehicular combat sections.
  • Groin Attack: A common takedown move for Batman involves punching thugs in the pelvic ring. Which ends up looking like this trope.
  • Have a Nice Death: Dying in the games earns you a taunt from your enemies.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: In Combat Mode, it is very possible for Batman to take on dozens of heavily armed enemies without using any gadgets. Batarangs included.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: City had shades of this, with Hugo Strange and Ra's al Ghul's plotline being wrapped up in a single cutscene and the Joker having by far the most screentime. Origins is full bore; despite hyping Black Mask up as the Big Bad, it was Joker the entire time. Although, an observant player can notice the various hints dropped from the start of the game that this is the case. In Knight, despite Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight being a Big Bad Duumvirate, Joker once again plays the role of a Greater Scope Villain, whose death not only instigates the Villain Team-Up but keeps reappearing as a hallucination to Batman.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Calendar Man's secret conversation in Arkham City. To access it, you need to set the game's clock to December 13, 2004 (the date of Rocksteady's founding):
    • In an amazing Brick Joke, Calendar Man can be glimpsed in the crowd standing outside Wayne Manor as it blows up in the Golden Ending of Arkham Knight.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The first game had relatively few characters involved in the main plot, but had cameos, references and bios of tons of Batman villains. Played completely straight in the sequel, which manages to give actual screen time to a lot these characters, both through the main story and side-quests.
  • Mook Horror Show: When using stealth ("Predator Mode"), you can not only use gadgets to spook enemies in a variety of ways, but you can use detective mode to see their steadily increasing heartbeat as you pick them off one by one.
  • Mushroom Samba: Once per game, Batman will be drugged somehow and experience surreal and creepy hallucinations.
    • Asylum has the famous Scarecrow sequences.
    • In City, Batman gets poisoned by Joker and suffers a few hallucinations as a result. The same thing happens when Batman drinks some from a Lazarus Pit. Finally, a side quest has the Mad Hatter try to take over Batman's mind, taking him to a bizarre dreamscape.
    • In Origins, Copperhead uses a hallucinatory poison and the Mad Hatter returns for a repeat performance. In addition, we get to see a few scenes from Joker's insane perspective.
    • In Origins: Blackgate, Catwoman temporarily blinds Batman with a flashbang during the final boss battle, resulting in a semi-hallucinogenic sequence where he tries to predict incoming attacks using only sound.
    • Way too many to count in Knight.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Arkham games inflict long-term changes and damages in a manner that the comics continuity does not. Joker dies in City and stays dead, as does Hugo Strange, Ra's and Talia. Batman gets outed as Bruce Wayne in Arkham Knight and goes underground.
  • Notice This: Only in Detective Mode, though, since it highlights objects of interest.
  • Ret Canon: Bane's appearance in Asylum and City initally inspired his redesign in The New 52, though it's since been revised to add a vest and cargo pants.
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase: One of the series' selling points is that players get the opportunity to meet and beat up Batman's rogues.
  • Role Reprisal:
    • From the DCAU: As noted above, the first two games see Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their respective Batman: The Animated Series roles of Batman and the Joker. Asylum also sees Arleen Sorkin reprise the role of Harley Quinn. While none of the three return for Arkham Origins, it does see two more reprisals from the the DCAU: Robert Constanzo as Harvey Bullock and in The Stinger, CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller. Blackgate also sees Adam Baldwin reprise his role from Justice League as Rick Flag, in addition to Pounder as Waller. Conroy does return as Batman in Arkham Knight and Assault on Arkham, the latter also seeing Jennifer Hale as Killer Frost and Pounder as Waller yet again, and the former has Hamill back as the Joker.
    • From the Animated Adaptation of Batman: Year One: Grey DeLisle reprises the role of Vicki Vale from Year One in City and Origins (the former being released the same day as Year One). Origins also sees the return of Jon Polito as Gillian Loeb.
    • From Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Blackgate sees Gary Anthony Sturgis return as Bronze Tiger. In addition to Frost, Jennifer Hale also reprises her role from the episode "Chill of the Night!" as Poison Ivy in Assault on Arkham.
    • From The Batman: Hynden Walch reprises the role of Harley Quinn in Assault on Arkham, replacing Sorkin and Harley's voice actress in City, Origins, and Knight, Tara Strong.
    • From Young Justice: In addition to reprising his role from Origins as Deathstroke, Mark Rolston reprises his YJ role as Lex Luthor in a voicemail to Bruce.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh yes. City takes it further because, well, it's out in the open city, and Origins as well, being even more of the city (along with some Scenery Gorn in the Firefly sequence).
  • Schizo Tech: CRT televisions, cigarette vending machines, and magnetic audio tape all exist alongside LCD monitors, electronic restraint collars, and advanced broadcast encryption technology. In Origins, there are even advertisements for trans-Atlantic zeppelin flights, while Batman spends most of the game flying around in a supersonic jet.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Batman-related parts of the DCAU, especially because its writer wrote for the first two games.
  • Utility Weapon: Most weapons/gadgets have three functions: one in melee combat, one in the stealth sections, and one for exploration (although the utility and stealth functions frequently overlap). The main exception for a long time was the Cryptographic Sequencer — it was mainly used as a "have you beat the goons yet?" gate, though got some use in decoding and pinpointing radio transmissions from City onwards, and received a full secondary function in Knight (hacking or temporarily shutting down enemy devices) for Predator challenges.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: The possibility of zooming and observe from "interesting" angles female character as Harley Quinn and Catwoman.